We Value Life-long Reading
Our goal is to see that children become life-long readers. This is a process that takes a very long time. Many schools focus on isolated skills taught from basal readers. Our approach is to provide a wide variety of authentic reading materials available in the classrooms for children to explore. Adults read what they are interested in and this is no different for beginning and early readers. We want our children to come to books with interest and excitement in school as well as outside and throughout their lives.
Reading is Not Easy to Define
Reading involves many layers of understanding, including phonemic awareness, flow, comprehension, point of view, and context. It is not until all of these skills are integrated into a child’s daily reading pattern that true reading occurs. For example, a child may be able to break down sight/sound associations and identify words on a page based on mastery of phonemic awareness. You might listen to such a child “read” and it seems that he or she is fluent. However, this is not nearly enough. Can this same child explain what she or he just read? Does this child approach reading with joy and excitement? Our goal is to support our students while they learn to integrate all the aspects of reading and to encourage their interest and excitement in reading.
Reading is Developmental
We do not expect that all children will “read” by the end of Kindergarten or even first grade. The acquisition of reading skills occurs on a developmental spectrum that typically falls between ages 4 and 8. In the same way that children develop the skill to ride a two-wheeled bicycle, reading happens when there is readiness. Small class sizes at all grade levels allow us to keep a careful eye upon each child to make certain he or she is demonstrating developmentally appropriate steps in their approach to reading.