Literacy Curriculum Leader: Kim Beames
Concord Road cultivates success for all students in literacy using a balanced literacy approach to English Language Arts (ELA). This approach supports a developmental progression of student learning, moving students from where they are in their individual reading and writing abilities towards greater levels of success and independence. There are many components to this approach, including shared reading, guided reading, read aloud, independent reading, writing and word study.
Our reading curriculum is guided by the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy (2011). A successful reading program relies on ongoing formal and informal assessment of the reader. Anecdotal notes and running records inform teachers’ instruction throughout the year. The information attained through these assessments, guide students and teachers in choosing independent reading books as well as small group instruction texts. In addition, our teachers use the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment to formally assess each student’s reading ability twice a year.
In writing, Concord Road uses Tony Stead and Linda Hoyt’s Explorations in Non-Fiction Writing. Our writing program is designed to familiarize and engage students in the writing processes of planning, drafting, editing, revising and publishing. Over the course of the school year, students work collaboratively as authentic researchers, consider strategies for strengthening their voice and work to enhance their ability to communicate clearly with their audience. Our students write in narrative, informative/explanatory and argumentative/opinion forms. These are the areas addressed in the CCLS.
In Word Study, we are using two programs at Concord Road. Grades K, 1 and 2 are using Words Their Way, a research based program that guides students through the 5 stages of spelling and orthographic development. Grades 3 and 4 are using Sitton Spelling and Word Skills. This program addresses not just spelling skills, but includes grammar, vocabulary, capitalization, punctuation, usage and writing.