The language arts - reading, writing, speaking and listening - touch all areas of the curriculum. At High Meadow, they are integrated into mathematics, arts, sciences, and social studies. This integration helps develop the skills in critical thinking, comprehension, inference, and written expression that are so necessary to effective learning.
In the early years, through sharing their personal stories and experiences in different mediums students build an ear for language and a facility for constructing narrative. Exposure to varied and beautiful books, whether read out loud, shared with a friend, or read to oneself, develops listening, decoding, and comprehension skills, as well as a love of books. As they proceed through the grades, student begin reading for a purpose as a means for integrating fiction and nonfiction into the sciences and social studies. In the upper school, students begin to apply different kinds of approaches to reading - for research, for pleasure, to quickly attain information - on a daily basis.
Using the Teacher’s College Writing Process our students learn early that the work of writers is never done. Through practicing the writing, editing, and revising process in their writing students gain the critical thinking needed to craft good pieces of writing. Students apply this writing process across the genres, fiction, personal narrative, research essays, and poetry, to name a few. Through the editing process as well as direct instruction and multi-sensory materials, our students learn and apply grammar skills to their writing across the disciplines. As students progress through the grades, they are asked to read, respond, and write in an ever-broadening range of genres and styles of writing.
Students begin their first forays into public speaking in the early grades at High Meadow through poetry recitations at school gatherings. As they proceed through the years, their presentations range from poetry on to sharing research with their peers, performing skits and puppet theatre related to academics, and finally to full scale drama performances and oral presentations. Learning to speak in public develops the poise and advocacy skills our students will need as future leaders.