Elementary Literacy Instruction
Reading Workshop begins with shared reading, an activity through which the teacher models her thinking for students. Students follow along in the text as the teacher models a specific reading skill. Then students read independently or meet with the teacher in guided reading groups. In independent reading students read books selected to match their reading level, and are expected to show evidence of practicing the skill modeled in shared reading. One or two guided reading groups are seen every day, during which teachers meet with students in groups of six or less to instruct them in specific areas of need with books that match their reading level. Reading Workshop ends with a brief time for sharing what students practiced in their independent or guided reading work. Reading Workshop is one component of a balanced literacy program.
Fundations is a multisensory, structured language program which brings systematic and explicit instruction in critical foundational skills emphasizing:
- Phonetic awareness;
- Phonics/word study;
- High frequency word study;
- Reading fluency;
- Handwriting (including cursive);
Fundations is used as part of core instruction as well as early intervention for students at risk for reading difficulties.
Writer's Workshop is an approach to the teaching of writing where each student is a working author and the teacher acts as a writing professional and coach guiding the students as they explore writing genres. In Writer's Workshop, the class lessons are short and focused on elements of writing. Teachers write with students and share their own work as well. The workshop model encourages students to think of themselves as writers and to take their writing seriously. Each Writer's Workshop model follows the same basic format:
- Mini-lesson- A short lesson focused on a specific topic that students need support with;
- Writing time- Students write while the teacher conferences with individualized students or small groups;
- Sharing- Writers read their writing and seek feedback from their audience.