Our Core Pedagogical Principals and Goals

Our vision for our curriculum has 5 key anchors—reflected in both pedagogy and practice —that we use to align our curriculum and instruction. Alignment allows us  to measure and improve our collective impact while communicating our school’s vision.

    • Student-led collaborative reading & discussion of texts/topics selected by students
    • Self-aware independent reading and language learning that builds a love for reading
    • Self-confidence through self-reflection and academic planning
  • Learning happens in class — homework should not be required for academic success

These core principles offer us a shared basis to create our monthly goals and daily lessons.

Our goal is to develop reading as a lifelong habit and source of joy, learning and self-discovery for our students through daily practice, choice and a community. Through this, we seek to also move students away from an over-reliance on teachers to self-reliance and a sense of self-efficacy and confidence. We do this through a belief that a workshop model allows us to develop an interpretive, collaborative community of supportive peers is not simply a scaffold for ELLs, but an approach to literacy grounded in sociocultural theory and reader response theory.

We believe critical thinking about texts and genres (both written and otherwise) comes from practice, from seeing the ways texts work and how to interpret the author’s intentions, the context of what they are reading, as well as the relevance of their own opinions and perspectives. It starts with trusting their instincts, being curious about others, and then reflecting on their process.

Student-led discourse creates a culture where students see peers as learning partners and allows for instruction on fluency, metacognitive awareness, translanguaging, and comprehension. We will teach students:

    • That reading is a social practice – it offers us a means to engage with others’ ideas and share our own
    • To find texts that are both interesting to them and challenging
    • To be aware of, present and value their ideas, their questions, and their confusions as relevant ideas to have and note through annotations and responses
    • To learn new methods to discuss texts, unpack meaning and navigate different perspectives with their peers
  • To advocate for themselves and, by extension, their communities by setting goals and making plans to achieve them.

We are part of the pedagogical movement that takes an inquiry, dialogic stance toward reading and writing instruction. (again, welcome to the rebellion:) ) We teach best when we are learning from our students—their interests, their personalities, strengths and goals. They learn best when their curiosity is given voice and students take charge over their own learning.

“I choose to build capacity rather than ignoring the truth that most kids don’t—and many can’t—read the novels in our curriculum. A system that supports volume helps adolescent brains develop structures for the problem solving necessary in more difficult reading.”

(Penny Kittle, Book Love, 2013)