Hampton-Dumont Balanced Literacy
K-8 Core Beliefs and Non-Negotiables
Excellence Every Day!
All children should view themselves as readers and writers, becoming life-long readers and writers.
Classrooms will be print-rich and include a wide variety of reading materials (fiction and non-fiction texts), resources, and technology to support a child’s literacy development.
Literacy (reading & writing) will be taught every day.
Classroom libraries will consist of many high quality reading materials at students’ independent reading levels to meet the needs of our diverse population.
Each school will have a book room with high quality reading materials to be used for small group instruction.
Observation and assessment information will guide instruction.
Classroom framework will be established using a Workshop Model (independent reading, whole group instruction, small group instruction).
The Daily Five will be the classroom framework to deliver instruction.
C.A.F.E. will be used to guide instruction for specific student need.
- The gradual release model (explicit teaching, modeling, guided practice, independent practice) will be used in all areas of literacy.
K-8 students will have explicit instruction in the seven thinking/comprehension strategies each year (schema, inferring, questioning, determining importance, visualization, summarizing & synthesizing) using both narrative and expository text.
The seven comprehension strategies will be utilized and reinforced in all subject areas.
The ultimate goal in reading will be for the reader to comprehend text.
Teachers will use a variety of formative assessment tools to assess comprehension. (graphic organizers, exit slips, observation, conferencing)
Students will be taught to monitor their comprehension using self correcting strategies as they read independently.
Students will be given opportunities to respond and share their thinking about texts in a variety of ways in a supportive environment that values reading & thinking.
Phonemic Awareness / Phonics / Spelling
Phonics skills will be integrated with real or authentic reading and writing activities. Examples: children’s names, word wall, charts, shared reading, rhyming, poetry, chants, songs, just right books.
Phonemic Awareness will be taught in K-1. It is the best predictor of future reading difficulties.
Teachers will assess students to guide the development of appropriate lessons. An over emphasis on phonics can lead to reading problems.
Spelling is not the rote memorization of words.
Grade K-8 teachers will know the stages of regular word reading, irregular word reading and advanced word analysis.
- Grade 2-8 teachers will use spelling instruction to help students learn and apply common language patterns carefully selecting words to capitalize on the underlying structure of words.
Fluency / Accuracy
Teachers will use daily read-alouds to model and teach reading strategies.
Teachers will provide instruction to help students meet oral reading fluency goals: words per minute and accuracy goals.
The Benchmark Assessment Leveling Kit will be used to establish accuracy goals and student reading levels.
-Independent Level: 95%-100% accuracy with excellent or satisfactory comprehension
-Instructional Level: 90-94% accuracy with limited comprehension
-Hard Level (frustration): 89% & below
The Benchmark Assessment Leveling Kit will be used to establish fluency goals for grades K-8.
Teachers will use the following techniques to teach fluency and accuracy: assisted readings, timed readings, repeated readings, choral reading, cloze reading, partner reading, Reader’s Theatre, and poetry.
Teachers will provide instruction on different aspects of fluency: rate, emphasis, punctuation, inflection, and phrasing.
Teachers will help students build reading stamina through independent reading activities using read to self, partner reading, listening to reading and integrated content reading. (Kindergarten Reading Stamina Goal: 25 minutes throughout the day & 1st-8th Grade Reading Stamina Goal: 45 minutes throughout the day)
- Teachers will teach word recognition and provide practice with sight words or vocabulary words.
Explicit teaching of writing skills is needed to lay the foundation that can be developed and strengthened each year. The gradual release model will be used.
Writers’ Workshop will be a daily activity. Teachers will provide effective mini-lessons, for large and small groups. Children will have time to implement the mini-lesson strategy.
The editing process teaches the conventions (punctuation, grammar, spelling) that writers are using.
Conferencing (peer or teacher) will be used as a tool for instruction and assessment.
- Sharing will be used to validate writers’ work, build community and develop speaking and listening skills.
Direct vocabulary instruction can help close the gap for students with a limited vocabulary or lack of exposure to vocabulary learning outside of school. (i.e. ELL, low SES, etc.)
Students will be taught words that are useful and interesting and that students can find uses for in their reading, writing, and oral language. (Tier 2 words)
Students will be taught the use of dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses, how to use word parts, and context clues.
Students will be taught vocabulary that coordinates with or expands on the text when a text does not have rich vocabulary (i.e. beginning level texts).
- Students will be given opportunities to be actively engaged in building rich representations of words and their connections to other words and concepts (antonyms, synonyms, examples, non-examples).
The following types of assessments will be used in our comprehensive balanced literacy program in order to inform instruction and drive intervention work:
Progress monitoring assessments
- Summative assessments