The English Language Arts Program of the schools of the Diocese of Ogdensburg is based on the National Common Core Standard. As with all of our educational programs, all instruction is centered in our Catholic Faith foundation.
In the context of all ELA instruction, students are expected to use the following practices which include:
- read and work with a balance of informational and literary texts
- apply reading writing skills in science and social studies
- develop skill to read, analyze, evaluate texts that are increasing complex
- support and make inferences based on text based information
- writing that emphasizes the use of evidence from sources to inform or make an argument
- build transferrable vocabulary to access grade level texts across disciplines
The content of grade four ELA is clearly outlined on the Diocesan Report Card. In addition to the content and skills, writing is highly emphasized not only in ELA but in all subject areas. The Common Core requires 4 types of writing – argument, informative/explanatory and narrative. Below you will find a strong writing sample for this grade level that is the expected performance on a narrative writing task.
Glowing Shoes One quiet, Tuesday morning, I woke up to a pair of bright, dazzling shoes, lying right in front of my bedroom door. The shoes were a nice shade of violet and smelled like catnip. I found that outbecause my cats, Tigger and Max, were rubbing on my legs, which tickled. When I started out the door, I noticed that Tigger and Max were following me to school. Other cats joined in as well. They didn’t even stop when we reached Main Street! “Don’t you guys have somewhere to be?” I quizzed the cats. “Meeeeeooooow!” the crowd of cats replied. As I walked on, I observed many more cats joining the stalking crowd. I moved more swiftly. The crowd of cats’ walk turned into a prance. I sped up. I felt like a rollercoaster zooming past the crowded line that was waiting for their turn as I darted down the sidewalk with dashing cats on my tail. When I reached the school building . . . SLAM! WHACK! “Meeyow!” The door closed and every single cat flew and hit the door. I walked upstairs and took my seat in the classroom. “Mrs. Miller! Something smells like catnip! Could you open the windows so the smell will go away? Pleeeeaase?” Zane whined. “Oh, sure! We could all use some fresh air right now during class!” Mrs. Miller thoughtfully responded. “Nooooooo!” I screamed. When the teacher opened the windows, the cats pounced into the building. “It’s a cat attack!” Meisha screamed Everyone scrambled on top of their desks. Well, everyone except Cade, who was absolutely obsessed with cats. “Awww! Look at all the fuzzy kitties! They’re sooo cute! Mrs. Miller, can I pet them?” Cade asked, adorably. “Why not! Pet whichever one you want!” she answered. “Thanks! Okay, kitties, which one of you wants to be petted by Cade Dahlin?” he asked the cats. None of them answered. They were all staring at me. “Uh, hi?” I stammered. Rrriiiiinng! The recess bell rang. Everyone, including Mrs. Miller, darted out the door. “Hey! Look over there!” Lissa shouted. Formed as an ocean wave, the cats ran toward me. Luckily, Zane’s cat, Buddy, was prancing along with the aroma of catnip surrounding his fur. He ran up to me and rubbed on my legs. The shoes fell off. Why didn’t I think of this before? I notioned.
“Hey Cade! Catch!” Cade grabbed the shoes and slipped them on. The cats changed directions and headed for Cade. “I’m in heaven!” he shrieked.
Criteria used to evaluate this piece as a strong writing sample include:
- orients the reader by establishing a situation and introducing the narrator and characters.
- organizes an event sequence that unfolds naturally
- uses dialogue and description to develop experiences and events
- 4 uses concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely
- provides a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events
- demonstrates good command of the conventions of standard written English