CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION
LONGMEADOW PUBLIC SCHOOLS | 535 BLISS ROAD | LONGMEADOW, MA 01106 | P 413-565-4200 | F 413-565-4215
Our shared vision of student learning in the Longmeadow Public Schools centers on the following core beliefs:
Reading is thinking
Writing is decision-making
Math is problem-solving
To ensure these ideals are embedded in daily teaching and learning, the district provides a structured, comprehensive approach to learning that nurtures understanding, builds on foundational elements, provides customized learning for all students, and fosters the necessary 21st century college and career readiness skills our students need to be successful.
Literacy learning is developmentally tailored to meet the needs of students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. The district provides a balanced approach to literacy, a methodology that blends reading comprehension, fluency, phonics, word study, and writing permeates classroom instruction. Furthermore, balanced literacy fosters a high level of student engagement and a love for reading and writing. To ensure strong foundations in these skills and habits of mind, balanced literacy follows a structured approach to growing proficient readers and writers. These structures gradually release responsibility for reading and writing skills from the teacher to the student and include the following:
Mini lessons to explicitly model skills and strategies
Independent reading and writing for students to apply and practice
Small-group instruction for students that share similar needs
1:1 conferring to deliver personalized instruction
The structured nature of balanced literacy builds a predictable routine and guarantees opportunities for differentiated instruction and intervention.
Readers’ Workshop (RW) is a research-based approach that addresses the needs of all students in a classroom. RW begins with a focus lesson where the teacher explicitly models a strategy or skill. After the focus lesson, the students read independently to practice the strategy or skill.
During independent reading, students are reading “just-right” books that are matched to their individual abilities and interests. The teacher confers with students during independent reading to be sure they are successful in their practice or to provide 1:1 instruction around any particular needs. Sometimes, the teacher may work with a small group of students who have similar needs during independent reading.
Readers' Workshop is organized into units of study throughout the year. Year-long trajectories map the units of study for each grade level. Units of study are comprised of daily mini lessons that typically emphasize "in-the-head" strategies used by proficient readers. A series of essential lessons are necessary to develop these reading strategies. Mini lessons are complemented by a high volume of independent reading during which educators gradually release responsibility to students through small-group instruction and 1:1 conferring.
Writers’ Workshop (WW) is a research-based approach that addresses the needs of all students in a classroom. WW begins with a focus lesson where the teacher explicitly models a strategy, approach, or skill. After the focus lesson, the students write independently to practice the focus lesson concept.
Independent writing includes a high level of student choice to foster engagement, relevance, and authenticity. The teacher confers with students during independent writing to provide 1:1 instruction. Sometimes, the teacher may work with a small group of students who have similar needs during independent writing.
Writers’ Workshop is organized into units of study throughout the year. Year-long trajectories map the unit of study for each grade level. Units of study in Writers’ Workshop are crafted around particular genres, themes, or writing strategies. Each unit of study engages student writers in all phases of a writer’s craft including immersion, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Mini lessons within a unit of study are complemented by a high volume of independent writing during which educators gradually release responsibility to students via small-group instruction and 1:1 conferring.