English Language ArtsIn first grade, the students are extending and refining the strategies and skills that were set as the foundation of the early primary balanced literacy program. Through this balanced approach to literacy we are working towards the NYS English Language Arts Standards.Standard 1: Students will be able to read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding.Standard 2: Students will be able to read, write, listen and speak for literary response and expression.Standard 3: Students will be able to read, write, listen and speak for critical analysis and understanding.Standard 4: Students will be able to read, write, listen and speak for social interaction.Balanced LiteracyREAD ALOUD
This is when the teacher reads aloud to the whole class or to small groups. This promotes reading enjoyment for the children and models that we read for a purpose. The teacher models good fluency and phrasing, as well as voice inflection with punctuation marks. This is a good way to increase the child’s vocabulary and concept development. Complex ideas are introduced to children by reading aloud to them. It’s a good way to compare and contrast stories and develop a basis for writing and other activities. Reading aloud helps children increase their reading comprehension through discussion, “deep thinking” and learning the elements of literature.
Shared Reading has us reading and rereading big books, poems, and songs. It involves word to word matching strategies. It builds a sense of story and the ability to predict what will be coming up in the story. It provides an opportunity for the children to participate and behave like a reader. Shared Reading teaches children very important skills all good readers need such as phonics skills and concepts about print (i.e. knowing where the title is, where to begin when you read a book...).
Guided Reading is when the teacher meets with small groups of children who have similar reading processes. New text is introduced through vocabulary development and brainstorming, picture walks of the story, and predicting text. The teacher supports the children as they read the whole text to themselves, making teaching points during and after the reading. Reading strategies are also taught during guided reading time. This format provides your child with the opportunity to read many texts and a wide variety of genres. Your child is provided with many opportunities to problem solve while reading for meaning. The purpose for guided reading is for children to take what they learned during read aloud and shared reading and with teacher support begin to use these strategies themselves.
This is when the children read on their own. The students get to apply reading strategies independently. It challenges the reader to work on his or her own reading strategies in a variety of texts. Readers get to solve words independently and build confidence through successful reading. It promotes reading fluency through rereading and provides the opportunity for children to support each other while reading.MODELED WRITING/WRITE ALOUD
During modeled writing, teachers model writing for students. This gives the students the opportunity to “see” how a more experienced writer composes a piece of writing. It is also available to a student as a point of reference for their individual writing.
Working collaboratively, teachers and students compose written accounts in a shared writing session, so that strategies can be modeled and explained and specific writing skills can be introduced/ reinforced.GUIDED WRITING
In guided writing, students create their own writing, with the teacher as guide. Activities associated with guided writing take place in small homogenous groups of students. Teachers serve as mentors as students go through the process. Students will write in a variety of genres.
INDEPENDENT WRITINGIntegral to the process is independent writing, which provides students with the consistent opportunity to apply and practice the skills already introduced and to cultivate their love of and comfort with writing on their own level.