Katherine Ali is a dual-certified elementary and special education teacher. She recently graduated as a literacy specialist with a Masters in Science from Manhattanville College. She has experience teaching internationally in northern China and now teaches in the Bronx, NY.
As educators, we witness the transformations of students throughout elementary school. First graders will one day become fifth graders, while fifth graders were once first graders. So we must think, where did our students come from? and where are they going next? Our classroom must be structured to prepare our students for the future and help them build a skillset they can bring with them. In order to be active participants in the literate world, students must be reading, writing, speaking, and listening at all ages.
Here on the LEE & LOW blog, I’ll illustrate what it looks like to integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening across several grade levels: K-1, 2-3, and 4-5. The natural interplay of language looks slightly different across grade levels, but the foundations and mission are the same.
Reading: Text Complexity and the growth of comprehension
We want our students to ascend the staircase of text complexity and simultaneously sharpen their comprehension skills. Students of all ages need to build stamina through independently reading more rigorous and complex texts. Additionally, read-alouds allow students to access content and concepts they may not be able to decode themselves.