The English Language Arts curriculum is divided into four sections: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. At P.S. 62, we follow a “balanced literacy” approach. The components of a Balanced Literacy Program are read alouds, guided reading, shared reading, independent reading, modeled/shared writing, interactive writing, and independent writing.
Reading instruction will be provided through the implementation of The Journeys Program. Journeys is a reading program aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards. It provides our students with various reading opportunities. Students engage in reading shared texts on the Smartboard, listening to stories, reading independently leveled books, partner reading, literacy circles, and guided reading/strategy instruction groups. All of these reading opportunities develop students’ reading skills and strategies, as well as comprehension, listening, speaking, and writing skills. The Journeys Program places an emphasis on strong vocabulary instruction. Vocabulary instruction helps students through key steps in acquiring, practicing and applying a rich vocabulary, thereby, creating superior readers and writers. Vocabulary is taught in context through read alouds and vocabulary readers. Reading instruction is provided through the Workshop Model using the following components: the mini-lesson, independent reading/conferring, guided reading/strategy lessons, and the share. Each week there is a new skill that builds student’s comprehension. Students also have opportunities to develop fluency.
Writing instruction is organized around a Writers’ Workshop structure. Mini-lessons are taught focusing on writing strategies to address elements of specific writing genres, as well as, writing conventions and mechanics. This is then followed by students’ time to write independently and confer with teachers and peers. Areas of focus include: generating ideas, revision, editing, and publishing. Students are given the opportunity to share their writing with an audience during monthly writing publishing celebrations.
Speaking and listening instruction is integrated into the school day across all content areas. Teachers use Bloom’s Taxonomy to guide their questioning to challenge students’ higher order thinking skills. Various opportunities are given to practice speaking and listening skills. They include class and small group discussions, oral presentations, inquiry projects, read alouds, bookclubs, readers and writers’ workshops, and conferences.