Elementary Language Arts and Reading, Grades K-5

Beliefs

The Reading and Writing Bill of Rights 

The SBISD District Elementary Language Arts and Reading Department believes that all students are able to learn and achieve the district goal of T-2-4 by:

  • Above all, good teachers matter. Learners need teachers who demonstrate what it means to live richly literate lives, wearing a love of reading and writing on their sleeves.
  • Students need a balanced approach to English/language arts, one that includes a responsive approach to the teaching of both reading and writing.
  • Reading and writing need to be taught like other basic skills, with direct, explicit instruction—including spelling, conventions, and the skills and strategies of proficient reading and writing.
  • Readers need long stretches of time to read, and writers need extended time to write.
  • Writers need to learn to use writing process: rehearsing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing their writing. Readers need opportunities to consolidate skills so they can use skills and strategies with automaticity within fluid, engaged reading.
  • Writers deserve to write for real, to write the kinds of texts that they see in the world, and to write to put meaning onto the page. Readers need opportunities to read high-interest, accessible books of their own choosing.
  • Readers and writers need teachers to read aloud to them.
  • Students need opportunities to talk and to write in response to texts.
  • Readers need to read increasingly complex texts appropriate for their grade level and they need support reading nonfiction and building a knowledge base and academic vocabulary through information reading.
  • Learners need clear goals and frequent feedback tailored specifically to them. They need to hear ways their reading and writing is getting better and to know what their next steps might be.

Guiding Principles

Workshop allows:

  • Students to make choices about their reading and writing while practicing strategies to personalize their learning
  • Teachers to know their students deeply in order to meet their individual needs
  • Students to read and write with purpose for extended time