Challenge Charter Middle School (CCMS) utilizes EngageNY in ELA to support instruction allowing scholars to meet the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) expectations that scholars are college and career ready in ELA. CCSS scholars focus on learning experiences that are skills oriented, utilizing skills-based texts, fiction, nonfiction trade books, in order to engage in book clubs, literary circles, and other independent reading activities. CCSS’s curricular materials are aligned with the CCSS for ELA and focuses on reading, writing, speaking, and listening across the content areas to ensure that students increase comprehension, build new knowledge about a variety of subjects and think critically about historical and current events, themes, and technical and scientific issues. Scholars read, analyze, and respond both orally and in written form to various texts and from their own experience using their ideas and thoughts to continue to develop their college-level, analytic writing skills.
The writing component of the curricula is process-oriented and rubric-based, with scholars required to apply higher-order thinking skills such as analysis, interpretation, evaluation and synthesis as they progress through each writing lesson. Scholars use written language that adheres to the standard conventions of American English. In writing scholars outline, draft, and revise while obtaining feedback and guidance where necessary. They collect and present data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and effectively summarize content for further study. Scholars analyze experiences, ideas, information, and issues presented by others using a variety of criteria.
Ultimately English language instruction is at the basis of all instruction at CCMS. The CCSS requires literacy across the curriculum with promulgated standards for literacy in Social Studies/History, Science and all other subjects. All CCMS teachers are language teachers, as reading, writing, listening and speaking skills are essential to preparing scholars for college and careers. Through the study of literature, scholars develop an understanding of the diverse social, historical, and cultural dimensions of the world in which they live. Math, science, social studies and health integrate reading and writing by emphasizing multi-disciplinary instructional activities that enable students to strengthen their literacy and written communication skills while developing a deeper understanding of fundamental scientific concepts upon which they will build further knowledge.