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First Grade Literacy

girl reading a book

The 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy provides the primary foundation for literacy instruction at the Morse School. This framework builds on the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy and clearly defines and communicates what is expected of students at each grade level as they grow into a literate person of the 21st century.

The Literacy Collaborative Framework provides a research-based balanced literacy instructional model that is student-centered, language-based, and process-oriented. The model incorporates research-based methods of instruction while focusing on the complex strategies and skills of reading, writing, and using oral language.
In Grade 1, literacy instructional time should focus on three critical areas:

  • Reading Workshop: Students read a variety of self-selected and teacher-selected texts during Guided Reading, Independent Reading, Shared Reading, and Independent Literacy Work. Students learn effective comprehension strategies that they apply to fiction and nonfiction text

  • Writing Workshop: Following the Cambridge Public Schools Writing Curriculum, which is based on Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study, students write in a variety of genres. Each unit addresses particular standards that are directly related to the content, skills, and application of the unit.

  • Language and Word Study: Students explore the sounds, rhythms, and details of language and words through interactive read aloud, interactive writing, shared/modeled reading, shared/modeled writing, handwriting, language/word play and letter/word study. They explore the different ways we use language, build phonological awareness and vocabulary skills, and learn the conventions of print, including letters, sounds, and words.