The following Literacy Guidelines were developed and written by the Cherry Valley Literacy Leadership Team.
These guidelines represent the literacy model that we use at Cherry Valley from Kindergarten to First Grade.

Literacy Program Guidelines

The acquisition of literacy is an integrated process involving listening, speaking, reading and writing. Reading is a strategic activity through which the learner constructs meaning by interacting with text. Factors which influence the construction of meaning and the acquisition of reading strategies are: the interactions between teacher and student, the text, the purposes for reading and the context within which the literacy activities take place. The overall goal is to ensure that all children become able readers, writers, speakers, and listeners and are critical thinkers who can take responsibility for and direct their own lifetime of learning.

As reading is a language activity, listening is promoted as a basis of literacy. Listening should be meaning-driven. Students will engage in a variety of listening experiences which will provide opportunities for the ongoing development of vocabulary building, basic concept comprehension, auditory association / identification / discrimination and other processing skills. These, in addition to experiences in developing prediction, problem solving, making inferences and sequencing are recognized as necessary prerequisites to an effective literacy program.
Assessment of progress: Teacher observation, comprehension activities (following directions, etc.)

Oral language skills are an integral component of a successful literacy program.
A child's fluency in language is directly related to his/her fluency in reading. Activities aimed at promoting and developing the use of semantic (vocabulary and concepts) skills, pragmatic or social language, and good grammatic / syntactic language skills are considered crucial. Developing competence in comprehension and oral expression provide the avenue from which the child starts to build the bridge to reading and writing. With adequate listening and oral language skills in place, the child is ready to move toward applying these skills to the written symbol and its association to sounds, words, sentences, and written language in context - its comprehension and production through reading and writing.
Assessment of progress: Teacher observation, video / audio tapes, etc.

Students will have available to them literature of varying levels of difficulty and genre. Each class will engage all students on a daily basis in self-selected silent reading appropriate to their developmental level. Teachers will read aloud to students on a daily basis. Direct teaching of reading strategies is followed by guided and independent practice. Students will engage in silent practice before oral reading. Skills instruction will be taught in meaningful contexts, not in isolation. A variety of grouping strategies will be used for instruction (whole class, flexible small groups, partners, cooperative learning groups). Students will have opportunities for a variety of responses to literature, individually and in collaboration with others. Students will have the opportunity to take home books on a regular basis to provide an opportunity for students to share success and progress with parents. Our primary reading program is Journeys.
Assessment of progress: literature logs of books read, individual reading conferences,
running records, monitoring notebooks, tapes, transcriptions, or retelling of material read, teacher observation.

All students will have the opportunity for daily writing for a variety of purposes to a variety of audiences. Teachers will model and teach the stages of the writing process (pre writing, drafting, sharing, revising, editing, publishing). Students will be encouraged to use their writing as a natural response to literature. First draft writing should be kept together in a draft writing book. Spelling approximations should be encouraged and be developmentally appropriate. Writers will be assisted to check for acceptable writing conventions during the editing process and all published work should be free of spelling errors.
Student writing will be shared through take-home books, classroom libraries, school library, computer presentations, and wall stories.
Assessment of progress: Collection of authentic data such as writing samples, journal entries, teacher observation, monitoring notebooks, story plans, individual writing conferences.

Teachers will observe and note student responses and participation during literacy instruction. Children will be assisted to make choices about what they read and write. Students will not be labeled in terms of ability or achievement. Teachers will share in the task of communicating to parents the basis of our literacy program.
Teachers will encourage parents to read to their children, discuss literature with them, and support and encourage their children's reading and writing progress. Teachers will participate in staff development opportunities and engage in reflective practice. A network of support and common implementation experiences is seen as an important part of the ongoing development of an effective literacy program.

Literacy at Cherry Valley
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