Literacy

LITERACY

Literacy refers to each student’s ability to read, write, think and communicate effectively in the ways specific to each subject or discipline. Mathematics requires different reading and thinking skills than does History, Literature, or Science. For this reason, each teacher becomes a teacher of literacy in their classroom or field. Border Land School Division has developed a literacy vision focused around six areas:

  • Developing a Divisional Literacy Culture
  • Quality Classroom Instruction
  • Support for Teachers
  • Access and Choice for Students
  • Effective Interventions
  • Early Years Literacy

Divisional priorities and programming are designed around these focus areas with the use of divisional data to provide a window into divisional strengths, needs, and next steps. The use of division-wide Performance Based Reading Assessments early and late in the year provides a focus for teaching and a baseline to measure growth. The ongoing classroom-based cycle of assessment, planning, teaching and re-assessment is a model for responsive teaching that is student-focused.

EARLY YEARS

In addition to Performance Based Reading Assessments, early years teachers use assessment tools such as the Early Years Evaluation (EYE) and Observation Survey to plan literacy learning for all students, including targeted supports and interventions for small groups and individuals. Reading Recovery, Smart Start, and Early Intervention in Reading (EIR) are available in most BLSD schools.

MIDDLE AND SENIOR YEARS

BLSD has invested extensively in Reading Apprenticeship (RA) as a model for mastery teaching and mentoring of literacy skills and of learning in general. RA is a comprehensive framework for reading mentorship that integrates four dimensions of learning:

  • The Personal Dimension (individual learning identity)
  • The Social Dimension (the classroom community)
  • The Cognitive Dimension (specific learning strategies)
  • The Knowledge-Building Dimension (specific ways of reading and thinking in each subject)

At the heart of the classroom is an ongoing metcognitive conversation which serves to develop students' control of their learning in all 4 dimensions and to make visible their thinking in various discplines they study. RA supports the underlying philosophy and literacy practices embedded in the new provincial ELA curriculum framework and integrates best practice in each of the academic disciplines.

The literacy vision of BLSD is supported by a divisional literacy team and two literacy coaches.