A collaborative approach to teaching literacy is benefitting students of École Steffie Woima School.
Daily Five is the language arts-based program that’s been embraced by a team of five Grade 4 teachers and taught to students at the school.
With teaching methods focused more on developing students’ reading and writing skills individually than as a group, the program allows students more flexibility in choosing books and writing topics that fit their own interests and skill levels.
“Now, they’re all reading at the level that best suits them,” said Grade 4 teacher Tara Anderson. “They now work on projects that are based around a book that they have chosen.”
The result, she added, is more choice and responsibility for students, helping them build reading and writing stamina, as well as understand their own book choices and the purpose for reading them.
Since it was first implemented last year, the program has showed positive results. The teaching team leading the project reported that 93 per cent of students say they now read better, have better reading stamina and better understand what they read. Further, 99 per cent said their writing stamina has increased.
And it’s not just students who are benefitting. Teachers involved, Anderson said, have also undergone what she called a “collaborative journey of dreams, discussion and discovery,” through their work with one another.
“We could basically just use each other’s ideas and strengths and expertise and bounce ideas off one another to best plan how we could deliver (the program),” she said. “It’s not just one person working on their own with a single idea; we’re now collaborating together, and it’s that more minds (create) greater results sort of thing.”
Steffie Woima principal Angela Eadie-Gyori said the project strongly reflects the benefits of collaboration. In a Chinook’s Edge School Division media release, she noted: “This really has been a model of excellence in teaching and learning.”