Communications and Literacy

With an emphasis on communication, public speaking and listening skills, Aspen Academy students are able to clearly explain their thinking and learning, while also listening to the opinions and ideas of others.

Student choice and ownership are at the forefront of our language arts curriculum. At Aspen Academy, all of our language arts teachers pride themselves on tapping into the personal interests and learning styles of each and every one of their students. The workshop model, which consists of a short, whole-group lesson and extended time for differentiated-partner, small group and individual learning time, allows for each student to reach his or her full potential. Providing choice for both reading and writing creates an authentic learning environment full of passion and excitement in each language arts classroom. These choices provide an opportunity for critical thinking, self-reflection and decision-making unmatched among other programs in the nation.

Through our model, students have extensive time to read mentor texts and use these texts to inform their writing. In addition, teachers supplement with targeted phonics, spelling, and grammar skills that meet standards at each grade level. Technology and language arts teachers work together to provide a connection between the classroom and real-life applications of the content. The skills taught are applicable in all subject areas, which means math, social studies, science and language arts teachers collaborate to ensure reading, writing and public speaking expectations are consistent.

Recent blogs on literacy & reading

Aspen Academy students presenting their book to Kindergarten Mentee

After spending several weeks studying, identifying, parsing out, reconstructing, and crafting their own complex sentences in grammar lessons, 5th Grade students all were given the opportunity to craft a fun children's story for their Kindergarten mentees with the working title, "If you Give an Aspen Student. . ." Learn more in this blog by 5th Grade Communications & Literacy teacher, Marie Boneck.

First page of the PDF file: ReadingChallengeColoringSheet-1

Our Parent Civic Organization(PCO) is challenging all Aspen Academy students to read for 15 mins (Pre-K to 1 grade), 20 mins (2nd-3rd grade), or 30 mins (4th-8th grade) a day. You can participate by printing the age-appropriate sheets and completing the sheet with a parent TO WIN A PRIZE!  

students sharing thoughtful praise for colleague's work

In 6th grade Communication and Literacy, we celebrate daily with high fives, shout outs (acknowledgements), and personal notes either on the work or to the student. But best of all, Writing and Reading Celebrations occur at the end of some of our units. 

Girl reading a book i n a library

Over the course of nine years at Aspen, Mr. Peterson has experienced this question countless times: “Why doesn’t my teen like to read?” While attending the Writing and Reading Project winter workshop last month at Columbia University (thanks, Annual Fund!) he discussed strategies to create high engagement for reading among middle and high school students. Read on for more!