Waukee students will become strategic learners who are actively engaged in using literacy habits to process information, construct knowledge, make judgments, and appreciate literacy within and beyond the classroom.

English/Language Arts Course Sequence

Standards, Benchmarks, & Objectives

In July 2010, the state of Iowa adopted the national standards called the Common Core. The formerly mandated Iowa Core Curriculum became Iowa Core, which is the national Common Core plus a few additional SBOs (no more than 15%).

The Language Arts Committee has worked very hard to horizontally and vertically align the Iowa Core for K-12. In addition to this alignment work, the committee has developed supporting documents, progress reports, and correlating SBO documents.

The new language arts and writing SBOs were presented to Waukee’s Board of Education in the spring of 2011 and were implemented at all grade levels during the 2011-2012 school year.

Language Position Statement

Teachers in Waukee utilize the language standards defined by the Common Core to identify grade-specific language skills. These skills are integrated across all content areas through reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Active exploration of language allows students to acquire essential skills for effective communication. Exploration includes noticing and interacting with exemplars, experimenting with key concepts, and reinforcing skills through personal writing. Providing students with authentic opportunities to explore vocabulary, conventions and craft inspires curiosity and interest in language.

Iowa Core College and Career Ready

To be college and career ready in language, students must have firm control over the conventions of standard English. At the same time, they must come to appreciate that language is as at least as much a matter of craft as of rules and be able to choose words, syntax, and punctuation to express themselves and achieve particular functions and rhetorical effects. They must also have extensive vocabularies, built through reading and study, enabling them to comprehend complex texts and engage in purposeful writing about and conversations around content. They need to become skilled in determining or clarifying the meaning of words and phrases they encounter, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies to aid them. They must learn to see an individual word as part of a network of other words—words, for example, that have similar denotations but different connotations. The inclusion of Language standards in their own strand should not be taken as an indication that skills related to conventions, effective language use, and vocabulary are unimportant to reading, writing, speaking, and listening; indeed, they are inseparable from such contexts.