Reading Instruction at The Carey School
At the heart of our mission is to inspire in our students a life-long love of learning and the pursuit of excellence within a diverse community. The newly revised Reading Program at The Carey School seeks to instill a love of reading and learning by providing the foundation necessary to develop life-long readers, passionate about the world in which we live and full of imagination for the world in which only books can take us to. With the core of our mission in mind, the faculty of The Carey School has developed a newly revised reading program.
The Reading Program at The Carey School is directly aligned with the Standards for English Language Arts published by The National Council of Teachers of English and The International Reading Association. Additionally, the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework and the California English-Language Arts Content Standards are used as guides to help support our Reading Program.
Our reading program in the early grades emphasizes the development of reading skills through exposure to a variety of print forms including nursery rhymes, fables, folktales, “Just So Stories,” poetry, magazines, newspapers, picture books, and chapter books. Our program emphasizes exposure to fiction and non-fiction as well as a variety of different genres. The literature-based reading series published by Houghton Mifflin helps guide our program in PK-2 as we teach students to decode, read fluently, analyze words, develop understandings of text structure and increase vocabulary.
In Grades 2-5, literature circles are used primarily as a means to encourage students to actively interact with increasingly difficult text including both fiction and non-fiction. As opposed to traditional reading comprehension instruction methodologies in which students read a chapter and then answer comprehension related questions, literature circles require students to think critically and analyze text. Students take on roles such as Discussion Director in which they develop their own questions from the text, Word Wizard in which they choose difficult vocabulary words for definitions, Summarizer in which they summarize main points from the text, Artful Artist in which they draw their own interpretations of scenes from the text, Passage Picker in which they choose intriguing passages from the text, and Connector in which they describe personal connections they make to the text including text-text, text-self and text-world connections.
Explicit instruction in reading comprehension strategies is a significant component of our reading program. During the 2007-2008 school year, faculty at The Carey School are working in study groups to implement teaching methodologies related to explicit instruction of reading comprehension strategies as discussed in the book, Mosaic of Thought (2nd Ed., 2007) by Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmerman. Reading comprehension strategies include monitoring for meaning, using and creating schema, asking questions, determining importance, inferring, using sensory and emotional images, and synthesizing (Keene & Zimmerman, 2007, pg. 14). Susan Zimmerman will be on campus in August 2009 to work with Carey School faculty to help solidify our understanding of incorporating these strategies into our daily instruction.
Another critical component of our reading program involves reading independently for enjoyment. “Story Time” in the younger grades and “Read Aloud” in the older grades play a significant role as we expose children every day to the joys of reading. However, we also encourage children to read books of their own choice during independent reading time in the classroom as well as at home. Independent reading time in the classroom ranges from 10-30 minutes anywhere from twice a week to every day. The following chart provides information regarding approximately how long we believe students should read a book of their choice independently for enjoyment at home. These approximate times are in addition to any assigned reading for literature circles and/or other areas of the curriculum. Each homeroom class has its own methodologies for collecting information regarding how much independent reading occurs at home.
Parents read to children 10-15 minutes per night.
Students read for enjoyment approximately 40-60 minutes per week; combined with parents reading to children.
Students read for enjoyment approximately 50-70 minutes per week.
The Carey School Standards for Reading Education are included below in PDF format to provide the scope and sequence of our reading program. Our learning goals and objectives are developmentally appropriate and are color coordinated according to the grade level in which the skills are of primary focus. You will also find a PDF version of “The Top 10 Reading Strategies,” a poster hanging in every classroom (PK-5) to provide common language regarding the strategies great readers use to comprehend a variety of texts. Additionally, you will find a PDF version entitled “Core and Suggested Literature” for each grade level (PK-5). This document provides a list of literature used at each grade level in the homeroom classrooms and a list of suggested literature that can be used at home to encourage independent reading. Finally, you will find a PDF version entitled “NCTE and IRA Standards for the English Language Arts.” This document provides an overview of the overarching standards as published by The National Council for Teachers of English and The International Reading Association that guide our reading program. We encourage you to view these documents as they provide a comprehensive overview of our reading program. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Director of Studies, Tracy Gray-Hair at .
Click HERE to view The Carey School Standards for Reading Instruction
Click HERE to view the National Standards Published by the National Council for Teachers of English and the International Reading Association
Click HERE to view The Carey School Core and Suggested Literature for Grades PK-5
Click HERE to view The Carey School “Top 10 Reading Strategies” for Grades PK-1
Click HERE to view The Carey School “Top 10 Reading Strategies” for Grades 2-