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boy readingThere are five elements that make up effective reading and instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Teachers use research based instructional methods and activities to address these five elements and to engage students in meaningful learning. The instruction is carefully aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

We provide a balanced literacy program in which informal conversations enrich more formal discussions and interactive "read-aloud" sessions. Our approach to teaching reading consists of research-based activities that are designed to help children build the skills they need to become fluent, confident, enthusiastic readers.

Read Alouds
Teachers read aloud to the whole class or small groups. Teachers carefully select Read Aloud literature to reflect curriculum themes and children’s interests, as well as to expose children to ideas, genres, cultures, etc. that will broaden their thinking.Teachers facilitate conversations that require students to use higher order thinking skills. The children may turn and talk with a partner or the teacher may lead a whole group discussion about the text.

Shared Reading
Shared reading is an integral part of a comprehensive literacy program. It is an instructional approach that can be used with a whole class or with a small group. Using big books and poems and songs on chart paper, the teacher involves the children in reading together as they follow the text with a pointer. During shared reading, the teacher explicitly teaches proficient reading behaviors through modelling and think-alouds and begins to share with students the responsibility for reading.

Guided Reading
Children participate in small, guided reading groups at their instructional levels. The role of the teacher is to help students learn more about the reading process. Children learn how to use various reading strategies and engage in meaningful discussions about the text.

Letters, Sounds, and Words
Children receive explicit whole group, small group and independent instruction in alphabet recognition, phonemic awareness, and phonics. When children first work with the letters of the alphabet, they use sandpaper letters as part of activities in which they simultaneously hear the sounds of the letters, and see and trace the shape of the letters. When children know enough letters , they are introduced to the moveable alphabet made out of wooden or cardboard letters. Children use the letters to compose and write down their own words, phrases, sentences and finally discover that they can read their own writing especially when the movable alphabet work is accompanied by activities that provide children with structured opportunities for decoding practice. They soon transfer their skills to reading books, both to themselves and others. They are later introduced to word study materials and materials for exploring spelling patterns. To increase reading fluency and comprehension, children work with materials that draw their attention to the grammar patterns of the language.