Learning to read and write is the focus of the elementary school English Language Arts curriculum. We use the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project to guide our program using a workshop model. Literacy is not solely reading. Students learn to read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding. They will develop and sharpen their skills in comprehension and critical analysis while immersed in various genres. Students will explore literacy with various levels of support and independence. Writing will be taught as a process, not as disconnected skills. Students will engage in thinking and talking about literacy and will observe the modeling of good reading and writing skills and habits. A well-balanced literacy program includes several components.
Read Alouds - Teacher reads the story for enjoyment and discusses with class.
Shared Reading - An interactive literary experience with a big book, a poem written on chart paper, or multiple copies of the same book. The teacher and students participate in the reading process together. The book is introduced, illustrations are discussed, and the text is read interactively. In addition, literacy behaviors and strategies are modeled.
Guided Reading - The teacher acts as a facilitator as the children read developmentally appropriate books in small groups. The children are grouped according to their instructional level and reading materials are selected to support and closely match their needs. Now in the third grade, these groups will take the form of literature circles. (Groups of students reading the same chapter book, discussing it, responding to it, etc.)