Literacy at P.S. 62Q
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.
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.
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
Moby Max finds and fixes learning gaps with the power of personalized learning. MobyMax’s adaptive curriculum creates an individualized education plan for each student
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.
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.
From Jolly Phonics:
What is Jolly Phonics?
Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centered approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers, who can see their students achieve. The letter sounds are split into seven groups as shown.
Letter Sound Order
The sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This enables children to begin building words as early as possible.
How does Jolly Phonics work?
Using a synthetic phonics approach, Jolly Phonics teaches children the five key skills for reading and writing. The programme continues through school enabling the teaching of essential grammar, spelling and punctuation skills.
The five skills taught in Jolly Phonics
- Learning the letter sounds: Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. THis includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue.
- Learning letter formation: Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write the letters.
- Blending: Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.
- Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting): Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.
- Tricky words: Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.
For more information on Jolly Phonics products for teaching literacy visit our Products section. If you would like more information on using Jolly Phonics and for training courses or to invite a trainer to your school then please visit our Training Courses section. The literacy skills taught in Jolly Phonics are reinforced and built upon in with Jolly Grammar, which teaches essential grammar and spelling skills.
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 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.