The JHS 118English Language Arts Department strives to strengthen student comprehension as it relates to vocabulary and content by integrating complex, leveled and engaging text. In order to build fluency, this department highlights the importance of independent reading and offers resources that allow students to make significant connections across subject areas.

The ELA Department utilizes the Priority Learning Standards as a foundation to develop academic growth. In addition to developing literacy skills, this department works to foster an understanding of writing as it pertains to a variety of purposes and audiences.

As a department, we emphasize that language is powerful—that it extends beyond the classroom and that when it is positively exercised, it becomes all the more useful in our day to day lives.


Other Goals:

  • Students will understand the role of annotation and close reading to interpret text in a variety of content areas
  • Students will examine their understanding of text by making connections which may relate to historical accounts, current events and/or cultural experiences
  • Students will be able to write about their reading in a clear and meaningful manner
    Students will apply the steps of the writing process to produce successful published pieces
  • Students will complete a variety of projects and will also engage in activities that will sharpen their speaking and listening skills


ELA Curriculum: Grades 6. 7. 8

  • Unit 1: Narrative
  • Unit 2: Information
  • Unit 3: Argument
  • Unit 4: Poetry


Instructional Programs to Support Curriculum:


Word Generation

  • Word Gen is a supplementary curricular resource designed to promote students’ academic language and argumentation skills.
  • Each of the 72 brief one-week units is focused around a social or civic dilemma designed to be of best interest to young adolescents.

Series 1 – 6th Grade
Series 2 – 7th Grade
Series 3 – 8th Grade

  • Activities focused on the week’s dilemma take place in ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies classes.
  • Five (5) target academic vocabulary words are incorporated into each of those activities



  • i-Ready connects Diagnostic data and Personalized Instruction, which reduces complexity, saves time, and makes differentiated instruction achievable in every classroom.
  • Determines students’ on-grade level proficiency
  • Delivers online lessons that provide tailored instruction and practice for each student to accelerate growth
  • Based on assessment results, teachers are able to implement remediation and reteaching at individualized, small group, and whole class levels of instruction


Intervention Programs:


Wilson Reading Program:

The Wilson Reading Program supports students to learn fluent decoding and encoding skills to the level of mastery. It follows a ten-part lesson plan that addresses the following in a sensible and logical fashion: decoding, morphology and the study of word elements, encoding and orthography (internalizing the rules that govern English), high frequency word instruction, oral reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The program also supports college & career readiness standards, including Common Core State Standards.

In the Wilson Reading Program, students receive instruction in:
-Word structure, in depth, for automatic decoding and spelling
-Word recognition and spelling of high frequency words, including irregular words
-Vocabulary, word understanding, and word-learning skills
-Sentence-level text reading with ease, expression, and understanding
-Listening comprehension with age-appropriate narrative and informational text
-Reading comprehension with narrative and expository text of increasing levels of difficulty
-Narrative and informational text structures
-Organization of information for oral or written expression
-Proofreading skills
-Self-monitoring for word recognition accuracy and comprehension


Phonics for Reading

PHONICS for Reading is a systematic, research-based intervention program that accelerates instruction for struggling readers by equipping them with the tools necessary to decode with confidence. PHONICS for Reading also aligns with i-Ready Assessment data, to identify students in need and the level of support each student requires.

Highlights of the program include:
-Routine-based phonics instruction that can be delivered by teachers or paraprofessionals.
-Fast-paced, intensive lessons build confidence as students build skills.
-Extensive practice that addresses decoding skills gaps.
-Type size, illustrations, and visual design appeal to older students.
-Aligned with i‑Ready Assessment data enables educators to identify and tailor their phonics instruction to struggling readers.


The Degrees of Reading Power Assessment:

-The DRP Assessment measures how well students can comprehend text at increasing levels of text complexity.
-Provides holistic and analytic criterion-referenced measures of how well students read closely in depth in order to comprehend increasingly challenging informational reading passages.


Mastery Connect

MasteryConnect is a competency-based learning platform that helps teachers identify levels of understanding, target students for intervention, and inform instruction. This means teachers have more time to teach and students have more time to learn.


HMH is a comprehensive K–12 learning platform that offers assessment, reporting, and a full K–12 curriculum for learning in person, remotely, and anywhere in between. The four focus areas are:
Assessment: Assess fluency, proficiency, and growth in math and ELA with rigorous tests and adaptive practice.

Core Instruction:

Best-in-class core instruction supports in-person, remote, and hybrid teaching and learning.

Supplemental Practice:

AI-driven personalized practice adaptively supports students when and where they need it most.

Additional Resources for Curricular Instruction:

Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP):
Educators can obtain resources to support their instructional practice and support families.
Curricular Materials
Supports for Families


Educators can obtain news articles in varied reading levels to boost student engagement, support instructional units, and initiate collaborative discussions about current events.


CommonLit supports improved literacy and comprehension for students, equipping them with the reading, writing, communication, and problem-solving skills they need to be successful in college and beyond.


Educators can obtain resources to support their instructional practice and support families.

  • Next Generation Learning Standards
  • Common Core
  • Teacher/Leader Effectiveness
  • Video Library
  • Professional Development
  • Parents and Families

Resources for families

Sora app for independent reading [ebook library]