Literacy

Literacy is a major part of your child’s school program.  While New York City Public Schools each select their own literacy curriculum, there are common features that each classroom contains.  These might consist of:

  • purchased programs such as basal readers
  • units of study that teachers use for reading and writing instruction. 

Schools have a scope and sequence for both reading and writing for the school year so that the instruction is planned thoughtfully.  Lessons include:

  • listening
  • speaking
  • reading and writing
  • opportunities for thinking
  • rich discussion with peers in pairs or in small groups

Teachers model good questioning and students are encourage students to ask questions about what they read and learn.  There is a focus on using specific strategies to help students read difficult text.   Schools use various types of text, including fiction and nonfiction. These are selected to reflect the rich cultural and ethnic diversity in the schools.  There are opportunities for daily independent reading guided by the classroom teacher. IN addition, there are daily opportunities for writing. 

Classrooms display models throughout the room of:

  • good thinking
  • strategies for reading
  • examples of strong writing
  • strategies for writing in the form of charts
  • student work samples

School libraries offer opportunities for further inquiry and research projects.   Along with these, some of the additional features you can expect to see in your child’s school are the following:

In Elementary Grades

  • A strong early reading program in kidergarten, first, and second grade
    • this includes instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary,  comprehension and writing
  • A literacy program that has a predictable format for lessons so that students understand the goal of each lesson
  • Teachers provide daily read alouds using high-quality, culturally diverse, age-appropriate books
  • Writing instruction includes handwriting, skills instruction in varied genres, and daily opportunities for writing
  • Classrooms contain a wide range of books in the classroom library, including many topics and reading levels suitable to the grade
  • An environment that is rich in print
  • A reading coach to support early reading acquisition in kidergarten, first and second grade
  • Options in place for students who need additional support in reading and writing

In Secondary Grades

  • A literacy program has a predictable format for lessons so that students understand the goal of each lesson
  • Literacy content designed to lead to college and career readiness
  • Opportunities for daily independent reading and writing guided by the teacher
  • Opportunities to engage in inquiry work individually and with peers
  • Students engaged in work with rigorous text, using books that are culturally diverse and motivatin
  • Exposure to a wide range of books and an emphasis on choice
  • Options in place for students who need additional support in reading and writing

Educator Resources

Teachers and other educators can find curriculum and instructional materials on We Teach NYC.

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