“Oh, we don’t give grades.”
It’s a remark that continues to raise eyebrows among parents and even educators. And understandably so: letter-grades are so entrenched in American schools as the measure of achievement that a school without them can seem lax or even negligent, as though it has no interest in assessing its learners’ progress.
But at Long-View, nothing could be further from the truth….
At Long-View, we work to protect our reading minutes and be sure that literacy instructional time does not go to activities that do not involve “eyes on print.” We protect time for independent reading, and know that explicit and high-level instruction, access to high-interest texts, and volume are crucial.
That being said, there is not enough time for independent reading during the day at school. We hold ambitious goals for daily reading at home….
At Long-View, learners are encouraged to extend their learning beyond the boundaries of the school day—to see their learning as a constant process and embrace it as their own responsibility. This month, all of us in the Long-View community have a special opportunity to do just that, and it’s right down the street: the Texas Book Festival….
At Long-View, learners are daily entangled in words, obsessed with writing, and bewitched by books. During literacy block, learners across age and experience grow to feel and understand that writing and reading are essential to who we are as individuals and as a learning community. We are not just people who do the acts of reading and writing; we are readers and writers. Literacy block is serious work, but it is seriously fun.
What do we mean by the reading life and the writing life?
“Give me liberty or give me death,” read a large poster hanging on the door of our literacy classroom early this January. We were kicking off an intense study of information texts through an in depth study of the American Revolution. With this rich history content as our kindling, learners dove into reading, writing, and becoming historians like never before....