The balanced literacy program in Central Bucks includes explicit instruction of strategies and skills, guided practice, and independent application in the five strands of:
- Independent Reading and Ownership of Literacy
- Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, and Word Study
The balanced reading program includes: shared reading, guided reading, explicit skill and strategy instruction, and independent reading. The development of reading comprehension strategies is an key aspect of instruction at all grade levels and continues into middle and high schools.
At the primary levels, direct instruction of phonemic awareness and phonics skills are a critical component of the reading program. Direct instruction and practice to develop reading fluency is also emphasized at these grades.
Students read from a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction texts with nonfiction being emphasized throughout the grades. As students enter the intermediate grades, reading texts related to content area topics is an area of emphasis.
Independent reading is a key component of the reading program as teachers work to build a community of readers with the goal of having students become skilled readers who love reading and choose to read independently.
Standards & Courses of Study
The elementary reading courses of study have been designed to meet the Pennsylvania standards for reading, including the Pennsylvania Common Core State Standards. Materials and approaches are evaluated based on this connection to standards. K-12 Learning Principles and Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions guide the course of study development and instruction in the classroom (see below).
Staff development related to meeting these standards is an ongoing training process for our teachers. Principals, curriculum supervisors, and master teachers direct this training.