Mundelein Elementary School District

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Literacy

Program Guidance
District 75's literacy team, comprised of 32 teachers and administrators, developed a comprehensive literacy statement to guide the instruction of all students in our district. This team also developed a literacy framework that provides the guidelines for our literacy instructional programs.
 
Comprehensive Literacy Statement: District 75 defines comprehensive literacy as an integrated approach that incorporates daily reading, writing, listening, and speaking in order to empower all learners.  The goal is for all our students to achieve literacy independence through the teacher's modeled, shared, and guided instruction. 
 

District 75's English Language Arts Curriculum is created
from the Common Core State Standards
(Adopted by Illinois in 2010)
 
 
About the Common Core English Language Arts Standards:

The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts are divided into sections for K-5 and 6-12.  The standards for all grades fall into the following domains, or groups of related standards:

  • Reading:  covers analysis and understanding of literature and informational text
  • Writing:  deals with persuasive, narrative, and expository writing; organization; and research
  • Speaking and Listening:  focuses on comprehension, presentations, and working with others
  • Language:  includes grammar, usage, punctuation, vocabulary, and other conventions of language
 
Elementary Grades:  K-5
The standards for younger students focus on developing comprehension strategies, or different ways to understand what they read.  The goal for kindergarten through grade 5 is to help students become independent readers and writers who think critically about literature.  This way, students build a solid foundation for middle and high school.
Students will:
    • develop basic foundational skills in using written and spoken language in kindergarten
    • learn how to read and think critically about informational text, such as newspapers, maps, and charts
    • become effective communicators
    • discover how to present their knowledge and converse with other in a respectful way
    • understand the basics of how to use language properly, in both speaking and writing
 
These skills will lay the groundwork for students to convey their ideas well in later grades.

 

Middle Grades:  6-8
Middle school students are expected to look even deeper into what they’re reading, and to use what they learn about the structure and literary elements in their writing:
Students will:
    • Become familiar with different types of text, such as modern fiction, non-fiction, myths, and plays
    • Explore texts in different media, including digital text and video
    • Learn more about elements of literature, such as irony
    • Analyze text for meaning, bias, and other complex elements
    • Learn how to conduct research projects, build persuasive arguments, and present their findings to others
    • Continue to develop grammar and expand vocabulary.
 
Text recommended under the Common Core State Standards may be more complex than what was used under old state standards.
 
 
Shifts for Students Demanded by the Common Core in English Language Arts:
Below are key shifts for students in the areas of English Language Arts/Literacy.   
  1. Read as much non-fiction as fiction
  2. Learn about the world by reading
  3. Read more challenging material closely
  4. Discuss reading using evidence
  5. Write non-fiction using evidence
  6. Increase academic vocabulary
 

ELA/Literacy Shift 1:  Read as much non-fiction as fiction

Students must…

Parents can…

  • Read more non-fiction
  • Supply more non-fiction text
  • Know the ways non-fiction can be put together
  • Read non-fiction texts aloud or with your child
  • Enjoy and discuss the details of non-fiction
  • Have fun with non-fiction in front of your children

ELA/Literacy Shift 2:  Learn about the world by reading

Students must…

Parents can…

  • Get smart in science and social studies through reading
  • Supply series of texts on topics of interest
  • Handle “primary source” documents
  • Find books that explain
  • Get smarter through texts
  • Discuss non-fiction texts and the ideas within

ELA/Literacy Shift 3:  Read more complex material carefully

Students must…

Parents can…

  • Reread
  • Provide more challenging texts AND provide text children WANT to read and can read comfortably
  • Read material at comfort level AND work with more challenging stuff
  • Know what is grade-level appropriate
  • Handle frustration and keep pushing
  • Show that challenging stuff is worth unpacking

ELA/Literacy Shift 4:  Discuss reading using evidence

Students must…

Parents can…

  • Find evidence to support their arguments
  • Talk about text
  • Form judgments
  • Demand evidence in everyday discussions/disagreements
  • Discuss what the author is “up to”
  • Read aloud or read the same book and discuss with evidence

ELA/Literacy Shift 5:  Writing from Sources

Students must…

Parents can…

  • Make arguments in writing using evidence
  • Encourage writing at home
  • Compare multiple texts in writing
  • Write “books” together and use evidence/details
  • Write well

ELA/Literacy Shift 6:  Academic Vocabulary

Students must…

Parents can…

  • Learn the words that they can use in college and career
  • Read often and constantly with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and children
  • Get smarter at using the “language of power”
  • Read multiple books about the same topic
 
  • Let your kids see you reading
 
  • Talk to your children; read to your children; listen to your children; sing with your children; make up silly rhymes and word games with your children
 

For more information about the district's literacy program, please contact the district at (847) 949-2700.