Literacy in the primary years is an essential component of the instructional day. During the established literacy block, scholars are engaged with reading and writing in various formats. Teachers plan careful lessons that are developmentally appropriate, engaging and accessible to most scholars. These lessons are easily taught during the literacy block structure, which is established beginning the first day of school.
During reading workshop, some scholars may be working with the teacher in a guided reading session, while the rest of the scholars are independently reading or practicing a skill the teacher just taught. In another classroom, scholars may be gathered around a teacher on the rug as he/she reads them a story and models his/her thought process during reading. Scholars then go back to their seats and try out the strategy and get ready to share how it went at the end of the block. Yet, in another classroom, the class is engaged in reading a whole class novel and is debating the actions of the main character. They quickly chat with their neighbor and then share out before continuing to read. When they move into independent reading they will take notes on the actions of their book’s main character and then share that with the group.
Scholars must be reading and writing constantly throughout the literacy block and throughout the day. When scholars are exposed to text that is on, or slightly above their level, they become better readers and writers at a faster pace. There is no time to lose.
To ensure effective use of classroom instructional time, it is essential that all classrooms have systems in place to ensure scholar success. Most classroom structures look the same, but the lessons and learning activities may change.
All BRICK teachers are expected to use research-based classroom practices. This does not mean that teachers simply open up the teacher’s guide and follow the “scripted curriculum” day by day. This means that teachers will utilize the resources BRICK and NPS have made available to all teachers to plan for effective lessons that will engage and move all learners.