About The Program - Keystone

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Longman Keystone is a multi-level program specially designed to help English learners master the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for grades 6-8. Through explicit, intensive, and focused instruction that accelerates students’ language acquisition, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and oral and written communication skills, students will quickly begin achieving greater academic success in their coursework across the curriculum. The reading instruction is designed to improve English learners’ ability to decode and make sense of unfamiliar words as they read course material in different disciplines, so that students are learning to read English as they read English to learn.

Each level of the program systematically weaves in academic content while rapidly accelerating students’ acquisition of English, thus better preparing students to excel in an academic environment. Students learn academic vocabulary and comprehension skills in the context of connected discourse—making the content and the related language meaningful. Longman Keystone blends rigorous, research-based reading and language skills instruction together with a balance of content-area readings and age-appropriate, high-interest literature.

In addition, this series incorporates the focused and purposeful instructional principles of Understanding by Design, which allow students to demonstrate their understanding and mastery of skills through multiple formal and informal assessment opportunities. Through this process, students will be equipped with the key transferable skills and strategies necessary for lifelong academic success.  To facilitate and enhance instruction, the clear, easy-to-use lesson plan format in the wraparound Teacher’s Edition provides a straightforward roadmap that guides teachers through each lesson, ensuring explicit and purposeful instruction. The programs also offers a host of teaching resources—including print, audio, video, and electronic materials—which provide a rich array of needs-based reinforcement and support.

Program Organization

Longman Keystone for Texas is divided into six units, with each unit designed to cover six week’s worth of classroom instruction. Each unit is organized around a “Big Question” that provides a thematic context for building understanding of key concepts and academic vocabulary. Four readings per unit develop academic skills logically and systematically in a clear and consistent sequence, while suggestions for related reading encourage ongoing independent reading practice to help students build reading fluency and confidence.

Each reading explicitly front-loads the necessary vocabulary (academic, content-specific, and literary terms,) word study skills, and reading and learning strategies so that students are equipped with everything they need to access and make meaningful connections to the reading.

Embedded within each reading are additional reading skills supports and reading checks to help ensure students comprehend the material as they read. First, words or phrases that may be unfamiliar to students or have a high Lexile readability value are printed in boldface and defined on the student page, so that they do not interfere with students’ reading.  Also, at the bottom of each right-hand page within a reading, a Before You Go On feature helps develop students’ critical thinking skills and encourages active reading while providing on-going progress monitoring.

Following each reading, the Review and Practice section provides clear, explicit instruction and practice in reading comprehension through a Marzano-based high-yield questioning strategy. This scaffolding progressively moves students from factual recall to higher-level critical thinking skills. Additional comprehension practice is achieved through a retelling activity (for content-area readings) or a Reader’s Theater activity (for literary readings).  Follow-up discussions revisit the Big Question, while a Read for Fluency feature helps students read for speed and accuracy.

In the Grammar section, students receive contextualized instruction and practice in the structure of the English language.  In the Writing section, students develop their writing skills through activities that build sequentially through each successive reading in the unit, culminating in the end-of-unit Writing Workshop. This cumulative writing strand focuses on discrete writing tasks, ensuring students master the component skills before attempting a major writing sample.

Focus on Texas

The fourth reading in each unit develops and extends learning through lessons built around readings that focus on Texas’s history, culture, and natural environment.  Each of these readings contain all the skills supports and explicit instruction as the other readings in the unit, but they also helps students learn about their community, geography, and people.

As they discuss the Big Question in Link the Readings at the end of each unit, students demonstrate their understanding and mastery of key concepts.  They also demonstrate their ability to transfer and apply newly acquired skills in a series of Media Literacy Projects that range in level of difficulty for built-in Differentiated Instruction. 

Each unit culminates in a Put It All Together section, featuring a Listening and Speaking Workshop and a Writing Workshop.  These two related assignments provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their mastery of the skills covered in the unit and to apply them to formal academic speaking and writing.

Following these workshops, a Texas Test Preparation section offers instruction and practice with the kinds of test items and formats found on the TAKS and TELPAS tests.  These activities help develop students’ test-taking skills while helping de-mystify the high-stakes testing process.

The unit concludes with a language of art feature, presented by arrangement with the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Here, students have the unique opportunity to develop their visual and cultural literacy through lessons on “reading” art for meaning, while they get a unique glimpse into the American experience as seen through the eyes of artists from all walks of life.

Texas Teacher’s Edition

The wrap-around Teacher’s Edition features a clear, easy-to-use, step-by-step lesson planner that guides teachers through each part of the lessons. Explicit instruction and tools to monitor student progress are provided in the side columns, while the Texas English Language Proficiency Standards box at the bottom of every left-hand page identifies which ELPS are being taught at any point within the lesson.

At the bottom of the right-hand pages, the Differentiated Instruction boxes provide specific teaching strategies to help teachers tailor instruction to individual learner’s needs. These boxes include strategies to address mixed-ability and mixed-proficiency classrooms, as well as specific strategies for Culturally Responsive Instruction (CRI). In addition, the Accelerate Language Development and Linguistic Note boxes found throughout the Teacher’s Edition highlight potential trouble spots in language development for certain learners and provide built-in scaffolding.

Program Organization (For All Levels of Keystone)

Longman Keystone for Texas is divided into six units, with each unit designed to cover six week’s worth of classroom instruction. Each unit is organized around a “Big Question” that provides a thematic context for building understanding of key concepts and academic vocabulary. Four readings per unit develop academic skills logically and systematically in a clear and consistent sequence, while suggestions for related reading encourage ongoing independent reading practice to help students build reading fluency and confidence.

 

Each reading explicitly front-loads the necessary vocabulary (academic, content-specific, and literary terms,) word study skills, and reading and learning strategies so that students are equipped with everything they need to access and make meaningful connections to the reading.

 

Embedded within each reading are additional reading skills supports and reading checks to help ensure students comprehend the material as they read. First, words or phrases that may be unfamiliar to students or have a high Lexile readability value are printed in boldface and defined on the student page, so that they do not interfere with students’ reading.  Also, at the bottom of each right-hand page within a reading, a Before You Go On feature helps develop students’ critical thinking skills and encourages active reading while providing on-going progress monitoring.

 

Following each reading, the Review and Practice section provides clear, explicit instruction and practice in reading comprehension through a Marzano-based high-yield questioning strategy. This scaffolding progressively moves students from factual recall to higher-level critical thinking skills. Additional comprehension practice is achieved through a retelling activity (for content-area readings) or a Reader’s Theater activity (for literary readings).  Follow-up discussions revisit the Big Question, while a Read for Fluency feature helps students read for speed and accuracy.

In the Grammar section, students receive contextualized instruction and practice in the structure of the English language.  In the Writing section, students develop their writing skills through activities that build sequentially through each successive reading in the unit, culminating in the end-of-unit Writing Workshop. This cumulative writing strand focuses on discrete writing tasks, ensuring students master the component skills before attempting a major writing sample.

 

Focus on Texas

The fourth reading in each unit develops and extends learning through lessons built around readings that focus on Texas’s history, culture, and natural environment.  Each of these readings contain all the skills supports and explicit instruction as the other readings in the unit, but they also helps students learn about their community, geography, and people.

 

As they discuss the Big Question in Link the Readings at the end of each unit, students demonstrate their understanding and mastery of key concepts.  They also demonstrate their ability to transfer and apply newly acquired skills in a series of Media Literacy Projects that range in level of difficulty for built-in Differentiated Instruction. 

 

Each unit culminates in a Put It All Together section, featuring a Listening and Speaking Workshop and a Writing Workshop.  These two related assignments provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their mastery of the skills covered in the unit and to apply them to formal academic speaking and writing.

 

Following these workshops, a Texas Test Preparation section offers instruction and practice with the kinds of test items and formats found on the TAKS and TELPAS tests.  These activities help develop students’ test-taking skills while helping de-mystify the high-stakes testing process.

 

The unit concludes with a language of art feature, presented by arrangement with the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Here, students have the unique opportunity to develop their visual and cultural literacy through lessons on “reading” art for meaning, while they get a unique glimpse into the American experience as seen through the eyes of artists from all walks of life.

 

Texas Teacher’s Edition

The wrap-around Teacher’s Edition features a clear, easy-to-use, step-by-step lesson planner that guides teachers through each part of the lessons. Explicit instruction and tools to monitor student progress are provided in the side columns, while the Texas English Language Proficiency Standards box at the bottom of every left-hand page identifies which ELPS are being taught at any point within the lesson.

 

At the bottom of the right-hand pages, the Differentiated Instruction boxes provide specific teaching strategies to help teachers tailor instruction to individual learner’s needs. These boxes include strategies to address mixed-ability and mixed-proficiency classrooms, as well as specific strategies for Culturally Responsive Instruction (CRI). In addition, the Accelerate Language Development and Linguistic Note boxes found throughout the Teacher’s Edition highlight potential trouble spots in language development for certain learners and provide built-in scaffolding.