English Language Arts (ELA)

Magruder's English Language Arts (ELA) Program is designed to provide the foundation for communication (written and spoken) and comprehension (listening and understanding) skills your student will need, not only for high school but college and/or career. 

While bringing all of our students to a level that is on track for college readiness is the ultimate goal, Magruder teachers work to develop our students' love of reading and understanding of the English language as an art form.   The "Arts" in English Language Arts is the ability to use words as a tool to communicate with clarity, power and expressiveness.  

As your student progresses through Magruder, each new grade level builds on the last to sharpen skills and deepen their complexity of understanding. Students will present their knowledge through various ways: written exercises and assignments, group and individual presentations, and special projects.  

While each grade level and teacher has their own individual methods and materials, all work within set guidelines that use  five (5) components set down by the California Department of Education.

The descriptions below are to give you a general idea of what students will be learning.  You can read more about this in detail from the CDE link at the end of this page.

The five (5) learning components of Magruder's ELA curriculum are:

Reading and Understanding Literature
Using carefully selected materials (books, short stories, and poems), teachers show students how to analyze and appreciate text  in various ways.  
Students will study and learn to: 

  • understand plot and author's intent 
  • identify narration and voice
  • cite text to support arguments 
  • figure out themes and meaning within the text
  • be able to compare and contrast within text and with other works and genres.  

Reading and Understanding Informational Text
Pulling from multiple sources and styles, students learn to navigate information text and analyze content.  
Students will learn to:  

  • make conclusions and arguments with supporting textual evidence
  • source out the central idea of the text
  • critically assess text reasoning
  • compare and contrast ideas especially when presented with conflicting sources
  • develop critical thinking skills
  • be able to separate personal statements versus factual information.

Writing Standards
Through all grade levels, students will develop their skills at:  

  • write arguments to support claims from their analysis of text using reasoning and evidence
  • write clearly and accurately with good organization, logical sequencing,  and well structured sentences 
  • write with use of precise words and sensory languages to convey experience and events
  • write narratives (real or imagined) using effective techniques and details 
  • complete short research projects based on focused questions and demonstrate understanding of the subject.

Speaking and Listening Skills 
Learning and demonstrating proper communications and conversation skills are interwoven within lessons.

  • Students will have many opportunities to take part in a variety of collaborative conversations (class, small group and partners)
  • Students will engage their listening skills using different sources then be able to assess that information and discuss
  • Students will learn to present claims, findings and ideas through different means including use of speaking, multimedia and visual displays.
  • Listening and interpretive skills will be used and practiced within structured lessons 

Basic Language Standards
This means learning of proper grammar, vocabulary, and general language structure.
Students will demonstrate:

  •  command of standard grammar when both writing and speaking
  •  proper use of capitalization, punctuation, pronouns, and spelling when writing
  •  understanding of figurative language, word relationships and meaning within different contexts 
  •  vocabulary growth through focused and contextual learning
  • reasoning out of unknown meaning vocabulary words by contextual clues, analyzing word parts, and consulting other support materials and resources.

Click here for a link to the California Department of Education ELA Standards.  Go to pages 46-78 for most of the middle school information.
Click here for main page of California Department of Education English Language Arts main page.