• In Scarsdale, we use Advanced Literacy, formally known as 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 modeling of good reading and writing skills and habits. A well balanced literacy program includes several components.

      In third grade, our writing units of study aim to teach students three main styles of writing: narrative, personal/persuasive essay, and informational writing. Some of our reading units include character study, non-fiction, and mystery. The goal of the program is to lift the level of students' writing and reading. Each reading and writing period follows the workshop model. Lessons are centered around the teaching of a specific skill or strategy. This is introduced during a mini-lesson in which the skill or strategy is modeled and practiced. Then the students continue this work individually or with partners while the teacher supports this learning. Progress is monitored and assessed through conferencing, checklists, rubrics, and goal-setting. 


      Reading Units:


      Building a Reading Life:

      • Build up stamina

      • Learn to check comprehension develop strategies to deepen understanding of all genres

      • Identify traits vs. feelings

      • Summarize

      Mystery: Skills in Disguise: 

      • inferential thinking: predicting and revising predictions, continue summary skill

      Reading to Learn

      • Nonfiction texts “boxes and bullets” for synthesizing main ideas and giving supporting details.  Main idea is a tricky one!  Teach to give in the form of a statement:

        • “The main idea is that habitats are important for birds,” vs. “birds”

      Character Studies: 

      • Character traits!! Traits vs. feelings: a trait takes time to change (from shy to brave) vs. a feeling that can change in a heartbeat.

      •  Investigating patterns in a character’s behavior


      Research Book Clubs: - Partner with SS

      • Researching country in a club. synthesizing information across texts, organize what they are learning about on subtopic. 


      Writing Workshop

      • Writer’s notebook: A place to collect IDEAS.  Writing process: Generate ideas for several days/weeks in notebook. Choose an idea to explore further. Draft, Revise, Edit, Publish


      Personal Narratives

      • Small Moments: Instead of writing about a full day, zoom into a small moment. Ex- jumping in the waves at the beach instead of “bed to bed”

      • Variety of details- dialogue, action, etc


      Changing the World: Persuasive Writing: 

      • Intro to essay writing.  Making a claim with some supports.

      Art of Informational Writing: 

      • Students learn to write a main idea with supporting details on a known topic. (no research)

      Baby Literary Essay: 

      • Students will be introduced to the beginning skills for essay writing. Third grade essays include paragraphing, introduction, conclusions, evidence, transition words.

      Writing About Research: 

      • This goes hand in hand with the Research unit in reading - country study. This puts all of the units together and uses all of the skills learned so far! 

      • Builds off art of informational writing, but adds research component

      Fairy tales

      • Students explore what makes a fairy tale, a fairy tale.

      • They study mentor fairy tales, recording their information using a story map. 

      • Students use the characteristics of a known tale and change one of the literary elements to create a new tale, which includes a different set of characters, has a new setting, or includes a changed conflict or resolution. 

      • Finally, students publish and illustrate their new “fractured fairy tales” for others to enjoy.