A balanced literacy approach is used at Stoddert for English Language Arts (ELA). This approach is to provide students with opportunities to engage in a variety of texts, writing opportunities and speaking and listening activities and to differentiate learning experiences to meet the literacy needs of all students.
The components of the literacy block include Small Group Literacy, Reading, Research and Writing and Foundational Skills.
SMALL GROUP LITERACY
Guided Reading is a targeted small group reading instruction. Teachers use observations, work and assessments to determine these groups. Guided reading supports students at their reading level but also can expand to include small skill groups.
Workstations/Centers is a time when students are deepening their understanding of concepts, content, and skills in small differentiated learning tasks.
Book Clubs is a targeted small group that focus on comprehension when students are more independent in their reading skills. Groups are formed in a variety of ways based on teachers observations, work and assessments.
READING, RESEARCH AND WRITING
Reading text closely is a way to build knowledge and learn to think critically. Students read for different purposes each time, building a foundation of knowledge around a topic. Complex texts are read multiple times to engage in careful investigation of the text. Teachers plan text-based questions and facilitate discussions to support students’ learning. Students build their vocabulary and shape meaning through reading, speaking, listening and writing.
Writing is embedded through the different topics that students are reading about. The information gathered and discussed through complex texts are used in writing. Students write for different audiences and purposes. The main forms of writing used are to persuade, inform and to give an opinion.
Phonics are explicitly taught in grades K-2. These lessons cover skills that build students understanding of print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition and fluency.
Word Study is taught through grades 3-5. These lessons cover skills in more complex phonics skills, prefix and suffixes, root words and word patterns. These foundational skills help support student’s fluency and comprehension of text.