Batesburg-Leesville, SC (Mackenzie Taylor) - If you have a child at Batesburg-Leesville Primary School or Batesburg-Leesville Elementary School, you may have heard him/her refer to having “Lucy Time.” That’s because this year, these two Lexington Three campuses have officially adopted the Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Project school-wide. (Last year, the elementary school enacted the program’s writing units and first graders at the primary school used the reading guidelines.)
The Lucy Calkins program, which matches the standards outlined in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate, aims to prepare students for reading and writing tasks that they will face as “real-life” readers and writers. The goal is to build confidence as it pertains to students’ reading and writing skills so that they not only perform well on state-required tests, but also are prepared to read and write in their future educational and career endeavors.
The reading portion of the curriculum is based on a set of ten principles that include: having students read for long stretches of time; giving students access to high-interest, complex texts appropriate for their grade level; having teachers direct and instruct students in the skills and strategies of proficient reading and writing; and giving students assessment-based instruction and feedback that is tailored specifically to them. Reading workshops are structured around a mini lesson, reading time, a mid-workshop, partner reading and a share session.
The Lucy Calkins writing unit is centered around several forward-thinking notions, including the concept that students deserve to write the kind of texts they see in the real world and should be able to write for a variety of audiences, not just for their teacher. The writing curriculum is also built upon the idea that students need to be explicitly taught how to write and that they should be given ample opportunity to practice the writing process of rehearsing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.
“Learning to read and write effectively is one of the most critical skills that our students will learn. The Lucy Calkins model provides our teachers with research-driven strategies to not only teach students these skills, but also instill a love for reading and writing that will carry throughout their lives," said Angie Rye, the Chief Academic Officer for Lexington School District Three.
Lucy Calkins is the Founding Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, an organization based in New York City that has leveraged literacy instruction for more than thirty years around the world.