After many years of using the CRDG-developed Golden Triangle program as the basis of the ELS secondary English classes, students at the 8th and 10th grade levels consistently score very well on the English section of the Hawai‘i State Assessment. Golden Triangle co-creator Jim Harstad has always believed that the program would be even more effective at a younger age. This year he has been testing that hypothesis by working with ELS students in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. The Golden Triangle program has three components: daily journal freewriting, reading along, and dictation sentence study for grammar. Jim focused on the reading and writing portion of the program, reading all five books of the popular Harry Potter series with the students over the course of the school year. Preliminary data from a pre/post writing test as well as sample journal entries indicate that the students’ overall language skills improved significantly.

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