HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH/LANGUAGE ARTS
We read challenging texts to give students practice in approaching difficult vocabulary (defining by context, recognizing word roots, memorization of college-level vocabulary); breaking down readings to prepare students for college reading assignments; and offer support with homework, projects and essays.
Strong academic vocabulary is vital to SAT/ACT preparation, so with every practice test students take, they familiarize themselves with new vocabulary; we break down SAT readings, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence, so students are able to understand how to attack SAT readings when they take the test on their own. We work on strategies for making students more confident when they are confronted by the actual test, including process of elimination, spoilers, plugging in vocabulary choices, and understanding stem questions.
College and SAT/ACT readings are unlike the reading students have done in their previous school years, and demand specialized attention. The trick to difficult reading is breaking it down, piece by piece, so that when students put together each piece that has been dissected, they are able to gain comprehension that would have been impossible had they tried to grasp the reading as a whole. This is a skill that, when learned, will facilitate the reading that will follow them throughout their academic careers.
Students are shown how to analyze and understand a writing prompt; address the prompt in the thesis sentence; support the points they make using examples, facts, statistics or personal experiences; and provide a summation of what the prompt has asked of them and the thesis of how they have responded.
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