Literacy (English Language Arts and Reading) at BEAM
Our literacy mission at BEAM is to ignite our students' excitement and love for reading. We are committed to enhancing our delivery of quality instruction in reading and language arts. We are working to prepare our young scholars to become literate leaders in their communities. We define literacy as our students' ability to read, write, and use language to respond to the demands of an every evolving society. It is our mission to empower the families that we serve in an effort to enrich their lives through literacy.
We refer to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as our Curriculum. These standards are designed to ensure that all students, no matter their socioeconomic status, gender, race or ability level, are college and career ready by the time they complete high school. The CCSS outline what students are expected to do and educators are expected to define how to reach their goals. This leads us to the reason for the abundance of resources and programs made available to our students at BEAM.
Core Reading Programs
Core programs are designed to provide foundational lessons in decoding, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. However, teachers can and should expect to expand upon these programs. Core programs also provide a great text for modeling and guided practice. The Core programs used at BEAM are listed below with a brief description of each program:
Happily Ever After (Rowland Reading) Pre-K:
Happily Ever After (HEA) is a reading readiness program with children's literature at its heart. HEA gives children the foundation to begin reading instruction with the SuperKids Reading Program. Beautifully illustrated, classis stores from children's literature are the basis of the 10 units in the program.
SuperKids (Rowland Reading ) K5 - 2nd Grade:
SuperKids (SK) is a phonics-bsed reading program for Kindergarten through 2nd Grade that teaches all aspects of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency and writing) integrated with language arts. The program combines rigorous instruction with highly motivational materials. Targeted interventions are also provided at each grade level through the use of Reading-Readiness Activities, Ten-Minute Tuck-Ins, and the Skill Builder Book. Students have access to online stories and games.
Novel Studies 3rd - 5th Grade:
Students in grades 3 through 5 are introduced to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) with their Novel Studies. Students conduct book talks, reader's theater and engage in interactive workstations for additional independent practice of literacy based skills and strategies. Grade 3 students are reading titles that include Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Mr. Popper's Penguins and Charlotte's Web. The Fourth Grade students are conducting a Roald Dahl author study, which includes the following titles - Willy Wonka and James and the Giant Peach. They are also reading The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key. The Fifth Grade classes are reading the following titles - Tuck Everlasting, Maniac Magee, and The Giver. Teachers also utilize their classroom and school-wide assessments in order to tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students.
Literature (Holt McGougal) 6th - 8th Grade:
This anthology includes well loved literature and a robust selection of informational text. Students are provided exposure to the many facets of the CCSS through poetry, prose, drama, media, legends/myths, research, etc. Teachers also include novel studies within their instruction in order to further expose students to various forms of literature, as well as to address grade-level appropriate standards.
Each grade level has time planned within their schedules to provide intense intervention. The timeframes are as follows -
K4 - 5th Grade: 90 minutes Literacy Block; additional 30 minute Intervention Block
6th - 8th Grade: 50 minutes Literacy Block; additional 30 minute Intervention Block
Smarty Ants (K4 - 2nd Grade): An engaging virtual world program customized to each student's individual learning needs. The program is directly aligned to the CCSS. Students receive personalized instruction (additional practice) in the areas of phonological awareness, phonics, text comprehension, fluency, vocabulary development, print concepts, writing and more. (This resource is accessible from home).
RAZ Kids (K4 - 6th Grade): This on-line program is an interactive reading tool used to allow our students the opportunity to practice reading fluency and comprehension. The students have a log-in and password to access their reading account. Teachers are able to monitor the students' progress and change their reading levels as students show progress. (This resource is accessible from home).
Compass Learning/Odyssey (K4 - 8th Grade): This is an on-line program that is personalized to each individual student's learning needs. Each student's Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) data is uploaded to Compass Learning where a "learning path" is created based upon each student's assessment results. The program is designed to provide support in the areas of English Language Arts and Reading, as well as additional subject areas. Teachers are also able to customize the "learning path" for each student. (This resource is accessible from home).
Corrective Reading (3rd - 8th Grade): This intervention provides intensive direct instruction-based reading support for students reading below grade level. This reading intervention program allows teachers to deliver tightly sequenced, carefully planned lessons that give struggling students the structure and practice necessary to become skilled, fluent readers, as well as better learners. This program supports older readers in improving their automaticity in decoding, which frees up brain energy to focus on comprehension.
Please feel free to contact BEAM's Literacy Staff for additional information regarding our programs.