Comprehensive Coverage of the Common Core
You'll find intensive instruction and practice embedded in every Literacy by Design® lesson. Students are instructed multiple times in each CCSS and encounter many opportunities to practice and master each Common Core literacy concept. Additional lessons in the Essential Resource Guides provided targeted CCSS skill lessons.
Utilizing the workshop model, Literacy by Design lessons link literacy skills across the curriculum with integrated, standards-based Science and Social Studies content. Reading instruction, writing practice, speaking and listening, and language development are all linked to the theme content to reflect the integrated literacy model of the Common Core State Standards.
Literature and Informational Text
All questions and tasks before, during, and after reading in Literacy by Design are designed to enhance student comprehension, encourage close reading, and provide extension to engage students further with text materials.
Comprehension instruction is explicit and connected to link whole class, small group, and independent reading of a variety of text types and lengths. Literacy by Design focuses on eight key research-based strategies for comprehension: Making Connections, Determining Importance, Using Fix-Up Strategies, Inferring, Synthesizing, Creating Sensory and Emotional Images, Asking Questions, and Monitoring Understanding.
Comprehension Instruction: Intentional, Explicit, Focused (114k)
Text complexity in Literacy by Design was determined through combined consideration of qualitative and quantitative measures to provide students with repeated opportunities to encounter and interact with complex text. Task and reader considerations were of particular focus, especially in developing multiple levels of text difficulty for small group reading to suit individual development needs.
Text selection was guided by grade-level content connections in support of each grade’s science and social studies themes, by target proportions of nonfiction and fiction, and by specific goals for the broadest representation of genres and voices.
Literacy by Design instruction in spelling, writing, oral language and listening comprehension provides a foundation for language development and correct conventions. Weekly spelling routines, listening instruction during read alouds, and class discussions invite students to view, discuss, and interact with academic language. Reading skills are comprehensive in nature, addressing grammar, discriminative listening, and ways to develop responses through Turn and Talk.
Interactive Literacy: Changing the Face of Whole-Group and Small-Group Instruction (264k)
Literacy by Design offers meaningful vocabulary instruction of Tier II and Tier III words across content-area themes following Dr. Robert Marzano’s six-step vocabulary model. Academic vocabulary is addressed in each of the six steps during Whole Class Instruction: Explain, Restate, Show, Discuss, Reflect and Refine, and Apply in Learning Game.
A Six-Step Process for Teaching Vocabulary (206k)
Speaking and Listening
Daily whole class discussions help students clearly express their ideas in a variety of settings. Explicit instruction on specific listening skills occurs during modeled read alouds. Explicit instruction on both speaking and listening occurs during multiple classroom discussions, including student presentations of their writing on publication day.
Literacy by Design writing is designed to complement reading instruction by providing a full range of developmentally appropriate writing tasks that ask students to rely on personal experiences, texts encountered during reading, and their imaginations. Students write about their reading to communicate and answer questions; they also write for self-expression. The reading-writing connection is strong as students will encounter a mentor text in their reading that will be directly related to each writing form they will encounter during writing.
Each theme focuses on one form of writing and includes a writer’s model based on developmentally appropriate models from the CCSS.
Writing Instruction (245k)
Literacy by Design development was guided by the scientific principles of reading foundational skills: Print Concepts, Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Word Recognition, and Fluency. These foundational skills are modeled, shared, and applied in independent practice to help students develop into proficient readers across multiple text types. Theme selections alternate between Science and Social Studies content to extend skills across disciplines.
Meaningful Phonics and Phonemic Awareness Instruction (247k)
Literacy by Design places an emphasis on fluency as one part of a strong reading foundation. Dr. Michael Opitz’s research on fluency guided the design of the program to include repeated readings, choral reading, reader’s theater, and time to practice these strategies. During whole class instruction, teachers model fluency skills every day. Systematic and explicit fluency instruction occurs in every small group lesson, where students receive differentiated instruction targeted to their skill level.
A Focus on Fluency (312k)
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