LITERACY CURRICULUM AND RESOURCES
Balanced literacy is a framework that focuses on learning to read as a social activity, an integrated activity that requires students to read, write, listen, and speak, and requires active engagement in classroom activities. The components of balanced literacy include interactive read alouds, shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, word work, shared writing, and independent writing. At Tate Woods, teachers utilize a variety of curricular resources to maximize student learning in a balanced literacy environment. Below you'll see just a sample of some of the resources that we use here at Tate Woods in order to meet the academic needs of all students. Please keep in mind that the resources we use continually change as students' needs change.
For interactive read-aloud paired with comprehension instruction, the Making Meaning program is utilized. Making Meaning, published by the nonprofit organization Developmental Studies Center, is a classroom-tested reading comprehension curriculum that combines the latest comprehension research with support for students’ social and ethical development. The program uses nonfiction and fiction read-aloud books to teach students nine different comprehension strategies while also developing their social values to create a supportive community of readers. Currently Making Meaning is being used in grades K-5. Click here for more information.
Published by Heinemann, Fountas and Pinnell Phonics is a resource first and second grade teachers use to teach phonics and word study. This program is utilized in grades kindergarten, first and second. Click here to learn more.
WORDS THEIR WAY
Students in grades 1-5 follow the spelling program "Words Their Way." This sequential word study program challenges each individual student by having them focus on the spelling words appropriate for their own level and also allows students to progress through the spelling levels at their own speed. New words are practiced every week through a variety of fun sorting and writing activities and are then reviewed each Friday.
"This phenomenon in word study provides a practical way to study words with students. Based on the research on invented and developmental spelling, the framework of this book is keyed to the five stages of spelling or orthographic development. Ordered in this developmental format, Words Their Way, contains more than 250 ready-to-use activities for teaching word study, spelling, vocabulary, and phonics." - Pearson, publisher of Words Their Way
WHY "WORD STUDY" INSTEAD OF A "TRADITIONAL" SPELLING PROGRAM?
Research studies clearly indicate that memorization of lists of "spelling words" does not promote the development of spelling skills. In the past when we’ve used this traditional approach of "everyone gets the same weekly list and test on Friday," many students who achieved 100% on their spelling test could not spell most of the words in their writing! Memorizing a list of words and getting 100% on weekly tests does not necessarily mean your child is a good speller. It may just mean they are good at memorizing words for a test. Thus, Words Their Way is a more developmentally appropriate program which meets the needs of your child.
Guided Reading is a component of balanced literacy in which the classroom teacher works with small groups of students. The goal of guided reading is for students to use texts at their instructional reading level while having support from their teacher. Students work to develop strategies in order to become fluent, skilled readers. The resources at Tate Woods are plentiful for guided reading. The teachers use leveled readers (or books) from a variety of publishers, including Houghton Mifflin, Rigby, Mondo, and Scott Foresman. Most recently, several grade levels adopted Scholastic Blue, which is a guided reading program composed of a collection of guided reading books at a variety of levels. Sixty percent of the collection is comprised of non-fiction books that build critical non-fiction comprehension skills. Forty percent of the collection is comprised of fiction books.
ELEMENTS OF READING - VOCABULARY
To strengthen students' vocabulary development, teachers in grades K-5 use Steck-Vaughn's Elements of Reading Vocabulary. The publisher states...
Elements of Reading Vocabulary is the first and only K-5 program available to systematically and explicitly teach oral vocabulary as direct preparation for reading and writing success. Developed by renowned education experts Isabel Beck, Ph.D. and Margaret McKeowan, Ph.D., Vocabulary successfully meets National Reading Panel guidelines. Five-step lessons cover oral, listening, reading and writing instruction and the unique strategies actively engage students, which leads to deep word understanding.
Click here for more information.