Our program is based on our belief and practice that our social studies teaching should include strong content, while it develops informational text reading skills.
We believe that students are not successful readers unless they can read informational text. We also believe that their reading skills must include comprehension of a wide range of texts, including informational text (aka content area reading). Students must develop a vocabulary specific to social studies that will help them become successful independent readers.
Not only do we talk about it and write about it – we actually practice this theory in the classroom! So-o-o, with that underlying theory in mind, our classroom time thus far has focused on guided reading exercises that modeled for students how they should (1) anticipate what they are about to read, (2) stop to review, and (3) then form questions in anticipation of what they will read next. Their reading has been reinforced by skill activities.
As we’re moving toward end-of-year testing, we are shifting our instructional strategies to prepare our students to read independently. A few days ago, the ELP team, along with the Student Intern who is working in Jessica’s class, began to map out a plan for moving students to becoming the independent readers they need to be for end-of-year testing, as well as their move to middle school next year.
At our first meeting we outlined the need for: