Literacy & Language Arts
Reading, writing, listening, and speaking are at the heart of the elementary curriculum; students 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 Teachers College Reading & Writing Project 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.
Literacy 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 that promote the appreciation of literacy and the love of learning.