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Throughout the elementary curriculum, language beliefs and practices are guided by a shared philosophy. AISD believes that a balanced literacy program provides the best opportunity for students to learn effective language skills. A classroom demonstrating a balanced approach to literacy values the following:
- Skill and strategy instruction embedded in the context of meaningful text
- The use of authentic literature - both text and illustration
- Phonemic awareness instruction
- Strategy instruction in monitoring reading instruction
- Ongoing assessment and evaluation to monitor student progress
Shared teaching strategies are used across grade levels and in developmentally appropriate contexts; reading aloud, shared reading, guided reading, writing workshop, shared writing, independent reading and writing, listening and speaking activities and viewing and presentation activities all support children’s language development. The Elementary School has a range of reading resources to meet the diverse needs of students.
We believe that spelling is best taught within the context of reading and writing. It should be taught functionally through experiences with writing that are authentic and meaningful, and it should also be taught systematically through word lists of useful, patterned and developmentally appropriate words derived from familiar text.
For your reference, please see the reading and writing continuums for each grade level. Please also see the list of commonly used words that students at each grade level should be able to spell.
Our goal is to promote neat and legible handwriting. We explicitly teach handwriting to students in PreK4 – Grade 2, using the “Handwriting Without Tears” program.