September 18, 2019
At CAL we provide a significant amount of time focused on reading and writing everyday. We follow the Workshop Model framework. Within our literacy program we strive to provide our students with differentiated instruction to meet all of our students’ needs. Our literacy program focuses on thematic units. For each quarter we have a school wide word that everyone is building reading and writing lessons around.
Reading: Our reading block is 90 minutes long broken into many sections. During one section in this block of time we provide students with mini lessons. We use Fountas and Pinnell, Reading Mini Lesson, for our reading curriculum. In another section we provide students with Guided Reading. During this section we instruct students in small groups with reading strategies at their reading level. The last section in the reading block we provide students an opportunity to independently read while focusing on the instruction from the daily mini lesson.
Writing: Our writing block on average is 60 minutes a day. For writing we focus on 3 types of writing for each quarter; opinion, narrative; and informational. Within each quarter we also utilize different modes for the finished writing piece; technology, traditional, visual. Our finished products may include but are not limited to; blogs, debates, virtual words, plays, recordings, speeches, flyers, diagrams, papers/stories, posters, etc.
CIM (Comprehensive Intervention Model)
At CAL, one of the literacy interventions used is CIM. CIM is a literacy framework to help students become successful in multiple facets of reading and writing. Students are grouped together into similar needs and academic levels so the lessons are written specifically for those needs. This allows the CIM teachers to use a versatile lesson format that is continuously changed based on how the students are progressing. CIM groups are used for Kindergarten through 6th grade. We typically do not start kindergarten CIM groups until halfway through the year so students and teachers can get to know each other for the first part of the year. Teachers who teach CIM have been trained on how to use this literacy model effectively to best meet the needs of the students.
Imagine Learning: Imagine Learning is an online program that is research-based, standards-aligned curriculum that builds core reading and academic language skills. It provides engaging activities that teach critical language and literacy concepts such as listening comprehension, basic vocabulary, academic language, grammar, phonological awareness, phonics, and fluency. At CAL, our 1st-6th grade English Language Learners and kindergarteners use this program daily. Imagine learning is an ongoing, adaptive assessment system that maps out students’ performance, growth, and usage, it also gauges student understanding. These assessments help adjust and inform instruction for our students.
EPIC: This year the lower elementary has started using EPIC. This is an online program where the students have their own account under their teacher. When they are logged on they are able to either read different books that they choose or can have a book read to them. There are also videos that the students can choose to watch. Some are educational non-fiction topics which the students enjoy learning about. This helps build student enjoyment for reading as well as building their vocabulary to be able to read their own books.
READING RECOVERY: Reading Recovery works with first grade students and their families to increase the students' reading confidence, proficiency, and reading fluency. Reading Recovery is a 16-20 week reading intervention. Each student that participates in reading recovery individually receives a daily thirty minute reading lesson with the teacher. The lessons focus on literacy skills and strategies. Students are provided with a book bag that includes leveled reading books, and the students’ written daily story to take home each night and practice at home with a caregiver.
IXL: This year we started using IXL to supplement subjects in our class. The student uses their lunch number and the class password to sign in. There are tabs for every grade that tell what standards that will be covered for the grade level. Its has proven helpful and offers practice for reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar and math.