Elementary English Language Arts
A Balanced Literacy Approach
In our three elementary schools, we pride ourselves on having a rich language arts curriculum that is implemented using the balanced literacy approach. This is a research-based methodology that integrates a variety of instructional practices and allows teachers to deliver instruction so that all students are successful as they become capable, engaged readers and writers. Students develop their reading and writing skills in a classroom environment that values focused, direct teaching, small group work, and independent practice.
Teachers in our elementary schools implement a carefully planned, comprehensive, rich literacy program that is built upon the “gradual release of responsibility” model. Responsibility for demonstrating skills and strategies gradually shifts from the teacher to the student, and include reading and writing to, with, and by the students. The goal is always for students to be proficient, independent readers and writers. More information about balanced literacy follows on this website.
Note: A detailed guide to understanding the gradual release model is in the following text: Fisher, D. and N. Frey, Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, Virginia, 2008.