Literacy Program



Danbury Public Schools’ literacy curriculum is a comprehensive literacy program aligned to the federal and state standards. Students participate in a variety of activities each day, including Read Aloud, Shared Reading, Word Study, Guided Reading, Independent Reading, Independent Writing, Shared Writing, and Interactive Writing. Students have opportunities to practice, develop, and apply skills and strategies in reading, writing, speaking, and listening daily, especially during independent reading and writing.

The amount of time students spend reading independently is a strong indicator linked to student achievement. Independent reading, independent writing, and reading aloud with discussions are the three most important parts of our instructional program. Just as students learned to ride a bicycle by riding a bicycle, students become better readers, writers, and thinkers by reading, writing and conversing.

During independent reading, teacher’s model skills or strategies designed to improve students’ reading ability. Students practice these skills in guided practice and independent reading. Teachers confer or meet with small groups while students are reading independently. This gives teachers an opportunity to differentiate instruction to meet each student’s or small group’s needs.

During independent writing, teacher’s model skills or strategies designed to improve students’ writing ability. Students practice these skills in guided practice and independent writing. Teachers confer or meet with small groups of students while students are writing independently. This gives teachers an opportunity to differentiate instruction to meet each student’s or small group’s needs as students’ draft, revise, and edit their writing.

During shared reading, teachers use enlarged text (often big books, transparencies, or charts) to model reading skills or strategies. Students read along and participate in the instruction practicing using print conventions, reading fluently, and developing vocabulary and comprehension.

During word study, students develop phonetic skills through a variety of activities. Students learn about words through sorting, making & breaking words.

During shared writing, teachers model the process of composing. Students share ideas and the teacher scripts them.

During interactive writing, students and the teacher work together to write a shared text. Interactive writing is used mainly in primary classrooms to support writing and print conventions such as beginning writing on the left side of the page, punctuation, or sentence structure.

During guided reading, the teacher instructs a small group of students who have similar needs and similar reading abilities. A common text is used to focus on one or two new skills or strategies.

During read aloud, teachers read a text to students. This often occurs more than once per day. Teachers focus the read aloud on a variety of skills or strategies to support either reading or writing. Teachers think aloud to model the use of comprehension strategies or model reading like a writer. Read aloud also increases a student’s understanding of the world, exposing them to experiences they have not or cannot actually do or see (e.g., exploring an underwater shipwreck or cave or living in a time without electricity).


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