Literacy


Independent Reading
All students have independent reading time after they come in and have breakfast.  Classrooms have a variety of book baskets leveled according to the Fountas and Pinnell system A-Z.  Students know their level and read increasingly complex books as well as a wide variety of genres across the course of the school year.   During this time teachers conference with individual students to listen to them read and ensure that they are choosing the 'just right' book.  Students are encouraged to continue their reading at home and maintain a log of their choices.
 
Guided Reading
The teacher meets with two guided reading groups every day in order to instruct students at a level that is challenging to each one.  Groups consist of no more than six students with each student reading (silently) the same text.  The teacher poses discussion questions and takes conference notes during the session.  At this time the teacher also provide feedback for each student to help them progress to the next level.
 
Shared Reading and Read Aloud
During this time, the teacher is meeting with the whole group, usually students are sitting on the rug.  Most of the time, students will have the book in their hand as well, following along with their eyes/finger.  In the lower grades, teachers may use a big book, where all students can see the enlarged text.  During shared reading or read aloud, students are expected to show good 'listening behavior' and 'turn and talk' to their partner when prompted to do so.  Teachers model 'good reading' and 'think aloud' at this time and encourage students to think for themselves and make predictions and inferences about the books.
 
Writing
Students at PS 62 learn to write in three text types aligned to Common Core Standards.  These text types are:
 
Opinion or Argumentative Writing
Report Writing
Narrative Writing
 
These writing text types have important components that students learn to understand and self assess using Can Cards.  Teachers help students to compose writing pieces by modeling and providing feedback to students.  They also decompose written pieces by published authors ensuring that students see the connections between reading and writing.
 
In addition to the 'text type' or genre approach to writing, students are always encouraged to
  • be creative giving voice to their stories,
  • to write observations like a scientist,  
  • write How To's
  • to use a Sketchbook for ideas
 
Blended Learning
Pathblazer is web-based ELA curriculum designed around animated video lessons for students in K - 8 who are working below grade level. The program sets students on individual learning paths through both built-in and external diagnostics.
 
myON reader is on online reading system that personalizes reading for students by recommending books based on their interests, reading level, and ratings of books they've read.  Students can log on laptops, iPads, or iPhones at school or at home.  The teacher receives data about students reading behaviors and makes recommendations to include a balance of fiction and non-fiction.

IReady
Students begin by taking an assessment to determine their level.  They are then automatically given the 'just right' lesson for their needs.  Lessons are engaging and fun for learners of all levels.  PS 62 has purchased this costly program for all our students so please take advantage and use it at home.
 
 
 
 
 
Phonics and Phonemic Awareness
We love Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar as a systematic approach to teaching phonics in Kindergarten and 1st grade.  Here is an explanation of the philosophy of the program which is used in many countries around the world.  It is a multi-sensory approach and includes actions, music and cute characters to help students learn their 44 sounds in a particular order.  Parents can go on Youtube to view lessons or they can purchase supplementary books and toys from Amazon.


Library
We have a fully stocked library at PS 62 giving students opportunities to select by choice and learn to use a library system. Ms. Israel is our Librarian and Ms. Seijo is our part time Librarian while Ms. Israel is responsible for the Magnet Coordinator activities.


Fluency
Fluency is assessed and recorded formally by teachers twice a year but always noted as an important component in ensuring that students are reading effectively.  Effective readers should be reading at about 140 words a minute.  Our intervention team use the resource Great Leaps to ensure that those students who have difficulty with fluency can attain mastery.

Integrated Curriculum/Project Based Learning
Teachers at PS 62 are working towards developing an integrated curriculum that ensures all students participate in project based activities as they learn to read and write.  To this end, students will learn to persevere, go on many trips, work collaboratively with team members, research topics, present online, make up a dance, improvise an act, program robots, tend to plants and fishes, code drones, debate issues, hear from experts, regularly engage in the Engineering Design Process, invent new things, use computational thinking and much more.