Adriana Silva-Gonzalez, Program Supervisor
The Howell Township Language Arts Department’s mission is to provide a comprehensive and enriching language arts education that empowers students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in today's diverse and dynamic world.
Our classrooms provide varied learning experiences designed with each student’s voice and choice in mind. Our instructional practices in reading and writing provide common and consistent teaching practices and experiences for all students and time for teachers to personalize instruction to address individual student needs and interests. Teachers meet with students regularly, both one-on-one and in small groups, to monitor the application of skills and strategies in literacy and support students with setting personal reading and writing goals.
The New Jersey Student Learning Standards expect students to be able to apply their knowledge of skills and strategies to various types of text in a multitude of experiences. In our classrooms, students have the time and the tools to think for themselves, solve problems, and reflect upon their own learning. There exists a balance of whole and small group instruction, partner talk, independent work, and time to share learning. When appropriate, students are active decision-makers in their own learning by choosing their own books to read, selecting their own topics for writing, and reflecting on their own reading and writing goals. Collaboration and discussion, skills necessary for 21st-century learners, are key components in the literacy classroom. Not only do these skills promote critical thinking, but they also help to create a positive, encouraging, and respectful classroom and school community. Classrooms are alive with student-centered learning, rich and authentic literature, challenging and complex text, and collaborative engaged learners!
Our department is committed to providing a stimulating and supportive learning environment where every student can thrive. Literacy and instructional coaches support teachers in every school with instructional practices. Coaches provide professional learning for teachers through workshops, grade-level meetings, modeling, and co-teaching, among other methods. Our coaches also participate in their own professional learning to remain current in their practice, building upon their existing expertise.
In Howell Township, we believe in a strong partnership among students, teachers, principals, supervisors, parents, guardians, and community members. It is essential that we work together to support and nurture children on their path to becoming lifelong learners.
Some things that you can do to support your child’s literacy learning at home are:
- Encourage your child to read and write at home. Books from home can also be sent to school for use during independent reading.
- Model a love for learning by reading and writing yourself. Share thoughts on your book or your writing pieces with your child.
- Immerse your child in a literacy-rich home environment. Trips to the library are a great way to supplement your at-home collections.
- Schedule a special time and place for reading and writing. Bedtime is a favorite!
- Spark conversations about the books your child is reading. Rich family discussions around a variety of books build the foundation for productive discourse in our classrooms. Discussing books with your child is a great way to strengthen family values and allows you to answer questions your child may have.
Together, we can inspire a lifelong love for reading, writing, and effective communication in our students.
The Howell Township Language Arts Curriculum, along with other District curricula, is available on the District website.