Book Delivery is Exciting News for Elementary Students
Mrs. Vaccaro, Ms. Scully, and Dr. Criscione sort through the delivery of new books.
“The challenge is to nourish our children with books that will make them into the readers, writers, and citizens that we long for them to become.” – Lucy Calkins
Nine pallets of elementary-school books were recently delivered to Sayville well in advance of the 2019-2020 academic year. These books of assorted topics and genres—not textbooks—will be essential components in the Teachers’ College Reading and Writing project and will encourage young students to rediscover the joys of both reading and writing. Sayville Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Christine Criscione and Districtwide Elementary Literacy Facilitator Kathleen Scully were quite excited for many reasons as they organized the boxes of books for each building with the help of Dr. Criscione’s assistant Julie Vaccaro.
"Purchasing the classroom libraries," Dr. Criscione explained, "was a critical step in our implementation of the Reading and Writing Process. The TC classroom libraries deliver high-interest 'just right' books to our classrooms which allow students to practice skills using titles tailored to their interests and abilities."
“We are a project school,” said Ms. Scully, “and have ongoing staff development from Teachers’ College.” Upon the recommendation of the School District’s ELA adoption committee two years ago, Sayville School District partnered with Teachers College for help in implementing the Units of Study in Writing from grades K-5. Through the success of this implementation, Sayville’s elementary students have been learning to “live, work, and learn” as writers by “collecting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing well-crafted narrative, information, and opinion pieces.”
“We are now in our second year of Teachers College Writing Workshop,” Ms. Scully added, “and this upcoming September, we will begin the Readers’ Workshop.” When the elementary program rolls out the reading phase in the fall, Sayville will be ready with their new books. “We will no longer be using an antiquated anthology,” Ms. Scully continued. “Students will be reading books of choice on their reading level. We will be teaching the child instead of the book. So exciting! I’m so happy that we are unrolling the program properly because without the high volume of books there is no way it could it could be successful. This is the biggest thing to happen in elementary in the twenty years I’ve been in Sayville.”
Since Sayville has begun utilizing the TCRWP’s mini-lessons, strategy groups and conferences, students have grown in confidence and look forward to writing each day. Come the fall, when the books are distributed, the students will read published works that appeal to them and build lifelong habits of strong readers. Exciting indeed!