LANGUAGE ARTS LITERACY PROGRAM
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The district's program is based on a balanced literacy approach of reading, writing, and word study. Celebration Press Reading: Good Habits, Great Readers supports this approach. The reading program supports literacy learning through whole group (Shared) and small group (Guided) instruction. In Shared Reading lessons, teachers introduce key reading strategies and skills in a whole-group setting and build a common way of talking about books. During Guided Reading, teachers provide instruction targeted to specific developmental levels. Through Word Study, students examine, manipulate, and categorize words. When teachers use this practical, hands-on way to study words, they create tasks that focus students' attention on critical features of words' sound, pattern, and meaning. The Writing program provides teachers with an opportunity to model for students the practices, skills, and strategies proficient writers use to express themselves and communicate in a variety of genres.
The 5th grade reading program is designed to foster a love of reading and to develop the skills essential to students becoming effective, lifelong readers. Good Habits, Great Readers is based on the seven research-based habits and strategies of good readers. It is based on the theory that when good readers read, they utilize specific actions (good habits) to make sense of text, and that teachers can help students learn these good habits. The program reflects the work of well-known literacy scholars and incorporates recent research identifying successful literacy strategies and routines, as well as qualities of effective literacy teachers and classrooms. Specifically, the program provides systematic instruction and practice in five domains of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) that research shows students must be taught in order to read successfully. During the Shared Reading component, the teacher models (using think-alouds) the habits, skills, and strategies proficient readers use to understand and enjoy reading. During the Guided Reading component, teachers are able to instruct small groups of students with similar learning needs, using a text that is carefully matched to their current instructional needs.
Words Their Way is a developmentally driven instructional approach providing an integrated way to teach phonics, vocabulary, and spelling to improve literacy skills. Using a systematic approach to word study, guided by an informed interpretation of spelling errors and other literacy behaviors, Words Their Way offers a teacher-directed, child-centered plan for vocabulary growth and spelling development. The main purpose of word study is to examine words in order to reveal consistencies within our written language system and to help students master the recognition, spelling, and meaning of specific words. Becoming fully literate is absolutely dependent on fast, accurate recognition of words and their meanings in texts, and fast, accurate production of words in writing so that readers and writers can focus their attention on making meaning.
WRITINGCoordinated with the Reading program, Good Habits, Great Readers Writing is designed to help students understand the reading-writing connection and become proficient writers. Through instructional shared and independent writing activities, students are introduced to the writing process and practice the six traits of writing as they write in both fiction and nonfiction genres. The program is easily paired with reading and integrated into the daily classroom routine because it supports and extends the strategies taught in the Shared Reading program, and relies and real literature to model writing and highlight techniques used by published authors. During Writing lessons, the teacher works with the whole class to model the practices, skills, and strategies proficient writers use to express themselves and communicate in a variety of genres. Students then work independently or in small groups to reinforce and extend what they have learned. Throughout the program, students use the writing process to generate ideas or topics to write about, plan their writing, write drafts, revise, edit, and publish their work. They have frequent opportunities to work together to practice what they have learned and to share their writing. Building upon their work in previous grade levels, fifth grade students are instructed to write in several genres, such as expository, persuasive, and narrative.