One of the Shelton School System’s main goals is to ensure students become competent readers and writers. When literacy instruction corresponds to students’ strengths and needs, students learn to efficiently communicate ideas and demonstrate what they know. In developing literacy in reading and writing, the district supports initiatives that enhance students and staff across content area instruction. The English Language Arts curriculum empowers student learning in preparation for post-secondary studies and work.
In kindergarten through grade 6, the district uses a Balanced Literacy Approach. Balanced encompasses the essential factors of reading through explicit teaching of phonics and phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Readers’ workshop, independent reading time, systematic word study, and writers’ workshop instruction are key features of the approach. Teachers model the habits and strategies of good readers and writers through read-alouds, guided reading, shared reading, interactive writing, and mini lessons in reading and writing. Teachers confer with students individually and in small groups. This allows students to apply strategies to their own reading and writing successfully.
Classroom libraries are the centerpiece of balanced literacy. Teachers plan instruction using these libraries around authentic literature. The libraries are designed so that each grade will have a range of reading levels, and also covers literature from picture and chapter books to novels, poetry, and nonfiction.
In the middle school, teachers continue to use the approaches of balanced literacy through the readers’ and writers’ workshop. The emphasis shifts from learning to read to reading to learn. Students at this level continue to improve and apply their reading and writing skills to build knowledge about new subject matter.
High school students become more sophisticated readers and writers. Students are encouraged to continuously develop their ability to think abstractly and to evaluate critically various types of literature (novels, plays, short stories, and poems). Grammar and vocabulary units may accompany each literary unit. Students are guided and encouraged to use their language correctly and effectively both in speaking and writing.
Together parents and teachers play a fundamental role in the development of literacy skills. Open communication is imperative in order for student success. If you should have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me either through email or by phone in the Office of Instruction.
Supervisor of Literacy, Assessment and Professional Learning K-12
(203) 924 - 1023 x316