At Goldrick, we know that one of the most solemn promises we make to families is that we will teach your children how to read. We are at the beginning of a wonderful transformation in how we teach literacy at Goldrick, one that will ensure that every student is an on-time reader by third grade. There are several systems at our school that are critical to this work:
- Early reading skills: In our classrooms, students work every day to make sure they can hear and distinguish speech sounds, and then connect those sounds to letters and groups of letters. Students begin doing this in their home language, and then our multilingual students gradually learn to do it in English as well as Spanish. Students spend an hour a day on these critical skills in grades K-2, and we have an extra “Walk to Read” block where students work in small groups with their teacher or another teacher getting additional practice on the skills they individually are practicing. Once students are decoding words, we work with them to read fluently, so their brain is freed up to concentrate on the meaning of the texts they read.
- Knowledge-Building Curriculum: Lots of research shows that we understand what we read better when we already know some things about the topic we’re reading about. That’s why at Goldrick, we make sure students spend time in the literacy block learning lots of cool things about the world around them, instead of practicing isolated comprehension “skills” on texts that may or may not interest them. Here are some of the exciting themes your students will learn about. Ask them what they are learning, they have lots to share!
- Kindergarten: The Five Senses, Plants, Kings and Queens, Seasons and Weather, Native Americans
- First: The Human Body, Early American Civilizations, The History of the Earth, Astronomy
- Second: Ancient Greece, Insects, Immigration, Civil Rights Heroes
- Third: Vikings: Native Americans, Animal Classification, The Human Body
- Extra Support: Different kids learn to read at a different pace, and that’s okay. At Goldrick, we know that some students need extra time and extra practice to become fluent readers. We have literacy interventionists who support some of our students who need additional instruction–and they teach in both English and Spanish depending on the child’s need.