Denny International Middle School

Denny International
Middle School

Language Arts

Learning to read and reading to learn are two of the most important missions of childhood. Parents, community members, and teachers must all maximize their efforts to make certain that each child has the opportunity to experience the great gift of literacy. These efforts will ensure that each individual has the prospect of a life filled with possibilities and a future of literate interaction in the world. By providing children equal access to well-designed, organized, and systematic reading instruction in our schools; we can assure ourselves that Washington students have the greatest possible chance at future academic excellence. – Unknown

Denny Language Arts Program

Denny International Middle School has a partnership with Teachers College Reading and Writing Project through Columbia University. Through this partnership our teachers are trained to guide our students to engage in reading and writing in an authentic way. Denny has been a Writing Workshop school since 2007. In 2010, Denny officially became a Reading Workshop school. We have spent several years training our teachers in Writing Workshop and preparing for the launch of Reading Workshop.

Reading and Writing Workshop are instructional strategies as well as organizational frameworks for language arts instruction. These strategies are in the Balanced Literacy model of delivering instruction of the language arts curriculum. In the workshop, students participate in three broad areas: a mini-lesson conducted by the teacher, activity time, and sharing time. In the workshop strategy, students hold most of the decision-making power regarding material to be read or written, and responses to that reading or writing. The teacher participates as more of a coach or facilitator during workshop time.

One component of Reading Workshop that is paramount to the success of workshop is our classroom libraries. These libraries include properly leveled, high interest, and culturally relevant material. Each class has and will continuing to collect; Classic and new titles, Reading and Writing Workshop Mentor Texts, leveled classroom collections (fiction and non-fiction), books which support teaching comprehension strategies, and favorites (specifically favorite series).

We encourage all parents to take an interest in what your student is writing about, and give them time (at least 30 minutes) to read in their ?just right? books every night.

Kids not only need to read a lot but they need lots of books they can read right at their fingertips. They also need access to books that entice them, attract them to reading. Schools can make it easy and unrisky for children to take books home for the evening or weekend by worrying less about losing books to children and more about losing children to illiteracy.

What Really Matters for Struggling Readers: Designing Research-Based Programs, Richard L. Allington.