A Look at our English Language Arts Curriculum
Reading & Writing Workshop
Reading and Writing Workshop
Our District uses the Reading and Writing Workshop approach in our literacy instruction. Our work aims to turn students into lifelong, confident readers and writers, who will be able to display agency and independence in their future endeavors. That is, our aims reach beyond state testing and fulfillment of tasks. We aim to strengthen a generation of readers and writers. To do this, we believe students need lots of time to read and write. Therefore, most of the literacy block is not whole group instruction time. Instead, if you were to walk into one of our classrooms, you would see the following structure:
Mini Lesson: This whole class, explicit, direct instruction focuses specifically on foundational reading skills and standards-based objectives. It generally lasts between 10-15 minutes.
Independent Reading Time with Instruction: After the mini lesson, students are sent off to read or write on their own or with a partner. They are generally reading books at their own independent level or writing a specific genre of text - narrative, information or opinion.
During this time, you would see the teachers instructing through various means. They may be meeting with individual students in conferences, or meeting with small strategy or guided reading groups. All of this instruction is directly tailored to the needs of the child or group of children. Teachers base this instruction off of the formative and summative assessments administered, such as DRA, Performance Assessments, and others.
Share: At the end of the lesson, the whole class will meet again to debrief on their work for the day. The teacher will generally review the lesson topic for the day and highlight student work pertinent to the day’s learning.
Orton Gillingham is our K-5 word study/spelling program. It is a hands-on, research-based, systematic, multi-sensory approach to teaching students about words. Students learn to spell through systematic phonics (Green Words); they learn to spell non-phonetic words or sight words (Red Words); and by the time they reach 5th grade, they will have learned the 100 most common Greek and Latin roots.