To ensure that students at AnNur Islamic School acquire the skills needed to be proficient in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Since our Language Arts curriculum is a whole-language program, we integrate the teaching of reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
There are three phases of learning in our Language Arts program; foundations (K-2), basics (3-4) and mastery skills (5-8). By the end of Kindergarten, the students are able to read short stories. By completion of Second grade, students learn to write clear and coherent sentences and paragraphs that develop a central theme or idea. In regard to reading, students begin with phonics in Kindergarten and progress to reading short stories in First and Second grades. Vocabulary, spelling and reading comprehension are all incorporated in our whole-language program.
By completion of Fourth grade, students should be able to read drawing upon a variety of comprehension strategies including generating and responding to essential questions, making predictions, and comparing information from several sources. They should also write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences, write and speak with a command of standard English conventions that are appropriate to the grade level, listen and respond critically to oral communication, and deliver brief recitation and oral presentations about familiar experiences or interests that are organized around a coherent thesis statement.
The skills that are mastered by our students by the time they complete Eighth grade are: determining the meaning of specialized vocabulary by using their previous knowledge of word origin, reading and understanding of grade level appropriate material, describing and connecting essential ideas, arguments and perspectives of text structure, organization and purpose, writing descriptive text of at least approximately 500-700 words, and delivery of focused and coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly.
Complementing all of the above, our teachers assign research assignments, book reports and projects in order to integrate our Islamic studies program to our Language Arts program. Students are encouraged to incorporate ideas that they learn in Islamic Studies, whether historical, philosophical, character education and morals, in their assignments.
Teaching Language Arts at our school has always been challenging. Our teachers and Administration are aware that high populations of our student start Kindergarten as ESL. This unique situation has inclined us to expand our horizon and seek additional ways to teach our students and further research the most appropriate curriculum that will address their needs.