Each morning, students participate in a Literacy Block, which involves Reading and Writing. As educators, we believe the connections made between reading and writing support students to learn and apply new skills.
Reading skills are taught using a range of strategies. These include:
– explicit whole class and small group teaching for decoding and comprehension strategies
– reading aloud to develop fluency and self-monitoring skills
– using mentor texts to support students in developing the multiple strategies they need to read fluently and their understanding of how author’s convey messages.
– using open questions and focusing on constructing understanding.
We teach comprehension through the lens of literacy, inferential and evaluative comprehension.
Students participate in small group reading sessions, where their individual needs are catered for. Teachers work closely with assessment data to determine the needs of students to support their learning growth. The groupings continually change as students develop their individual skills.
Writing skills are taught using a range of strategies. These include;
-reviewing mentor texts to identify an effective author’s style
-using mentor texts to identify language features and genre structures
-small group and whole class instruction
-writing conferences between the teacher and individual students to determine their progress towards individual learning goals and discuss feedback
-connecting writing genres to our Inquiry units of study
At Lethbridge Primary School, we use V.C.O.P. as an approach to support the growth of our students as authors. The V.C.O.P. method is based on fast, fun and lively teaching of the ‘writing voice’ through oral communication. This is followed up with sustained writing and focused editing.
VCOP is the focused teaching of:
Vocabulary – using a wide range of ‘WOW’ words. These support students in building a more ambitious vocabulary for their writing,
Connectives – teaches a wider range of words and phrases for connecting thoughts, ideas and sentences;
Openers – teaches a wider range of ways of opening sentences, including sequence words, linking words and phrases and the three power openers. Power openers are the words that start a sentence with connectives, words ending in –ly and words ending in -ing;
Punctuation – increasing a wide range of punctuation, including power punctuation.
The VCOP Gang is a group of characters that support students to learn each VCOP area. Students self-assess their writing against a specific criteria in order to set goals for improvement with their teacher.
At Lethbridge Primary School, we use the ‘Words Their Way’ approach to teach spelling. Words Their Way is a student centred approach that aims to grow student understanding of vocabulary and spelling development. Students engage in a variety of sound, pattern and meaning activities where they sort pictures and words.