The primary goal of Terra Verde’s language arts program is to foster a lifelong love of reading and writing. Each student participates in a balanced literacy program tailored to his or her own individual interests, strengths, and areas for improvement.
We believe that the key to growing great readers is instilling a love for reading in our students. Reading for both pleasure and learning is encouraged and celebrated. Our classrooms and library are filled with the books children love. Students are encouraged to seek out new books, explore new genres, read often, and conduct research on the topics that interest them. Rather than teach children to read with a boxed curriculum, our teachers teach reading using the books our children most want to read, from Junie B. Jones to Harry Potter.
In kindergarten, our students build a strong foundation in reading and writing skills in a variety of engaging ways, including shared reading, interactive writing, read-alouds from a variety of genres, journaling, guided reading with a teacher, and a weekly poem.
First through fourth graders independently work with the “Daily Five:” reading to self, reading to someone, listening to reading, working on writing, and word work. Based on literacy and motivation research, the Daily Five structure ensures that all children are working at their level of challenge while taking responsibility for their learning and behavior. This framework allows the teacher to spend quality one-on-one time with every student. In all classes, students are working on individual goals in comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocabulary.
Our writing program stretches across the curriculum and enhances studies in reading, science, social studies, and even math. Children are encouraged to find their unique writing voice and to write for a variety of purposes. Our engaging lessons include creative writing, personal narratives, persuasive essays, poetry, letter writing, speeches, and journaling. Students study the work of great writers and use their texts as a springboard for their own writing experiences.
As our students progress through each grade, more emphasis is placed on correct spelling and grammar. Each student works with words that are a match for his/her developmental spelling stage.
All grades use the developmentally appropriate Handwriting Without Tears program. You can learn more about this program here: http://www.hwtears.com/parents.