Literacy is at the forefront of our School Improvement Plan. It is our objective to create a stimulating learning environment within which all students can learn to read widely, think critically, and communicate effectively. We believe that literacy is vital to a child’s education and promotes an appreciation for lifelong learning and a love of reading.
Literacy Vision Statement
The ability to read widely, think critically, and communicate effectively is essential. As a result, Union School believes that an appreciation for lifelong learning and a love of reading is critical to a child’s education. We believe in a balanced approach to teaching literacy in all curriculum areas. This allows for authentic reading, writing, and discussion and is characterized by the following research-based practices:
- Explicitly modeling and teaching reading and writing strategies.
- Providing extensive time for purposeful reading, writing, speaking, and listening experiences in all content areas.
- Providing opportunities which promote critical and creative discussions around a shared text.
- Using on-going and varied assessment tools to differentiate instruction.
- Providing differentiated literacy instruction with specific strategies for ESL students.
- Building home-school partnerships around literacy.
Since 2011, we have redefined our literacy program at Union School. We use a research-based, innovative program that teaches students to make meaning of text, become writers, and participate in a caring classroom community. This literacy program is made by the Developmental Studies Center and in Kindergarten through 8th Grade, we use:
- Making Meaning with Vocabulary
- Individualized Daily Reading
- SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phoneme Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words)
- Being a Writer
- Guided Spelling
To find out more about these programs, visit http://www.devstu.org/making-meaning.
We also provide a reading intervention program for the students in 1st through 9th grades who are not reading at grade level and need extra support. These students receive an extra period of specialized reading practice until they are caught up and able to work successfully at grade level.
It is our goal that students exiting this literacy-rich program will enter high school and college prepared for an enriched education. Literacy is at the core of all subjects at the secondary level, as students are required to read, write, think critically, and communicate effectively in all content areas. Some activities our secondary students are involved in include reading and performing plays, analyzing classic novels, creating their own theme-based poetry books, and responding to document-based questions.