Learning to read is a basic building block for learning. Proficiency in reading needs to be attained early in the lives of our students and continue to develop as texts increase in complexity and content. Arlington's reading curriculum is based on the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework and best practices from research. Our balanced literacy program includes experiences with a variety of instructional practices: read alouds, shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, and a systematic, sequential, multi-sensory phonics program.
Early in our students' school experience they have many opportunities to learn the essential components of reading. Students use multiple sources of information to learn about print and books including the sounds of spoken language (phonological awareness ) and the letters of the alphabet and letter-sound relationships (phonics). In addition, they make connections while they think about their reading, search for clues, self correct, check sources of information, and confirm by rereading to understand what they have read (comprehension). Through teacher modeling, guided practice, and independent practice students develop their ability to read smoothly and naturally with good expression (fluency). A variety of texts and genres are used to assist students in learning new words and building their knowledge of what words mean in a particular context (vocabulary). The successful application of these complex and interrelated components enables children to become proficient, independent readers.
Our goal is for children to develop the skills, interest, and motivation to view reading as an enjoyable life-long habit that will help them better understand their world.