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Zeroing in on Literacy

Literacy activities are a priority in Parkvilles school day, and are designed so teachers can regularly assess how students are progressing, and target lessons to their weakness. Included: Examples of language arts lessons.

A few days before Election Day, Ms. Birchs second graders were wrapping up a timely week-long lesson about voting. They had read a Success for All book about voting, reviewed vocabulary words, for which they had to write meaningful sentences for two words, and now were answering questions about material in the book.

The vocabulary words included community, election, habitat, issue, pollution, and tax. The book discussed issues on which communities might vote.

Many of the students, though, were struggling to answer and even read the questions, which included some advanced concepts, such as, What does majority rule mean? and Where do communities get money for schools? Taxes was the answer in the book; one student wrote, From parents.

In Ms. Palms fifth grade class, students also were finishing a unit. They had read a Success for All story called The Landry News about a school newspaper. Students read part of the story every day, and then answered questions about the book and reviewed vocabulary words.

Students even practiced writing newspaper articles. They took a test every week on what they had learned from reading the book.

As part of a celebration for completing the book, students planned to portray characters from the story in skits.

We spend about 90 minutes a day on reading, Ms. Palm noted.

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