Welcome to the English Department web page. Here, you will find information on our curriculum, state standards, departmental news, and other resources. We hope you will enjoy your visit!
The English Department of Pelham Middle School and Pelham Memorial High School is dedicated to promoting independent, critical thinkers, inspired to read, write, speak and listen in a way that demonstrates genuine appreciation for the power of words and a variety of literature that encourages empathy and concern for others, the world around us, and relevant issues facing us today.
- District Literacy Vision Statement
- Next Generation Anchor Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Language
- LifeLong Practices of Readers and Writers
- Reading Complex Texts
District Literacy Vision Statement
The Pelham Public Schools value a literacy-rich environment across the disciplines that provides all students with authentic opportunities to become independent and lifelong readers, writers, speakers, and critical thinkers. We are committed to helping students grow into empathetic, intellectually curious, and informed global citizens who demonstrate strong and effective communication skills in diverse ways. Our programs and instruction foster student voice and encourage choice in student work to promote students’ engagement and develop their creativity. The Pelham Public Schools recognize that, together, we can build a community of learners who gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them through reading and writing and effectively communicate their unique perspectives for the betterment of our democratic society and interdependent world.
Next Generation Anchor Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Language
The Next Generation Learning Standards are the educational goals for all of New York State’s students from prekindergarten through grade 12 in English Language Arts.
Reading Anchor Standards
PLEASE NOTE: For the grade level and grade band standards, RI and RL are included to show how the standard applies to either reading informational (RI) or literary texts (RL), or both (RI&RL).
Key Ideas and Details
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly/implicitly and make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Craft and Structure
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text, drawing on a wide range of global and diverse texts.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
Analyze and evaluate texts using knowledge of literary forms, elements, and devices through a variety of lenses and perspectives.
Writing Anchor Standards
Text Types and Purposes
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
Develop personal, cultural, textual, and thematic connections within and across genres through written responses to texts and personal experiences.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Conduct research based on focused questions to demonstrate understanding of the subject under investigation.
Gather relevant information from multiple sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information in writing while avoiding plagiarism
Speaking and Listening Anchor Standards
Comprehension and Collaboration
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners; express ideas clearly and persuasively, and build on those of others.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats (including visual, quantitative, and oral).
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence so that listeners can follow the line of reasoning. Ensure that the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of academic English when indicated or appropriate.
Language Anchor Standards
Conventions of Academic English/Language for Learning
Demonstrate command of the conventions of academic English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of academic English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Knowledge of Language
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
Acquire and accurately use general academic and content-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening; demonstrate independence in gathering and applying vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Links for More Resources:
Link to Next Generation Standards
Introduction to the P-12 Standards
Link to 6-12 Standards for Literacy
Link to NYSED Literacy Glossary
Next Generation Standards at a Glance 9-12
LifeLong Practices of Readers and Writers
As educators the 6-12 English Department strives to create lifelong readers and writers.
Lifelong Practices of Readers
- Think, write, speak, and listen to understand
- Read often and widely from a range of global and diverse texts
- Read for multiple purposes, including for learning and for pleasure
- Self-select texts based on interest
- Persevere through challenging, complex texts
- Enrich personal language, background knowledge, and vocabulary through reading and communicating with others
- Monitor comprehension and apply reading strategies flexibly
- Make connections (to self, other texts, ideas, cultures, eras, etc.)
Lifelong Practices of Writers
- Think, read, speak, and listen to support writing
- Write often and widely in a variety of formats, using print and digital resources and tools
- Write for multiple purposes, including for learning and for pleasure
- Persevere through challenging writing tasks
- Enrich personal language, background knowledge, and vocabulary through writing and communicating with others
- Experiment and play with language
- Analyze mentor texts to enhance writing
- Strengthen writing by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach
Reading Complex Texts
One of the most important elements of the English Language Arts Standards is the concept of exposing all students to grade-level texts that contain ideas and language that are at a suitable level of complexity, which is critical to preparing students for college and careers. This expectation is the cornerstone for the New York State English Language Arts Learning Standards when the standards refer to “texts of appropriate complexity at or above grade level.”
What is text-complexity?
According to the Standards complexity is defined along three dimensions:
Quantitative elements of a text such as word length, word frequency, and sentence length;
Qualitative factors of a text such as text meaning or purpose, text structure, language conventions and clarity; and
Reader and task considerations that reflect characteristics of a specific reader, such as the reader’s background, motivation, and knowledge about the topic, and the specific task, such as the purpose and complexity of the task and the questions asked.
Maria H Thompson
Director of Humanities, K-12
Pelham Public Schools