Melissa and Nikki follow the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project's curriculum for first grade, modifying it for the individual needs within their classroom. The main components of the Reading section of the Reading and Writing Project Literacy block:
1. Read Aloud with the whole group--Melissa will read a book and start a discussion about Big Books and regular children's picture books. Checking who is following/not following as she is reading.
2. Assignment of children to Guided Reading groups, within which Melissa and Nikki shift children around, according to their current learning objective. The website features groups that have been created along basic ability lines: Early-emergent readers, On-grade-level readers, and Above-grade-level readers.
3. Assignment of leveled books that children read in Independent Reading.
4. Whole and small group Book Talks about various themes within and between books the class has read.
Sequence of reading units adapted from Teachers College:
1. Readers build good habits (introduction to reading workshop, building skills and stamina for independent reading, reading with a partner, introduction to pair shares).
2. Readers read just-right books and use strategies (choosing appropriate independent reading books and how to read them).
3. Readers talk about books to help them understand what they are reading (spotlight on
4. Readers recognize when books have patterns and they use those patterns to read with accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. (building further comprehension by fostering decoding and fluency skills).
5. Readers bring word power to the reading (decoding strategies and cross checking cues).
6. Readers gather around an interest (non fiction studies).
7. Readers listen to the song of a text (reading with fluency and phrasing with a focus on poetry).
8. Readers think across books (author studies and connections between books and themes).
Over the course of the school year, the class has followed this sequence of reading goals. Melissa and Nikki are now teaching units 7 and 8, listening to the song of a text, and teaching readers to make connections between books and themes.