What is Maine Literacy Partnership (MLP)?
SAD #46 is in a partnership with the University of Maine in Orono to help provide teachers training in effective literacy practices for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. The Literacy Coaches provide long-term professional development and systematic support for teachers who are helping children learn effective literacy skills. The overall goal of the Maine Literacy Partnership is to raise the level of literacy achievement for students across the K-6 grade levels.
What are the effective literacy practices teachers are implementing?
At the K-2 level:
Teachers at the K-2 level are learning a framework for teaching literacy (see figure 1 below). This framework develops accomplished readers and writers through an integrated and balanced approach to reading and writing. The goal of the framework is to allow for massive opportunities for reading writing to occur in authentic and purposeful contexts. Through these opportunities students develop into independent readers and writers. The four areas of instruction for teaching the reading process are read aloud, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading. In writing the four areas to help students achieve their writing potential are shared writing, interactive writing, writer.s workshop, and independent writing. Each area of the reading process and the writing process is designed to reinforce and build upon each other, making the reading and writing process visible to the students. This allows the students access to the big picture of the purposes of reading and writing and how they pertain to their daily lives.
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Through out the entire framework teachers teach phonics, spelling and how words work.
At the 3-6 level:
At the intermediate level (grades 3-6), teachers use a three-block framework to provide their literacy instruction. The Reading Workshop includes Independent Reading, Guided Reading, and Literature Study. The Writing Workshop includes Independent Writing, Guided Writing, and Investigations. The Language/Word Study block includes spelling, phonics, poetry, editing skills, and many other components (see Figure 2 below for more information).
Professional development and opportunities for coaching are important cornerstones of the Maine Literacy Partnership. The training is designed to assist teachers to become more effective in teaching intermediate students to read and write. All Language Arts teachers participate in a graduate level course twice a month throughout the school year in their first year. A literacy coach observes lessons and confers with teachers throughout the course to work with them as they implement the 3-6 framework. After the first year, teachers have 20 hours of on-going professional development each year in addition to coaching. This helps to ensure continued learning opportunities for teachers as well as consistency of teaching during the intermediate years. All students benefit by having teachers who are learning about and provide best literacy practices.
A Comprehensive Language and Literacy Framework (grades 3-6)
Language & Word Study
Independent Reading(individual - self-selected, individual conferences, Reader.s Notebook letters)
(homogeneous groups based on needs/strengths of the readers)
(heterogeneous groups based on interest and student choice)
(Writer.s Notebooks, working on writing projects)
(groups based on needs)
(in-depth research projects, content area writing, mini-projects)
Interactive Read Alouds
(picture books and chapter books)
Word Study (spelling and vocabulary)
(similar to Daily Oral Language)
Modeled or shared reading or writing