Last week, I shared some math ideas that our Math Committee Members learned at the NCTM conference in Seattle. I thought it would be great to let you know what our Literacy Committee is up to and share some resources to support you in working with your children.
One exciting addition to literacy instruction here at Montair is in our utilization of an instructional coach for our teachers. Marissa Ware, an experienced teacher and literacy coach, is on campus every Friday working with Montair Teachers TK-5. She models lessons for teachers, watches lessons and gives feedback. She also models accountable talk through read alouds, and helps with planning units and lessons. This extra support is funded by your Foundation contributions and is adding strategies that can help our staff continually grow our instructional practices. Last week, a cohort of teachers grades 3-5 worked on using individual student conferences to differentiate our reading instruction. I heard so much positive feedback from all participants! We will continue with these literacy lab groups after the winter break.
So what can you do to keep growing with us to support your readers at home? Research shows that reading aloud to our children has huge cognitive and social-emotional benefits. I just ordered the book,
The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction
by Meghan Cox Gurdon. A staff member heard about this book and we are excited to explore it. We know that reading to our students allows them to access books that they might not be able to fully understand on their own. We know that conversations with parents about the books we read together can allow students to practice inferring and critical thinking as well as listening comprehension. We also know that the emotional bond of sitting together, sharing a book with a loved one, connects strong, positive emotions to the act of reading. What I am looking forward to learning is how the latest neuroscience confirms the power of reading aloud to our kids. The book is said to bring together the latest scientific research, practical tips, and reading recommendations.
Here’s to another great week of learning together!