We strongly believe in fostering the love of reading and writing at Bruno M. Ponterio Ridge Street School.  We want our children:

    • To be exposed to various genres in both reading and writing.

    • To develop an understanding of the interconnectedness of reading, writing and speaking.

    • To increase fluency, expand vocabulary and develop comprehension strategies.

    • To move from “learning to read" to "reading to learn.”

    • To apply strategies and access skills to be successful readers and writers.

    • To write for a variety of purposes and audiences.

    • To participate in discussions that bring books alive! 

    Our teachers have the opportunity to work with literacy consultants to look at long term goals and short term goals, organize and plan grade level curriculum, and strengthen best practices, and keep up-to-date with current research.  They also plan as a team in order to ensure consistency throughout the grade level.
    We follow a Balanced Literacy Approach to Reading and Writing.  Balanced Literacy incorporates all reading approaches realizing students need to use multiple strategies to become proficient readers and writers.  It provides and cultivates the skills of reading, writing, thinking, speaking and listening for all students.  It includes teaching phonics, grammar skills, reading and comprehension strategies, and writing forms and skills.
    Balanced Literacy is implemented through the Reading and Writing Workshop Model. The teacher begins by modeling the reading/writing strategy that is the focus of the workshop during a mini-lesson. Then, students read or write for an extended period of time as the teacher circulates amongst them to observe, record observations and confer. At the culmination of the workshop session, selected students share their strategies and work with the class. 
    Our Balanced Literacy Program includes these components:


    • Read Aloud


    This is where the teacher reads out loud to the classroom. The teacher can model correct strategies and behaviors. They read with enthusiasm, rhythm, and the proper intonation. This way students can experience the joys of reading long before they can read on their own. 


    • Shared Reading 


    This is when the students and teacher read together. This is an opportunity for students to discover new words and their meanings. 


    • Guided Reading


    This is when teachers are able to work with students who are on the same level. Students are put into small groups, given their own book, and the teacher works with each student to help develop the skills they need.  This is the area in which reading is differentiated in our classroom according to each child's individual reading level.


    • Independent Reading


    This is when students are allowed to choose the books they want to read. This is important for many reasons — one being that reading becomes a more enjoyable experience. Also, when students realize teachers value reading time, they begin to realize that reading must be an important skill.  It is always helpful for you to model for your children and finding time for everyone in your home to read is essential to a successful school-home literacy life.
    • Book Talks


    This is when students work in groups to talk about the books they have read.  They are given the opportunity to share their opinions about characters using evidence from the text, evaluate solutions that are presented in the text and see how characters evolve, identify theme and main idea and supporting it with details, and much, much more.  Students share out in many ways including class presentations, debates, plays, and other project-based activities.


    • Word Study


    Students work with words through fun and engaging activities. Students learn letters and the sounds they make. They then move on to root words, suffixes and prefixes, and how to derive meaning of words.  
    Our students in grades K-3 participate in our Wilson Fundations Program.  It is a supplemental phonics/spelling program delivered to all students in 25-30 minute daily lessons.  Wilson Fundations is used with our existing literature-based reading instruction to provide a comprehensive language arts program.  The program addresses each of the five essential components for reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.)  It explicitly and systematically teaches students how to fluently and accurately decode and spell.  Unlike traditional phonics programs, Wilson instruction is very interactive and multi-sensory.
    • Writing Workshop
    This is when students are explicitly taught skills and strategies for writing. Then they go off and write independently while incorporating the skills they are trying out that day. The teacher comes around and confers with students to help them with their goals.