English Language Arts
Baden Academy teachers chose Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Reading program because it offers an engaging, rigorous, and organized approach to help students develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Teachers use the stories and lessons in this curriculum to help build essential foundational skills, practice speaking and writing on engaging topics, and develop good research habits.
Throughout the school year, teachers assess students’ skills and adjust their teaching by using Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT), Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), and Development Reading Assessment (DRA). And all students in grades 3-6 take the annual Pennsylvania State Standards Assessment (PSSAs).
In addition to these programs and assessments, students are given plenty of opportunities to connect their study of language to the arts. Our school’s Calliope program, for example, was specifically designed to combine literary arts and visual arts; students can be found putting the skills they learn in theater into practice while presenting in class; and students undertake projects like writing their own scripts to perform for their classmates, or analyzing a piece of artwork and understanding its themes in order to better analyze and uncover the themes in the stories they read.
Another component of our ELA curriculum is classical mythology, which are the fantastical stories of ancient Greece and Rome. These myths are integrated into our ELA classrooms and our theater programs, and students are introduced to the literary structure of the myth-based Hero’s Journey to help them better understand the stories they read and write.
Language is about communication, and so are the arts. This is why our Baden Academy teachers combine language and the arts when they create opportunities to help students become better communicators and engage in their own learning.