The literacy program at Russell Byers Charter School includes a variety of best practices and strategies. Teachers in grades 4k-5 use the Reading Wonders program while teachers in middle school use Harcourt Collections and the Expeditionary Learning Modules. During reading instruction, students at all levels are taught how to incorporate the metacognitive strategies that enhance comprehension and strengthen decoding skills. These strategies include, determining importance, inferring, synthesizing, visualizing and activating schema. The overlay of Expeditionary Learning encourages all learners to become better problem solvers, more in-depth thinkers, and intellectually curious. In order for this to happen, instruction in literacy must include explicit instruction in metacognitive skills and consistent monitoring of the implementation of these skills.
Phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension are explicitly taught beginning in 4 year old kindergarten and are consistently monitored using various teacher made formative and standardized assessments throughout all grades. Differentiated instruction addresses the needs of all students, which are met in guided reading groups and with follow-up interventions.
RBCS Philosophy of Teaching Writing
Russell Byers Charter School students will become independent writers who value the artful process of writing and demonstrate effectively the ability to convey their knowledge. Writing is taught across all curriculums and is showcased and honored frequently through school-wide Writing Fairs and expeditions. Through a shared vision of common language and explicit teaching, students are empowered with the tools to skillfully write a variety of genres and formats.
Student Voices: 7th Grade Editorials
“My hope is to get a scholarship to a high school; and my dream is to be an FBI biologist and work in the medical field.”