Our LITERACY PRogram
Village Montessori and Preparatory School encourages a rich learning environment in which initiative, curiosity, thoughtfulness, and imagination are nurtured and celebrated. A literacy rich classroom is a place where students are encouraged to bond as a community of readers and writers. Our classrooms incorporate structured literacy principles and methods based on the science of reading to provide students with a strong foundation in pre-reading and reading skills.
Read Aloud - When teachers read aloud to children they build the essential framework for early literacy development. Reading books and poems aloud to children stimulates their imagination, expands their understanding of the world, and helps them develop a stronger vocabulary for fluency and comprehension of the written word. It also helps children increase their attention span and listening skills, exposes them to a wider range of experiences and emotions, and encourages them to think more critically.
Shared Reading - This is when the teacher and students read aloud from a shared text, usually a large picture book or large font poem. Students practice using reading strategies with the support of their peers and teacher.
Guided Reading - Teachers work with small groups of students based on their skill level to begin to read decodable books. Students are encouraged to use their decoding skills to sound out and blend words. They also use strategies and skills they learned during read alouds and shared reading to increase their comprehension and fluency. The teacher is there to provide support and prompting when needed.
Independent Reading - Readers have the opportunity to practice and apply the skills and strategies previously learned through shared and guided reading strategies.
Modeled Writing - The teacher and children work together to compose a text. The teacher acts as a scribe so that the class can learn the conventions of print, writing strategies, editing, writing styles, letter-sound correlation, and communication skills.
Shared Writing - The teacher and children cooperatively compose and record a text. The pen is shared between the two participants. Writing and spelling skills are reinforced during shared writing. The finished product is usually displayed as a resource for the children to use in the classroom.
Independent Writing - Students write independently and learn how to generate, develop, and organize text. Writing conferences are held weekly between the student and teacher.
Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
Phonemic Awareness - Phonemic Awareness is the understanding that spoken words are made up of individual sounds, called phonemes. At Village Montessori, we nurture Phonemic Awareness skills through activities such as singing songs with sound play in words, rhyming, identifying the sounds at the beginning of words, sorting objects and pictures with matching sounds, and much more.
As students are ready, we introduce letter-sound relationships, also known as phonics. During explicit phonics instruction, students are taught the letter or letter combinations that represent the 44 sounds or phonemes in the English Language. We use a variety of multisensory activities and carefully selected materials to provide a strong foundation in Phonemic Awareness and Phonics, preparing students with the pre-reading and beginner reading skills their brains need.