THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT AND THE COMMON CORE
The Common Core Content Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy are the culmination of an extended, broad-based effort to fulfill the charge issued by the states to create the next generation of K–12 standards in order to help ensure that all students are college- and career-ready in literacy no later than the end of high school. http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf
In English Language Arts & Literacy, the Common Core Content Standards place a greater emphasis on reading nonfiction, writing analytical essays, and working with more complex texts. This emphasis will improve students’ abilities as they gather information and use evidence to support their claims, while also broadening their vocabularies. Students will continue to read fiction and write creatively, but the Common Core also stresses the importance of nonfiction and analytical writing in teaching students how to be critical readers and persuasive writers as 21st century learners. In adhering to these standards the English department faculty will implement rigorous lessons emphasizing some of the following skills and understandings:
1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection,organization, and analysis of content.
3. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
4. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. Students in each grade will be required to compose a research paper on a variety of topics.
5. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
6. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
7. Trace development of multiple ideas through details and structure and track the development of complex characters and advanced elements of plot such as frame narratives and parallel story lines.
Coursework will be supplemented with the following texts:
· Vocabulary: Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop
· Grammar: The Bedford Handbook (Diana Hacker)