Literacy & Language ArtsReading, writing, listening, and speaking are at the heart of the elementary curriculum; they develop the competencies on which virtually all subsequent instruction and learning depends. Reading is a complex interactive process in which the reader simultaneously uses numerous knowledge systems at multiple levels to construct meaning from print. The knowledge, skills, and strategies needed to become a successful reader include at least the following: decoding accuracy and fluency, language ability, vocabulary, and comprehension.Writing, listening and speaking are basic tools for learning and communication, incorporating craft, elaboration, language, and mechanics. Students are expected to develop knowledge of the writing processes and how to vary them for different purposes, genres, and audiences. In addition, students need interactive skills for good conversation and discussion, including listening and speaking.Students are expected to read, write, and communicate orally in all subject areas. The elementary literacy program follows a balanced literacy framework, including the reading and writing workshop model, and is aligned with the district philosophy for literacy instruction, as well as the Illinois Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core. Students gain adequate exposure to , Lucy Calkins' Units of Study in Writing and Reading, Stephanie Harvey’s Comprehension Toolkits, and Benchmark's Phonics and Word Study Program. Instruction is provided through whole group, small group, and at the independent level based upon the students' needs.
Grade Level Skills
Learning to read is a major focus of first grade. Students use their knowledge of phonemic awareness, learn phonics, and use strategies for word analysis. The ultimate goal, reading for meaning, is a result of the mastery of word analysis and reading strategies. Students write daily on self-selected topics and teacher directed topics and share their writing with others. Listening and speaking are an important part of the curriculum and students receive opportunities to develop their communication skills. Students receive instruction in printing and spelling patterns.
Students are encouraged to become increasingly independent in their reading; silent reading periods are provided for this purpose. Students will recount stories, describe the overall structure of stories, acknowledging points of view of characters, and compare and contrast two or more versions of the story. The curriculum also focuses on independent and group writing as well as further development of listening and speaking skills. All students are taught formal spelling patterns and handwriting.
Students in third grade continue to develop understanding of key ideas and details of text and a text’s craft and structure. Silent reading in self-selected materials is more extensive. In written expression, the emphasis is on the process: pre-writing, writing, revising, and publishing. Students continue developing narrative, argumentative, and informational writing skills, along with conventions and mechanics of writing. Instruction in vocabulary, handwriting and spelling continues.
Students expand their reading skills, including determining themes of stories, comparing and contrasting points of view and treatment of themes and topics among multiple texts. They learn to adjust reading rates to accommodate different purposes and tasks. In writing, revision takes on a more central focus. Informational, argumentative, and narrative writing skills continue to be refined. There are many opportunities throughout the day to use language by listening and speaking. Instruction in vocabulary, handwriting, and spelling continues.
Students use critical reading/thinking skills to increase knowledge. They analyze multiple texts and text structures as a basis for their viewpoints and ideas. Students are expected to quote accurately when referring to texts and analyze multiple accounts of the same event based on text and media. Students move through the writing process to produce clear coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience. They restate the content and recall the relevant details of an oral message and give oral presentations. Instruction in vocabulary and spelling continues.Literacy Initiative Vision: Barrington220 students will become active, skillful, and confident readers, writers, and communicators through purposeful literacy experiences within a comprehensive literacy program.
Our Beliefs about Literacy:
We believe literacy includes the skills necessary for effective reading, writing, thinking, and communicating.
We believe in guiding students toward independence in their literacy skills through a comprehensive approach.
We believe that all readers, writers, and communicators are aware of their thinking in order to be active learners.
We believe that all students achieve literacy through a continual process of: Forming a foundation for reading, Developing an initial understanding of text, Interpreting text, Reflecting and responding to text, Demonstrating a critical stance about and from text
We believe that in order to be prepared for the future, students need to communicate effectively using their literacy skills within a variety of contexts, such as: audiences, genres, written products, technology
We believe that students learn best when they invest in their own learning.
We believe that the literacy achievement of students is supported by the cooperative efforts of the family, school, and community.
We believe that classrooms are environments which promote the appreciation of literacy and the love of learning.