Grades K-5 Literacy
Queensbury Elementary School has been moving towards a more balanced literacy approach by transitioning from a basal reading program to a reading and writing workshop approach. This change is both responsive to all students’ academic needs and to getting students reading a larger volume of books across the school day. During the reading workshop, the teacher teaches about a 10 minute mini-lesson within a unit of study and around a certain reading skill. The students then move to independent reading while the teacher confers one-on-one or in partnerships with students, or works with a small group. The reading workshop is complete after a brief sharing out of the days’ work.
The other key components of a balanced literacy program include Writing Workshop, Word Study, Shared Reading, Interactive Read Aloud and Interactive Writing. Each of these components is plugged in at different times during the school day, although a common thread often runs through them.
- Writing Workshop is similar in format to the Reading Workshop. It begins with a mini-lesson around a skill within a unit of study (such as narrative or informational). Students are then given independent work time to compose a piece of writing within that genre but on a topic of their choice while the teacher confers with individuals or one-on-one. It is wrapped up with a brief sharing as well.
- Shared Reading is a time when students who are beginning to read are given the opportunity to read with the teacher from an enlarged text (usually a Big Book or poem). The main goal of Shared Reading is to model decoding, fluency, and the use of effective processing strategies for students.
- The Interactive Read Aloud time is primarily a time to bolster comprehension where the focus is turned away from the reading of the text and more on comprehending the big ideas. During this time, the teacher read aloud usually from a picture book or chapter book, and the kids are listening rather than following along. While the teacher reads, they are given many opportunities to discuss the ideas in the book with a partner and then as a whole class.
- Interactive Writing focuses on the mechanics of writing where Writing Workshop puts mechanics together with the craft of writing.
K-5 Comprehension Strategies
Click here to view comprehension strategies used at the K-5 level.