Sachem Schools recently launched a school wide literacy program for kindergarten through fifth grade.
A group of Sachem elementary teachers and district administrators started to meet regularly in the 2013-2014 school year to discuss events and needs of the district’s teachers and students.
The meetings fostered a professional and cooperative relationship between the teachers and administrators. A need that arose from these meetings was that of a consistent Common Core-aligned K-5 balanced literacy program.
The teams worked together to research options and further investigate available curriculum. There were also school visits to districts currently implementing the curriculum.
The team decided that Schoolwide Reading and Writing Fundamentals provided a consistent program for grades K-5 that incorporated teaching strategies teachers knew and were considered best practices for reading and writing instruction.
Plan and Support
The team decided to implement specific units in year one accompanied by focused professional development for teachers. Training for the implementation of the first units took place in the spring of 2014.
Training for the next units took place in October 2014. Training for the final set of units will take place in January 2015.
The team felt that it was important to continue to strengthen teachers’ effective implementation of the instruction by arranging for on-site training in Sachem classrooms, which is planned for in February 2015.
Some Responses to Date
- Overall positive response
- Increased love of reading and writing by students
- Teacher-friendly resources
- Great selection of well-respected literature and favorite authors
- Finding ways to incorporate Covey’s 7 Habits into literacy instruction