Pathways to Reading and Writing
What is Pathways?
Loudoun County's literacy program is called Pathways to Reading and Writing. Pathways is a balanced and multi-approach literacy framework. Teachers in grades K-5 incorporate the skills of spelling, writing, reading comprehension, phonics, and vocabulary into their daily instruction.
What does literacy instruction look like in my child's classroom?
Reading Workshop & Writing Workshop:
The teacher begins each workshop with a mini-lesson to provide students with explicit instruction in a reading/writing strategy. First, the teacher models the strategy and then gives students an opportunity to practice with a partner or small group of peers. Following the mini-lesson, students are sent off to work independently. During this time, the teacher confers with students individually and conducts small group instruction. Midway through workshop, the teacher may share an observation, offer a pointer, address a problem, or rally students to keep working hard. At the end of each workshop, the class reconvenes to share new insights and recap the day's work.
Interactive Read Aloud:
The teacher reads a selected text aloud to the whole class and invites students to respond to the text. Through this activity, students learn how to have conversations about text with others, and they expand their language and vocabulary.
The teacher and students read an enlarged version of text together and reread the text throughout the week. Each time, the teacher selects a new skill for students to focus on, such as comprehension, fluency, or vocabulary. Shared reading introduces students to a variety of texts and helps students build language skills.
Guided Reading and Strategy Lessons:
The teacher guides a small group of readers using a text at their instructional reading level. Students receive explicit instruction and learn new strategies to help them read increasingly challenging text.
Students have choice in selecting "just right books" that match their interests. Using their independent books, students practice applying the skills and strategies they have learned during mini-lessons, guided reading, and strategy lessons. The teacher confers with each student on a regular basis to check in on his/her progress, offer feedback, and set new reading goals.
Students engage in the writing process and produce pieces of writing in many genres, including narrative, informational, and opinion. They apply what they have learned during mini-lessons and strategy lessons. The teacher confers with each student on a regular basis to check in on his/her progress, offer feedback, and set new writing goals.
Students learn about the phonetic and structural features of words. They recognize spelling patterns, and apply their knowledge of these patterns when reading and writing. Word Study instruction is differentiated based on where each student is in his/her spelling development. The teacher uses a spelling inventory to determine each student's stage.