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Balanced Literacy


Comprehension is the primary goal of a balanced literacy approach. Instruction is much more interactive and student-centered. The differentiation of instruction possible within this approach provides for student success in reading independently.

Students are taught strategies which must be practiced during independent reading and at instructional centers within the classroom. Learning centers that incorporate both reading and writing need to revolve around the kinds of texts students can read independently. Students should continue practicing strategies they have been taught, use them during independent reading and be accountable for applying these strategies to appropriate texts.

The essential components of a balanced literacy program are outlined below:

Reading and Writing

Read Aloud Shared Writing and Language
Experience Interactive Writing
Shared Reading Guided Writing and Writing
Guided Reading Workshop
Reading Workshops Independent Writing
Independent Reading
Literature Studies

Word Work is also an important component of this process, although not a pre-requisite to reading or writing. Elements included in a comprehensive Word Work continuum include: Early Literacy Concepts, Phonological and Phonemic Awareness, Letter Knowledge, Letter Sound Relationships, Spelling Patterns, High Frequency Words, Word Meanings, Word Structures and Word Solving Actions.

Social Studies

Throughout the K-4 experience at Coram Elementary, students will learn and explore various historical events and cultures. At the same time, our children will address the NYS standards in their specific grade level.

Kindergarten: My School Community, Myself and Others, My Family, Neighborhood and Basic Needs, Roles and Responsibilities of Citizenship, Maps and Globes.

Grade 1: My Family and Other Families, History of Family, My Community and Local Regions (including places), Economic Decision Making (needs vs. wants), Roles and Responsibilities of Citizenship, Changing Rules and Laws.

Grade 2: Rights, Responsibilities and Roles of Citizenship, Symbols of Citizenship, Economic Decision Making (changing Rules and Laws), My Community and Region today, Challenge of meeting needs and wants, Depending and modifying physical environment including natural resources.

Grade 3: Cultures and World Communities, Geography, Citizenship and Government, Economics, Civics, Citizenship and Government.

Grade 4: Native Americans of NYS, America and Colonial and Revolutionary Periods, Industrial Growth and Expansion, Local and State Government.

Science

Throughout the K-4 experience at Coram Elementary, students will examine and explore various units of study, emphasizing a hands-on approach to learning. At the same time, our children will address the NYS standards in their specific grade level.

Kindergarten: Plants and Animals, Water, Senses, Sunshine, Shadows and Silhouettes

Grade 1: Plants, Properties, Rocks and Minerals

Grade 2: Plants and Animal Life Cycles, Interactions, Air and Weather, Measurement.

Grade 3: Butterflies, Magnets, Weather, Water Cycle, Water

Grade 4: Plant Response, Electrical Circuits, Measurement, Technology Wheels

Mathematics

Students at Coram Elementary School are embarking on a new math program called HSP Math. This program was built to address the New York State learning standards for each grade level. HSP Math offers a well-balanced curriculum for instruction. Teachers will introduce new lessons with a check of student’s skills, modeling for understanding, student practice, problem solving and reasoning. Lessons are also adapted to meet the needs of the different learning styles of students.

 One of the many components of this program is the Student eBook. The eBook contains all Student Edition pages for student access at school or home. Mega Math includes reinforcement activities, intervention practice, and extension activities. Also, it provides additional practice with engaging activities that include audio and animation. A multilingual glossary is available and will translate math vocabulary into other languages.

Phonics

Fundations K-3

Teachers incorporate a 30-minute daily Fundations lesson into their language arts classroom instruction. Fundations lessons focus on carefully sequenced skills that include print knowledge, alphabet awareness, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and spelling. Critical thinking, speaking and listening skills are practiced during Storytime activities. Targeted small group intervention is also available for students.

Spelling Program

Rebecca Sitton Grades 1-4

The goal of spelling instruction is to teach students to become accurate, independent spellers in their writing. The Rebecca Sitton Spelling Program focuses students‘ attention on most frequently used words in writing, and develops student accountability for the correct spelling of those words in their everyday writing.

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