Language Arts

Language Arts

From kindergarten through grade 5, teachers use the SFUSD ELA PK-12 Core Curriculum Scope and Sequence to design curriculum. Teachers draw on a research-based instructional model we call the Comprehensive Approach to Literacy. Through this approach we stress the essential dimensions of reading and writing through whole class, small group and independent student practice in literacy instruction.  This includes multiple strategies to teach reading, writing and word study. Daily read-alouds, independent reading time (i.e., reading workshop), writing workshop, and systematic word study instruction are key features of the approach. 

Readers and Writers Workshops

The workshop model is the District adopted method of teaching reading and writing in which a pre-determined block of time is set aside for reading and writing activities every day. The session begins with a daily mini-lesson by the teacher, followed by independent reading and/or writing. It also includes the teacher working with students in small groups and individual conferences based on student needs, as well as students working in partnerships with their peers.  Reading and Writing Workshop is organized into units that span the genres of narrative, opinion and informational text and writing at each of the grade levels.

All teachers assess students in reading three times a year to identify students’ reading behaviors.  Teachers identify student’s individual strengths as well as goals in reading to support their growth in comprehension and responding to text both in fiction and informational genres.  Students are offered texts at their independent reading levels during genre studies and during independent reading time, and are challenged by instructional level text when working with their teachers.

Many of the McKinley teachers received training through Columbia University’s Teachers College and bring the Workshop model to their classrooms.  Others have received training from District professional development and site-based workshops. McKinley has a part-time literacy coach who is on-site 3 days per week who is working with teachers to improve best practices in classroom instruction to meet our diverse student needs. Her work consists of one-on-one coaching with individual teachers, facilitating grade level collaborative meetings focused on improving student academic success, and planning and leading professional development with the staff.