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 practice are read alouds, guided reading, shared reading, independent reading, modeled/shared writing, interactive writing, and independent writing. Additionally, we utilize the multi-sensory approach of Orton Gillingham for word work instruction in all grades.
Reading instruction will be provided through the implementation of teacher created curriculum that utilized supports from various print and digital sources. The curriculum is aligned Next Generation State Standards. All students have the opportunity to engage in reading shared texts, listening to stories, reading leveled books independently, partner reading, literacy circles, and guided reading and strategy instruction groups. Reading instruction includes the use of technology such as Promethean boards, document camera displays, laptops and iPads. All of these reading opportunities develop students’ reading skills and strategies, as well as comprehension, listening, speaking, and writing skills. The reading instruction 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 in various best teaching practices such as the workshop model, inquiry discussions, exploratory opportunities, independently tiered practice and collaborative group work. Throughout reading instruction phonic skills are modeled and practices to support reading fluency and comprehension.
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 opportunities for students to write independently and confer with teachers and peers. The writing process includes: brainstorming, creating draft pieces, revision, editing, and publishing. Students are given the opportunity to share their writing with an audience during monthly writing publishing celebrations and engage in self and peer reflections to further develop their writing craft.
Speaking and listening instruction is integrated across all content areas. Teachers use levels of questioning (Depths of Knowledge, Costas Level of Questioning, Bloom’s Taxonomy) to guide questioning to challenge students’ higher order thinking skills. Various opportunities are provided to practice speaking and listening skills as students share their thinking and listen to others. Speaking and listening activities also provide opportunities for students to apply our school’s core value of compassion, teamwork and leadership. Classrooms include class, small group, and partner discussions, presentations, projects, read alouds, bookclubs, readers and writers’ workshops, and conferences.