Our literacy curriculum, THINK Literacy, was developed by in-house experts and is designed to prepare scholars for any reading or writing challenge they will encounter throughout their education. Through the program, we strive for scholars to love reading and discussing their ideas.
Beginning in Kindergarten, THINK literacy focuses on avid reading, elegant writing and critical thinking. At the heart of THINK Literacy is Success Academy’s deep belief that scholars become great readers and writers by consistently reading and writing.
Through the various components of THINK Literacy, our scholars learn to express their ideas clearly and precisely and learn how to construct compelling arguments. The result is that our scholars are great critical thinkers who understand the power and importance of reading and writing.
There are five reading components and three writing components to the THINK Literacy curriculum.
Shared Text gives our scholars the opportunity to interpret brief texts in a highly engaging way. It helps them develop and hone their critical thinking skills with the support of their teacher. First, scholars determine the meaning of the text and learn to find evidence to support their ideas. Then, scholars closely examine the author’s use of language, punctuation and various literary devices to understand how the author conveyed the central idea. Scholars then write to show their understanding of the text they’ve been reading. Studying excellent writing is one of the ways we help scholars become great writers themselves.
Guided Reading is a powerful tool to help deepen our scholars’ understanding of books and then help them rapidly improve the level at which they read and understand books. Small groups of scholars work with their teacher to read and understand a book that is one level above where they are reading independently. The teacher introduces the book and provides individualized coaching during Guided Reading so that scholars are able to read increasingly more difficult books.
Our Read Alouds and Book Discussions are opportunities for scholars to fall in love with great books and to think critically about them. The teacher reads to the class and will verbalize what she is thinking as she reads in order to help scholars see and understand how an excellent reader thinks through the text he or she is reading. During strategic points throughout the book, the teacher will ask scholars to discuss a part of the book (either through “Think Alouds” or “Turn and Talks”) to further their understanding of the meaning of the book. The last of these discussions leads into a whole class discussion during which scholars discuss and debate the book.
The daily Reading Workshop provides time for scholars to read each day and encourages them to think and write about the books they are reading. During the Reading Workshop, the teacher first introduces one aspect of excellent reading by explaining and modeling it. Scholars then go back to their reading spots with books that are appropriate to their reading level so they can read independently and continue to practice the lesson provided by the teacher. As scholars read, they are encouraged to write about what they are reading.
Word Study covers phonics, vocabulary, spelling and grammar instruction in order to ground scholars in the fundamentals and conventions of written and oral language. This sets scholars up to be accurate and proficient readers and writers.
Our Writing Workshop teaches scholars to write in a variety of genres such as stories, poems, essays or articles. They learn to write pieces around main ideas, using structure, details and mechanics to make their point. During Writing Workshop the teacher introduces and models one aspect of excellent writing. Scholars then have the opportunity to write independently and practice this skill. The teacher also works with a small group of scholars during this time to provide individualized attention to lift the level of their writing.
During Shared Writing the teacher and scholars compose a piece of writing together, with the teacher acting as the coach and scribe. Through writing together, scholars internalize what it feels like to craft great writing. Shared Writing is a way to show scholars what they are aiming for in their own independent writing.
While Shared Writing focuses on ideas, structure and detail, Interactive Writing provides scholars with the chance to practice the physical mechanics of writing. During Interactive Writing, the teacher and scholars write a piece, or part of a piece, together, sharing the pen. Scholars have individual whiteboards to practice writing specific words and phrases.