To ensure that each child learns to read, write and spell successfully, our teachers employ the research-based, instructional strategies of Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop and Word Study. Teachers incorporate these strategies in developmentally appropriate ways to ensure that each student makes progress toward the benchmarks for their grade level.
The teacher works with small groups who have similar reading processes. In guided reading the teacher selects and introduces new books, then supports children reading the text, making teaching points during and after the reading. In strategy lessons, the teacher pulls together flexible groups of students with similar reading processes and teaches targeted skills and strategies based on individual needs.
Shared reading builds reading fluency. Using an enlarged text so that all children can see, the teacher involves children in reading together. The process often includes reading big books, poems, songs and student writing. In the upper elementary grades, shared reading can take the form of a reader’s theater or poetry reading.
Woven throughout the activities in this framework, teachers have opportunities to help children notice and use letters and words; knowledge is further fostered through the use of alphabet centers and word walls. Time is dedicated to both spelling and developmentally appropriate grammar instruction. Research-based word study activities help children to internalize spelling patterns as opposed to rote memorization of words.
Children engage in writing a variety of texts in a variety of genres. The teacher guides the process and provides instruction through mini-lessons and individualized conferences. Writing units cover several areas including fiction, narrative, informational writing, persuasive writing and letter writing.
Workshop teaching was pioneered by Lucy Calkins of Columbia University and has been used in classrooms around the world for more than twenty years. As this is a literature-based teaching model, you won’t see reading textbooks in any of our classrooms.
"Book Week is not only fun, it is something that helps everyone get to know more books."–Phoebe, Grade 4
Each spring, the elementary school presents Book Week, a highly anticipated event that hosts authors and educational performers who provide exciting interactive literacy activities for each grade level.