Language Arts

Language Arts

Kimberly Lipe, Director
(678) 301-7011

Description of Program

Reading and writing are equally vital components in effective communication. The Office of Language Arts endeavors to ensure that all students in Gwinnett County Public Schools will graduate as analytical readers, writers, and communicators of language. Strong reading and writing skills will become increasingly more critical in the twenty-first century as businesses look for employees who are well-read in their fields and are effective communicators, both orally and in writing.

To accomplish our instructional goals, we adhere to the following literacy principles. These principles provide a focus for our teachers as they determine the appropriate instructional methods, strategies, and materials to best meet the needs of all our learners.

  • Learning to read and write is a complex, multifaceted process.
  • Reading and writing are all about experiencing language, not merely practicing isolated skills.
  • Reading and writing are interconnected forms of communication that emerge from listening and speaking.
  • There is no ‘one way’ to teach reading or writing; teachers need to incorporate a wide variety of instructional strategies to teach every student.
  • Reading and writing acquisition occurs along a developmental continuum of stages.
  • All children can acquire literacy along the continuum with appropriate accommodations.
  • Knowing where the learner is along the developmental continuum enables teachers to evaluate, plan, and teach appropriately.
  • Children should be immersed in a print-rich environment.
  • Reading and writing to, with, and by children should be daily events.
  • Children should have opportunity to read self-selected materials and write on self-selected topics daily.
  • Reading and writing should be meaningful and integrated into all content areas.
  • Teaching reading and writing is the responsibility of all teachers- not just language arts teachers.


Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning process. Assessment helps teachers make instructional decisions and should reflect and enhance the active nature of learning. A variety of assessments are encouraged at the elementary level which include keeping anecdotal records such as conference sheets or daily observations, checklists, portfolios, videotapes/audio tapes, demonstrations and performances, as well as self-evaluations and reflective writings. In addition, informal reading inventories and benchmark assessments are administered at each grade level in our elementary schools. Intervention programs such as Reading Recovery, Successmaker, and the Gateway Program provide further support for students needing more time and opportunity to learn.

At the middle and high school levels, benchmark assessments, the Gateway Program, and item banks, provide teachers with information about students’ mastery of the AKS. The use of portfolios is encouraged as well as a variety of teacher-created assessment opportunities. In high school, students must complete semester exams, state end-of-course tests, and the Georgia High School Graduation and Writing Tests which help determine language arts competency. The high school Gateway exams assess students’ content-area knowledge and writing. In addition, student success on state-mandated achievement tests, the ITBS, the SAT or ACT, and advanced placement tests help evaluate the effectiveness of our programs.

Core Materials

Scott Foresman Reading
Modern Curriculum Press Ready Readers
National Geographic Emergent Readers or Benchmark Emergent Readers

Grade 1:
Scott Foresman Reading
Modern Curriculum Press Ready Readers
National Geographic Early Readers

Grade 2:
Scott Foresman Reading
National Geographic
Modern Curriculum Press, Ready Readers
Mondo Bookshop/Safari

Grade 3:
Scott Foresman Reading
Mondo Safari or Bookshop

Grade 4:
Scott Foresman Reading
Write Direction by Curriculum Press
Literature selected by school from approved reading list

Grade 5:
Scott Foresman Reading
Write Direction by Curriculum Press
Literature selected by school from approved reading list

Grades 6, 7, 8:
McDougal Littel Language of Literature
McDougal Littel Language Network
Sitton Spelling

Grades 9-12
Prentice Hall Timeless Voices (grades 9, 11, 12)
Prentice Hall World Masterpieces (grade 10)
Perrine Sound and Sense (AP)
Journalism Matters