• English Language Arts & Reading at Neshaminy

     

    Boy reading a book
    "Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life."

    --Mortimer Adler


    At the elementary level, instruction is delivered through a Balanced Literacy Framework that provides a comprehensive plan for instruction in reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.  Our teachers use the explicit instructional design of model, coach and apply (I do, we do, you do).  The gradual release of teacher support fosters independent learners.

    Balanced literacy includes:
    · Reading instruction
    · Word work and/or word study
    · Independent reading
    · Writing instruction
    · Independent writing
     The programs and materials have been selected to meet the learning needs of children.
     
    Reading Instruction in kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, uses Superkids materials. In grades 3 and 4, Good Habits Great Readers is the “core” reading program. This innovative program consists of two strands of literacy learning (Guided Reading and Shared Reading).  When implementing both strands of this program teachers are using a balanced mix of whole group, small group, and independent reading designed to provide comprehensive literacy learning for students addressing instruction both at grade level and at readers’ levels.  In grades 3-4, teachers and students dive into shared inquiry each month for a 3-4 day cycle by means of the Junior Great Books program affording students the opportunity to read, consider and discuss the meaning of thought-provoking stories.

    The Vocabulary Workshop is a supplemental series in grades 3-4 supporting reading and writing by expanding the acquisition of new words through instruction using authentic pieces of short text.

    Writing Fundamentals is a structured writing workshop program used in grades K-4.  It begins by immersing students in the writing process by “launching” a community of writers within the classroom community. Four additional units integrate writing various genres such as biography, memoir, feature article, etc. and grammar lessons. Students approach each unit as a study of the genre using mentor texts as teachers and proceed through a structured set of lessons taking writing from the immersion and generating ideas stage to the publishing and sharing stage.

    The Grammar Workshop is a supplemental series in grades 3-4 providing abundant practice opportunities along with scaffolded lessons in grammar, usage, and mechanical skills.


    At the middle level instruction is delivered through a more traditional setting with continuing efforts to increase the use of feedback and formative assessment to meet targeted student needs. All students receive one period of English Language Arts instruction per day in grades 5-8 and one period of reading instruction per day in grades 5-7.  Students in grade 8 either attend a period of reading instruction or world language class.

    In English Language Arts, Writing Fundamentals is a structured writing workshop program used in grades 5-8.  It begins by immersing students in the writing process by “launching” a community of writers within the classroom community. Four additional units integrate writing various genres such as biography, memoir, feature article, etc. and grammar lessons. Students approach each unit as a study of the genre using mentor texts as teachers and proceed through a structured set of lessons taking writing from the immersion and generating ideas stage to the publishing and sharing stage. In grades 6-8, teachers also utilize The McDougal Littell Literature text is used to supplement writing instruction.  In grade 8, teachers implement one Genre Lab with their ELA students, which lasts between 9-12 weeks.  The genre lab the eighth graders explore is Traditional Tales.

    The Grammar Workshop is a supplemental series in grade 5 providing abundant practice opportunities along with scaffolded lessons in grammar, usage, and mechanical skills.

    In grades 5-8, Reading Fundamentals is the “core” reading program.  This innovative program is organized by units of study.  Students in grade 5 deeply engage in units of study through genre, while students in grades 6-8 have the opportunity to work within content literacy units directly supporting their needs with content area reading.  Within the framework of this program, there are opportunities to read to students (mentor texts), to read with students (shared texts), and to have students read independently (books and other texts at their independent reading levels). Teachers in grade 5 maintain all components of the balanced literacy framework by additionally utilizing components from the Good Habits Great Readers fifth grade program.

    The Vocabulary Workshop is a supplemental series in grades 5-8 supporting reading and writing by expanding the acquisition of new words through instruction using authentic pieces of short text.

    Reading/Language Arts Lead Teacher
    Academic Coach
    Colleen Stahl
    (215) 809-6564

    Middle School Reading Specialists
    Maple Point - Allison Berry & Margie Crooks
    Poquessing - Cheryl Riddell
    Carl Sandburg- Jessica Giblin

    Elementary School Literacy Specialist
    Pearl Buck - Cara Buttari
    Joesph Ferderbar - Linda Baker
    Herbert Hoover - Ben Welwood
    Walter Miller - Catherine Riley
    Albert Schweitzer - Monique d'Entremont
    Tawanka - Jen Gross & Jenny Connolly

    Title 1 Teachers
    Joseph Ferderbar - Pam Haggerty
    Herbert Hoover - Joan Brooks
    Walter Miller - Kelly Dougherty
    Albert Schneitzer - Kim Maurizi
    Tawanka - Allison deFortuna