Literacy Instructional Framework
WINNETKA PUBLIC SCHOOLS K-8 (2012-2013)
- Teachers use the District’s literacy framework to provide students with lifelong skills and motivation to become fluent, effective, and purposeful readers, writers, and communicators.
- Instruction includes thoughtful integration of reading, writing, and oral language.
- Teachers use a variety of ongoing formative assessments to inform instruction and measure student growth. Formative assessments include, but are not limited to, teacher-student conferences, observations, anecdotal records, various writing samples (including on demand), and reading inventories.
- Reflection plays an instrumental role in learning, allowing students to develop ownership of their progress, process, and performance as learners. In cultivating self-reflection and critique, we develop purposeful, insightful, and intrinsically motivated readers and writers.
- At each grade level, developmentally appropriate instruction is thoughtfully scaffolded to allow students to become independent readers and writers.
- Teachers understand the broad context of skill and knowledge development, with a particular focus on the grades preceding and following their own.
BEST PRACTICES IN A BALANCED LITERACY PROGRAM
The teacher (or a student) reads aloud engaging fiction and informational texts. Texts are selected to model a love of reading and/or reading strategies, fluency, or genre features. Additionally, books are read aloud to build students’ knowledge for content area themes of study. Teachers balance the flow of the read-aloud with embedding reading strategies, skills, and vocabulary as well as student discussion.
Using an enlarged text or individual student copies (literary or informational text), the teacher involves children in reading together. The teacher models and explains reading strategies and encourages the students to participate.
Using comprehension strategies and existing knowledge, students read informational texts at an accessible level to further understanding, answer questions, and stimulate curiosity. They learn to take notes in developmentally appropriate ways.
GUIDED READING / FOCUSED INSTRUCTION
The teacher pulls together flexible groups or partnerships to teach effective reading strategies and skills for processing a variety of literary and informational texts.
BOOK CLUBS/LITERATURE CIRCLES/READERS THEATER
Flexible groups are either adult or student-directed. Students engage in discussions as critical readers/thinkers about a text they have read or heard. A developmentally appropriate focus is placed on inquiry and questioning.
Students choose a variety of independent reading books based on interest. They learn how to select texts at their independent reading level or “just right” level and engage in reading daily. Students and teachers assess and track independent reading growth through individualized goal-setting conversations and/or conferences.
WRITING WORKSHOP/ PROCESS WRITING
Children engage in a balance of narrative, informational, and argument/opinion/persuasive types of writing for various purposes and audiences. The teacher guides the process and provides instruction through modeling, mentor texts, shared writing, guided practice, and conferencing. Students independently utilize the skills and strategies that have been modeled. Students generate ideas, plan, draft, revise, edit, publish their work and reflect upon it.
Using organizational structures that fit the writer and the topic, students synthesize their findings in writing. Students present their research in an engaging and organized manner. Students write to communicate in an authentic manner that suits the writer, topic, and audience.
DAILY WRITING OPPORTUNITIES
Daily writing opportunities encourage and build confident writers. Students write every day across the curriculum. These pieces may include but are not limited to, drawings, sentences, stories, information pieces, retellings, labels, responses to literature, research, lists, and journal entries. The aim is to build writing fluency, volume, and stamina.
FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS and LANGUAGE KNOWLEDGE
Students learn foundational reading skills, grammar and conventions, and word knowledge through both direct and embedded instruction in ELA and across the curriculum. Depending on the grade level, the teacher provides direct instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, word attack skills, and spelling.
Additional instruction in language craft and vocabulary development focuses on the use of these skills in reading, writing and speaking, and is embedded through literacy and content learning across the curriculum.
ORAL LANGUAGE: LISTENING AND SPEAKING
Students develop speaking and listening skills to help them participate in conversations with others. They evaluate a speaker’s perspective and reasoning.
Students use a variety of media to develop effective oral presentation skills that suit the purpose, context, and audience. In addition, students evaluate and integrate information presented in diverse media.