Why a double block of English Language Arts?All students at King Middle School receive a double block of English Language Arts (ELA). This means all students have two 48 minute periods, or 96 minutes of ELA instruction each day. English Language Arts is a priority at King. We expect all students to reach proficiency, or higher on the end of year California State Tests and believe the extra time is essential for students to master grade level standards that address reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
Prior to having a double block of time, the ELA teachers could only teach the “minimum” course of study in the adopted Holt English Language Arts book. The additional time has allowed the ELA teachers to expand the curriculum, spend more time reading (e.g. Accelerated Reader) and writing on a daily basis. The double block also provides time to focus on higher level thinking skills and some of the best researched based strategies to increase student achievement according to Classroom Instruction that Works by Robert Marzano. Click on the link below for more information.
These strategies include the following:
- Finding Similarities and Differences
- Comparing and Contrasting
- Summarizing and Note Taking
- Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition,
- Generating and Testing Hypotheses
- Using cues, questions and advance organizers as strategies
- Cooperative Learning
Focus on Academic Vocabulary:
- Academic or Utility Vocabulary (e.g. analyze, predict, compare)
- Content Vocabulary (e.g. photosynthesis in science, or civilization in history)
- Multiple Meaning words (e.g. coach – as in a sport coach, or coach as in carriage or bus)