Reading & Writing in the Elementary Schools

stack of books and paper with pencil

Our elementary literacy programs are comprehensive. Instruction includes phonemic awareness; letter and word learning; word study (including phonics, spelling and vocabulary); text reading, including a range of strategies for maintaining fluency, solving unknown words, and making sense. The end goal of all reading instruction is to understand what is read.

To that end, students read frequently and routinely, and in many settings: independently, during small group work with the teacher, and during whole group instruction. They grow in their ability to analyze the elements of a text, to use related knowledge within and outside of a text, to predict, make inferences, create new undertandings or reorganize prior knowledge, and to read with a critical eye.

Throughout the elementary grades students are exposed again and again to genres: narratives, poetry, fiction, informational text, drama, biography and auto-biography, and traditional literature.

Writing instruction begins in kindergarten and is instrumental all along the way in helping children grow as readers, too. As students progress, they learn to write with clarity and focus, expanding their ideas with sufficient detail. They are expected to employ a writing process which includes choice of topic, planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Inquiry, research, and report writing are in evidence at every grade. In both reading and writing students are routinely exposed to many aspects of the writer’s craft, by way of example and inspiration.

Technology is integrated into literacy in ways that appropriately support the overall reading and writing instruction.