We use a balanced literacy approach to meet the varied and evolving needs of our students. Utilizing high-quality literature and a variety of genres, we provide whole class, flexible small groups and individual instruction. Students learn decoding, comprehension and critical thinking skills through multiple literacy experiences. These include interactive read alouds, reading workshop, guided reading groups, independent reading, literacy centers, readers theater, phonics activities, word walls, reading response journals, and literature circles, among others. We view reading as a process where students' ideas are shared and developed through active and responsive listening, discussion, writing, and reflection.
Our reading instruction accepts and values multiple perspectives to foster critical thinking. Because we honor students'different strengths, interests and experiences, we build on what they know and love. We provide and allow students to choose from texts they can relate to and learn from, and employ a variety of texts that represent our students' diversity.
Through on-going assessment, teachers identify each student's needs and explicitly model strategies and skills. In addition, students learn to monitor their individual progress in order to become self-reflective and responsible for their own reading development.
As a collaborative, reflective and supportive teaching community, we continually revisit and adjust our practices in accordance with our philosophy to best meet our students' needs.
In 2011, Greene Street adopted Lucy Calkins' Writing Workshop. The Writing Workshop and Reading Workshop models are very similar. Students are given opportunities to write in a variety of genres such as narrative, persuasive, and informational. Writing Workshop fosters a love of writing. The Writing Workshop allows teachers to meet the needs of their students by differentiating their instruction and gearing instruction based on information gathered throughout the workshop.
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