State curriculum guides provide an overview of the district curriculum course-by-course. Each guide specifies the intended age of students, course outcomes, topic overview, and recommendations for struggling and advanced learners. This resource is intended as a starting place to facilitate course selections or to better understand the district’s curriculum.
Students in kindergarten transition from oral to written literacy. They demonstrate their understanding of the features of print as they learn to track print and develop a sense of letters, words, and sentences. Students develop their phonological awareness skills through activities such as rhyming, counting syllables, and isolating beginning sounds. Students connect letters with their corresponding sounds as well as develop other grade level phonics skills. They develop comprehension strategies that enable them to read grade-level texts, including both story books and informational texts, with purpose and understanding. Students identify characters, setting, and major events in stories as well as retell details in informational books.
Students write sentences and stories using their letter sound knowledge to spell phonetically. As writers, they focus their writing on one specific topic, use descriptive words and create illustrations rich with details. Students write stories in which they describe experiences and events or form an opinion as they choose between two topics. They use grade appropriate conventions in their writing such as capital letters and end punctuation.
Kindergarten students participate in collaborative conversations with peers and adults in small and larger groups, sharing stories, familiar experiences, and interests. Students ask and answer questions in order to seek help, gain information, or clarify something that is not understood.
In first grade, students move toward independence as readers. They learn and apply more advanced phonological and phonics skills as they fluently read a variety of grade-level appropriate literary and informational texts. As they engage with texts, they expand their knowledge and use of vocabulary. They demonstrate their understanding of the details and central message in texts through activities such as retelling literature in sequence, explaining similarities and differences between texts, and asking or answering questions.
First grade students also write for a variety of purposes. They write to inform, to support an opinion, and to describe an experience. As they write, they organize their content, include a sense of closure, and use a variety of words and phrases. They master grade level conventions of language and use complete sentences when writing and speaking. First grade students also listen critically and pose clarifying questions.
In second grade, students begin to read with greater accuracy and fluency. They conduct more sophisticated word studies and use their decoding skills and expanding sight word bank to read longer, more complex texts – including fables and folktales from diverse cultures. Students recount the stories they read, determining the central message, lesson, or moral and describe how characters respond to major events and challenges. As students read grade level text, they cite textual evidence to support the author’s purpose. They acquire and use grade-appropriate general academic and domain specific vocabulary.
Students in second grade deepen written and verbal communication skills. In addition to informational and narrative writing, students create pieces that state their opinions supported with reasons, using linking words to connect ideas and providing a concluding statement or section. Written text becomes more readable throughout second grade as students use grade-appropriate grammar and conventions including plural and proper nouns, prefixes, and suffixes. Students engage in collaborative, respectful discussions about topics and texts. They use technology to record, present, and embellish both written and verbal communication using audio recordings, drawings, or visual displays and digital publishing tools.
In third grade, students select and combine skills to read fluently with meaning and purpose. They apply comprehension and vocabulary strategies to informational text and a wider variety of literary genres including poetry. Students demonstrate comprehension by participating in discussions, writing responses, and using key details and evidence from text to support their thinking. They explore author point of view and also begin to infer meaning from texts. They read for pleasure and choose books based on personal preference, topic, or author.
Students are writing longer texts, especially narratives. They embed their ideas in time and place and develop characters through detail and dialogue. Students organize around a central idea and elaborate using complete sentences. Their writing is often divided into sections through paragraphing or book parts (e.g., table of contents, chapters) and follows logical sequencing. Information gathering as part of the planning process is common, and students are becoming more selective about vocabulary, especially when writing informational texts. They conduct short research using a variety of print and digital sources. They listen to other’s writing, offer feedback, and begin to consider suggestions from others about their own writing.
In fourth grade, students read skillfully with meaning and purpose using appropriate comprehension and vocabulary strategies. They examine multiple points of view and the structural elements of text. Emphasis is on drawing evidence from text as they read, discuss, reflect, and respond to informational text and a wide variety of literary genres with an inclusion of texts from other cultures. They explore the theme of texts and begin to move from integrating information from one text to several texts. Students read for pleasure and continue to choose books based on personal preference, topic, theme, or author.
Students write for a range of purposes, including describing, telling a story, and explaining. They produce writing that goes beyond formulaic compositions to more self-directed pieces that include domain-specific vocabulary, precise language, and using transition words to convey meaning. Because they are aware of the interdependence of the topic, audience, purpose, and form, they select and sometimes adapt basic forms to meet specific requirements. Their understanding and use of figurative language introduces imagery to their writing. Informational writing reflects understanding of specific purpose, often requiring gathering, paraphrasing, and synthesizing facts and details from a number of resources to express and justify an opinion. There is an increased use of technology, including the internet. Students are more aware of the conventions of writing as they reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and strive to improve.
In fifth grade, students broaden and deepen their understanding of informational and literary text through comparing and contrasting. Students reflect on their skills and adjust their comprehension and vocabulary strategies to become better readers. They use textual evidence and quote accurately to support their analyses and interpretations. Using evidence from multiple texts, students discuss, reflect, and respond to a wide variety of literary genres and informational text. Students read for pleasure, choosing books based on personal preference, topic, genre, theme, or author. Students develop a strong personal voice in their writing beginning in fifth grade. This is demonstrated by the way they sometimes inject humor into their narratives and support their opinions with credible reasons. Students use precise, specialized vocabulary appropriately in content-area writing. Students develop their writing craft with an emphasis on pacing and an awareness of style. They experiment with sentence length and complex sentence structures and vary leads and endings. Students are able to summarize and synthesize important works to include in their compositions.