Students participate in the workshop model for reading following a balanced literacy approach. It is an authentic literature-based approach designed to explicitly teach students strategies to comprehend text at their own levels. Reading units of study are designed by the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project and then customized by the teachers at TAOTS to focus on the strengths and needs of each individual student through whole class lessons, small group work and 1:1 conferring. Student engagment and the interaction between the reader and the text is extremely important and is practiced through close reading of small group and whole class novels. Assessments will be used to help students target individual reading goals, as well as identify students in need of review or enrichment.
The Writing Workshop model will be used daily in our classrooms incorporating Teacher’s College Units of Study aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). Our students will work on mastering the writing process to write in a variety of genres. All grades will focus on the three genres outlined in the CCLS- narrative, informational and opinion. Additional units of study may include fairy tales, authors as mentors, fiction, literary essays, journalism and poetry depending on the grade level. Exposing the students to different genres of writing will help them to become more confident in their writing abilities. Writing conferences, pre and post unit assessments and teacher observations provide daily data for teachers to customize instruction for each of our students.
ELA – Word Work
Words in Action – (Grades K-5) The Words in Action program is a vocabulary curriculum for our students in grades K–5 that incorporates the latest research in vocabulary instruction to give our teachers the tools they need to increase students’ word power. The words taught come from read-aloud books that are age-appropriate, highly engaging, and rich in language that students encounter in their independent reading every day. Each lesson combines direct instruction in word meanings with challenging and fun activities that instill in students a love of words and an appreciation for learning new words. The program is also a unique blend of academic instruction and support for students’ social and ethical development. It weaves cooperative learning, social skills instruction, and discussion of values throughout the lessons, fostering the students’ growth as caring, collaborative, and principled people.
Wilson Fundations – (Grades K-2) is a phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics and spelling program for the general education classroom. Fundations is based upon the Wilson Reading System® principles and serves as a prevention program to help reduce reading and spelling deficiencies. Fundations lessons focus on carefully sequenced skills that include print knowledge, alphabet awareness, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and spelling. Critical thinking, speaking and listening skills are practiced during Storytime activities. Furthermore, targeted small group intervention is available for students in the lowest 30th percentile.
Orton-Gillingham – (Grades K-2) a multi-sensory approach to teaching reading to children. The same concept is presented in a number of ways through the auditory, kinesthetic and visual pathways. The technique involves repetition as well as instant teacher feedback. This approach provides flexibility in responding to the needs of the individual student.
Spelling Connections – (Grades 3-5) provides explicit spelling instruction. With Zaner-Bloser’s spelling curriculum, Spelling Connections, your students will retain, internalize, and transfer valuable spelling knowledge for improved results in all areas of literacy-in the classroom and beyond.
Language Arts – (Grades K – 5) The new McGraw-Hill Language Arts for our students in grades K-5 is dedicated to creating effective communicators. Through a careful balance of grammar and writing, students obtain the skills instrumental to personal expression. Students are taught language arts through a balanced approach to grammar and writing. Combining language skills with immediate application to writing, students learn through an integrated process. Writing skills and process are developed using a variety of modes and formats, preparing students for future writing evaluation as well as writing for the real world.