Bedwell Curriculum Overview

Bedwell Elementary School K-4


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Bedwell is a project school with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project of Columbia University. As a project school, our K-4 literacy curriculum is based upon the Units of Study workshop model. We also have the benefit of working directly with Teacher College’s most experienced staff developers five times a year, and we send teachers and administrators to Teachers College to participate in day-long workshops and multi-day institutes throughout the school year. This professional partnership ensures that our teachers are supported in the most current, effective, research-based practices in the literacy field. 


The reading and writing workshop model is housed inside a more general balanced literacy approach. This approach is based upon differentiating instruction, supporting student independence, and providing students with authentic opportunities to practice and grow as readers and writers. The workshop model of balanced literacy includes daily opportunities for students to read and write, and also includes work with read aloud, word study, interactive writing and shared reading. Our word study program for Kindergarten and First Grade is a multi-sensory phonics program entitled Project Read. Word study in grades 2-4 builds upon the foundation of skills learned in K and First Grade. Students in grades 2-4 spend time each day in word study learning common spelling patterns and vocabulary following a developmentally appropriate scope and sequence of skills and strategies. Best practice tells us that the success of any phonics and word study instruction relies upon opportunities for students to transfer newly gained skills to their daily reading and writing. So although phonics and word study comprise about a 20 minute slice of the daily literacy block, those letter, sound, spelling pattern and word part skills are practiced and applied in the context of the reading and writing workshops. 


Kindergarten Units of Study

Reading: 

We Are Readers, Emergent Reading: Looking Closely at Familiar Texts, Super Powers: Reading with Print Strategies and Sight Word Power, Bigger Books, Bigger Reading Muscles, Becoming Avid Readers, Growing Expertise in Little Books: Reading for Information

Writing: 

Launching the Writing Workshop, Show and Tell: From Labels to  Pattern Books, Writing for Readers, Persuasive Writing for All Kinds, All About Books, Crafting Stories Using All We Know About Narrative Writing


First Grade Units of Study

Reading: 

Building Good Reading Habits, Word Detectives Use All They Know to Solve Words, Learning About the World: Reading Nonfiction, Readers Have Big Jobs to Do: Fluency, Phonics and Comprehension, Meeting Characters and Learning Lessons: A Study of Story Elements, Reading Nonfiction Cover to Cover: Nonfiction Book Clubs

Writing: 

Small Moments: Writing with Focus, Detail and Dialogue, Writing How-To Books, Nonfiction Chapter Books, Poetry, Writing Reviews, From Scenes to Series: Writing Fiction


Second Grade Units of Study

Reading: 

Second Grade Reading Growth Spurt, Becoming Experts: Reading Nonfiction, Accelerating Readers’ Growth in Longer Fiction Books, Bigger Books Mean Amping Up Reading Power, Series Book Clubs, Reading Nonfiction Cover to Cover: Nonfiction Book Clubs

Writing:

Lessons from the Masters: Improving Narrative Craft, The How-To Guide to Nonfiction Writing, Poetry: Big Thoughts in Small Packages, Writing Gripping Fictional Stories, Writing about Reading


Third Grade Units of Study

Reading: 

Building a Reading Life, Mystery: Foundational Skills in Disguise, Reading to Learn: Grasping the Main Ideas and Text Structures, Character Studies, Research Clubs: Elephants, Penguins and Frogs, Oh My!

Writing: 

Crafting True Stories, Changing the World: Persuasive Speeches, Petitions and Editorials, The Art of Information Writing, Baby Literary Essay, Once Upon a Time: Adapting Writing Fairy Tales


Fourth Grade Units of Study

Reading: 

Interpreting Characters: The Heart of the Story, Reading the Weather, Reading the World: Purposeful Reading of Nonfiction, Detail and Synthesis, Historical Fiction Book Clubs

Writing: 

Narrative Writing, Boxes and Bullets: Personal and Persuasive Essays, The Literary Essay: Writing about Fiction, The Arc of the Story: Writing Realistic Fiction, Information Writing



For more information on how to support your students at home, please see the Resources Page.


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