As the world ventures deeper into technology, it is important for students to continue to focus on the traditional language arts, which remain key life skills regardless of the forms into which they are translated.
Laurence’s language arts program aims to build children’s reading, comprehension, and writing skills by blending traditional academic methods with interactive activities, games, and drama. In addition, our program incorporates social studies subjects, character education themes, and other academic topics, creating a comprehensive and integrated learning environment at each grade level.
Reading to Understand and Grow
The program emphasizes independent reading skills and students’ comprehension.
- We develop strategies that enable students to read for literal and inferential meaning, while broadening vocabularies.
- Through developmentally appropriate projects, such as creative book reports, students gain a deeper understanding of a variety of genres and their unique characteristics. These genres include: realistic fiction, historical fiction, nonfiction, biography, fantasy, folktale, and fable.
- By presenting their projects in class, students also have the opportunity to build their public speaking skills.
- Nonfiction social studies and science texts provide further opportunities for strengthening comprehension, and a linguistic spelling program highlights the importance of dictation and carries over to students’ every day writing.
- Students also gain a basic understanding of analogies and verbal reasoning that they will build upon as they progress through their upper-elementary years. In fact, our students often win the highest honors in the annual WordMasters Challenge, a national language arts competition that requires them to learn the definitions of 25 challenging words, then to use the words to complete analogies. The competition demands that they think analytically and metaphorically.
Laurence students gain extensive writing skills through our Writers' Workshop program. The goal of the program is to have them write what they know by selecting topics that are meaningful and relevant to them. Through focused mini-lessons and individual conferences with classroom teachers, students enhance their craft as early writers and become independent authors of a variety of literary pieces.
Students are also encouraged to share their writings with their classmates so as to gain experience communicating their personal experiences and ideas in a sequential and interesting format. Additionally, dozens of our students have been published in children’s poetry anthologies, including A Celebration of Poets and Skipping Stones.