The goal of the English Language Arts program in Westwood is to provide students with authentic reading, writing, speaking, and listening experiences. Addressing the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Frameworks, students engage in these experiences within a variety of text genres and across every content area. Reading and writing in the primary grades involves teachers modeling their own thinking, questions, and strategies for students in a manner that brings transparency to the reading and writing processes, while gradually releasing the responsibility for employing these skills and strategies to the students.  Simultaneously, students learn the foundational literacy skills necessary to read texts independently and compose their own thoughts in writing. As students move through the elementary grades, the depth and complexity of the texts, compositions, and discussions increases. Teachers facilitate student-led discussions in a manner that allows students to synthesize a variety of information from a range of sources. 


Westwood Public School educators use Reading and Writing Workshop as their primary instructional model. Pulling from a variety of researched-based resources, teachers introduce and model specific skills or strategies during a targeted focus lesson. The skills and strategies chosen are based on the individual and collective needs of the students. The students are then given in opportunity to apply the skill or strategy during independent reading and writing times. During this time, the teacher conferences with students individually or meets with students in small-groups to address individual needs, further develop the targeted skill or strategy, and assess for the transfer of skills and strategies into students' independent practices. The conferencing and small-group portion of the workshops is also a time during which teachers identify the specific needs of the students that will be addressed in future focus lessons. Finally, the Reading and Writing Workshop times usually conclude with a whole-class sharing time that allows students to learn from each other what is helping them to be successful readers and writers.


In addition, Westwood employs specific phonics and spelling programs.  The program in grades K-2 is Fundations and in grades 3-5 is Sitton Spelling.   


In grades K-2 teachers draw on the program Handwriting Without Tears for handwriting instruction.  At the end of grade 2, students are introduced to Type 2 Learn, an web-based program for learning keyboarding skills. 




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