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English/Language Arts (ELA)

Changes in English/Language Arts (ELA) Instruction at the Elementary Level

Children

Reader’s Workshop

As we shared last year, our teachers are using a Workshop approach in the teaching of Reading.

Why Reader’s Workshop?

  • Readers have time to read just-right books independently every day.
  • Readers select their own appropriate books.
  • Readers take care of books.
  • Readers respect each other’s reading time and reading lives.
  • Readers have daily opportunities to talk about their books in genuine ways.
  • Readers don’t just read the words but also understand the story.
  • Readers’ work in the independent reading workshop is replicable outside the classroom.

Workshop Structure - 45 minutes to 1 hour including mini-lesson

  1. Mini-Lesson (10 minutes)
  2. Reading Time (30-45 minutes)
  • Students read alone and/or in partnerships.
  • Teacher confers, convenes small groups (either strategy groups, guided reading groups or guided practice groups), inserts mid-workshop teaching points.
  • Guided reading group and strategy group lessons
  • Conferences with inpidual students.
  1. Share (5 minutes)

Fountas and Pinnell Leveling System

Leveling of books is a means to gauge a student’s Reading progress. Running records, along with the teacher’s observations of a child’s reading, are a means to assess a child’s reading level. The level of book that a child can read may vary slightly according to the child’s background knowledge of and interest in the content of a given book. For many years we have used the 100 Book Challenge

system to level books. Parents have long been familiar with the color levels of 100 Book Challenge. We are moving to the Fountas and Pinnell leveling system as it is more widely used and it offers more specific gradations, particularly at the upper elementary grade levels. The chart below shows the 100 Book Challenge and Fountas and Pinnell levels that correspond to each grade level.

GRADE 100 BOOK CHALLENGE LEVEL FOUNTAS AND PINNELL LEVEL
K 2 YELLOW/1GREEN A, B, C, D
1 2 GREEN/1 BLUE/

2 BLUE
E, F, G, H, I, J
2 1 RED/2 RED K, L, M
3 WHITE N, O, P
4 BLACK Q, R, S
5 ORANGE T, U, V
6 PURPLE W, X, Y

Nightly Reading at Home

Research supports the value of reading as a daily part of students' homework. This is consistent with our Reading Workshop approach. We are expecting a greater volume of reading from our students. Reading remains a daily homework expectation for elementary students.

Reading Logs

The prevailing thought of parents, teachers, and literacy experts is that nightly Reading logs hold minimal value. Teachers may use logs at their discretion. Nightly reading logs will no longer be a requirement.

Time Expectations

Grade 1 10 Minutes; Grades 2-3 20 minutes; Grades 4-5 30 minutes. These are minimum time expectations.

Thank you

We appreciate the support that we have always received from parents in developing our students into avid, capable, and discerning readers. We will appreciate this continued support as we adjust our methods, practices, and expectations to help students grow as readers. Thank you!

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