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Literacy in Brighton. By Lanni Maszerowski. The town of Brighton. First ring suburb of Rochester, NY 3 rd smallest town in Monroe County Population of 36,000 25% of the households have school-aged children The median income for a family is $70,000. Brighton memorial library.

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Literacy in brighton

Literacy in Brighton

By Lanni Maszerowski

The town of brighton
The town of Brighton

  • First ring suburb of Rochester, NY

  • 3rd smallest town in Monroe County

  • Population of 36,000

  • 25% of the households have school-aged children

  • The median income for a family is $70,000

Brighton memorial library
Brighton memorial library

  • Children’s Center

    • Play areas with puppets, costumes,

      and other storytelling props

    • Daily Story Time

    • Child-Friendly Computers

    • Library Club (kids age 8–10)

    • Summer Reading Program

  • Adult Programs

    • Literature Circles

    • Poetry Readings

    • Creative Writing Seminars

    • Book Swaps

  • Every Child Ready to Read

    • Literacy Program implemented by the Brighton children’s librarians

    • Targeted to parents with children ages 0–5

    • Provides parents with Early Childhood Literacy Kits

Brighton recreation department
Brighton Recreation Department

  • Baby American Sign Language classes

    • Teach basic signs to parents and their children (6 months – 2 years)

    • Use songs, books, and games

    • Claims to help children develop larger vocabularies

  • Parent/Toddler Classes

    • Incorporate active play and the development of motor skills

    • Most have an emphasis on increasing exposure to books, songs, and creative activities

  • Literature Circles

  • Seasonal Activities

    • The Art of Telling Ghost Stories

    • Letters to Santa

    • Valentine’s Poetry

  • Typing/Internet Safety Classes

Brighton central school district
Brighton Central School District

  • 3,507 enrolled for the 2011-2012 school year

  • 4 schools

    • Council Rock Primary School (K-2)

    • French Road Elementary School (3-5)

    • Twelve Corners Middle School (6-8)

    • Brighton High School (9-12)

  • Average student to teacher ratio is 12:1

  • Participates in the Rochester Urban-Suburban Program

French road elementary school
French road elementary school

  • Grades 3-5

  • 781 students

  • Average class size is 21

  • ~3% of students are English language learners

  • ~6% of students have documented disabilities

  • 2011 National Blue Ribbon School

#1 Fund-Raising School in the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope For Heart – 12 years in a row!

Nys ela exam
nysela exam

Serious Academic


Needs Extra Help Meets Standards Exceeds Standards

Literacy @ fres

  • Use Houghton MiffinReading anthology at each grade level

  • Use the Balanced Literacy Approach

    • Reading Workshop

    • Writing Workshop

    • Word Study

    • Listening andSpeaking Studies

  • 3rd grade teachers utilize the Daily 5

Reading workshop
Reading workshop

  • Independent Reading

  • Read Aloud

  • Guided Reading

    • Teacher chooses material based on student needs

    • Teacher works with a small group on a specific skill

    • Claim that struggling readers may benefit from daily guided reading instruction

  • Literature Circles

    • Implemented 0-4 times a year, depending on the teacher

Writing workshop
Writing workshop

  • Independent Writing

    • Students write using a prompt, topic, or genre

    • Process-Oriented

      • Rough Draft

      • Peer Conference

      • Revised Rough Draft

      • Teacher Conference

      • Final Copy

  • 6+1 Writing Traits

    • Idea Development, Organization, Word Choice, Voice, Sentence Fluency, Conventions, Presentation

  • Guided Writing

Word study

  • New Word Study program

    • Revamped over the summer

    • Eliminated grade level spelling lists

    • New emphasis on patterns and sounds instead of just spelling

  • Students are informally assessed periodically by the classroom teacher to determine a phonics skill to focus on

  • During the week students participate in Fountas and Pinnell word study activities at school and at home

  • Students are assessed on their ability to spell the words and to sort the words and explain their thinking

Listening and speaking studies
Listening and speaking studies

  • Components of effective listening

    • Eyes on speaker

    • Sitting attentively

    • Note important information (retell, summarize)

  • Components of effective speaking

    • Enunciating

    • Pacing

    • Audibility

    • Good posture

    • Eye contact

    • Confidence

Literacy assessments

  • AIMSweb Reading Fluency Assessment [September, January, June]

  • Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment [September, February, June]

  • MAP (Measuring Academic Progress) Assessment [date varies by grade]

  • Practice NYS ELA exam [January]

  • NYS ELA exam [May]

Fres library
FRES Library

  • Each class visits the library for a lesson with the librarian every six days (once a cycle)

  • The Library Club meets once a week before school and is open to all students

  • The Rochester Regional Library Council named the FRES library the 2011 School Library of the Year

Literacy specialists

  • 1 Literacy Coach

    • Observes each teacher during ELA several times a year

    • Leads seminars presenting current research and curriculum updates

    • Releases a monthly literacy newsletter for teachers

    • Pushes in to model strategies for teachers

    • Helps teachers set goals and meet goals

  • Reading Specialists

    • Push in to classes with students in ELA AIS

    • Pull out students in ELA AIS for extra help

Before school intervention
Before school intervention

  • Early Morning Reading

    • 3rd grade students are recommended due to deficits with decoding

    • Meets three times a week before school

    • Teachers implement the Wilson Reading Program

    • Reinforce skills on the computer using Lexio SOS, a reading program

  • Publisher’s Club

    • 4th grade students are recommended due to deficits with reading and writing to a prompt

    • Meets twice a week before school

    • Goal is to improve skills before the NYS ELA exam

Home school literacy connection

  • Principal sends out a monthly “Literacy Connection” newsletter for parents

  • Parents are encouraged to be volunteers

    • Library helpers

    • Guest Speakers

    • Read Alouds

  • Scholastic Book Orders go home monthly

  • Intergenerational Committee

    • Made up of members of the community

    • Meets monthly to plan activities for people of all ages

  • PTSA

A closer look a 5 th grade class
A CLOSER LOOK: A 5th grade class

  • 20 students (4 ELLs, 3 students in ELA AIS)

  • Daily ELA Schedule

    • Daily Oral Language (10-15 minutes daily)

    • Reading Workshop (45-60 minutes daily)

      • SQUIRT (15 minutes)

      • Word Work (15 minutes)

      • Guided Reading (15 minutes)

      • Reading Response Journals (15 minutes)

    • Writing Workshop (45-60 minutes daily)

      • Independent Writing (15 minutes)

      • Writing Conferences (15 minutes)

      • Guided Writing (15 minutes)

Texts used over 3 days

  • Guided Reading Groups – “Survival” Unit

    • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (middle level)

    • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (middle level)

    • Far North by Will Hobbs (high level)

  • Read Aloud

    • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

  • Reader’s Response Journals

    • Frindle by Andrew Clements (read during the previous week)

  • Independent Reading (SQUIRT)

    • Student selected

Teacher s views
Teacher’s views

  • Methods

    • Guided Reading is the main part of her ELA instruction

      • Students are put in groups based on F & P reading level

    • Constantly assessing her students informally

    • Emphasizes the importance of daily independent reading

  • Goals (set yearly with mentor)

    • Implement the new Word Study program effectively

    • Increase the reading levels of her ELL students

    • Read more literature — both YA books and current educational research

  • Advice

    • Use literature that is relevant and authentic

    • Get parents involved — the difference is enormous

My views
My views

  • My experience in the Brighton Central School District

    • Attended BCSD schools for K-12, graduated in 2007

    • Run a summer camp at French Road

    • Currently a substitute teacher in the district

  • Brighton’s strengths with literacy

    • Research-based programs, constantly evolving

    • Assessment leads to instruction

    • Whole group, small group, partner, and individual activities

  • Areas for improvement

    • Group students by a skill they need to improve, not just reading level

    • Spend more time doing independent reading

    • More integration of ELA with social studies and science


  • Brighton Central School District homepage


  • Town of Brighton homepage