At P.S. 88Q we believe that literacy is the foundation for success for all students. We use a comprehensive Balanced Literacy program, which included targeted literacy focuses through both a guided reading, leveled text, and through rigorous, grade level text. Our students are engaged in learning in all five pillars of literacy: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, writing, and comprehension. We are implementing the Advanced Literacies within all subjects as well as in our ELA instruction. Rigorous text, rich discussions, vocabulary, and writing everyday are the four Hallmarks that are part of all instruction in PS 88Q. The Advanced Literacies , along with Culturally Responsive Sustained Education create the Instructional Leadership Framework. These two philosophies guide us in our curriculum.
Our Balanced Literacy Approach Consists Of:
Every lesson includes phonemic awareness, phonics, high-frequency word study, vocabulary development, comprehension, fluency, grammar, and writing.
- Fundations, a multi-sensory phonics program which is implemented in our Kindergarten to Grade 2 classrooms.
- ReadyGen, a grade level, rigorous text collection of authentic books. Students read complete books, and implement critical thinking skills to discuss and write about the book. Some of the titles include: Charlottes Web, Lunch Money and The Boy Who Drew Birds. To learn more about it, click the link.
Guided reading is an instructional approach that involves a teacher working with a small group of students who demonstrate similar reading behaviors and can read similar levels of texts. The text is easy enough for students to read with your skillful support; it offers challenges and opportunities for problem solving, but is easy enough for students to read with some fluency. You choose selections that help students expand their strategies.
Reading aloud is the foundation for literacy development. It is the single most important activity for reading success (Bredekamp, Copple, & Neuman, 2000). It provides children with a demonstration of phrased, fluent reading (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996). It reveals the rewards of reading, and develops the listener’s interest in books and desire to be a reader (Mooney, 1990).
Listening to others read develops key understanding and skills, such as an appreciation for how a story is written and familiarity with book conventions, such as “once upon a time” and “happily ever after” (Bredekamp et al., 2000). Reading aloud demonstrates the relationship between the printed word and meaning – children understand that print tells a story or conveys information – and invites the listener into a conversation with the author.
Children can listen on a higher language level than they can read, so reading aloud makes complex ideas more accessible and exposes children to vocabulary and language patterns that are not part of everyday speech. This, in turn, helps them understand the structure of books when they read independently (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996). It exposes less able readers to the same rich and engaging books that fluent readers read on their own, and entices them to become better readers. Students of any age benefit from hearing an experienced reading of a wonderful book.