Teaching children to read and write are the most important responsibilities of an elementary school. Literacy learning at Sunnybrook School is enriched and accelerated from the early years. Confidence in emerging literacy skills and pleasure in reading and writing are our primary goals for these early years.
The Kindergarten Years
We approach reading and writing with a phonics and literature based program, which is both effective and enjoyable in guiding young children through the beginning stages of reading and writing. Books and stories enchant and delight young children; our kindergarten students enjoy various reading experiences every day.
In the kindergarten years we incorporate phonemic awareness, sight words, and printing skills in a balanced approach to the language arts. Teachers use a variety of materials to develop early literacy skills in our students. These include the First Steps Literacy Program, Open Court Program, Nelson PM Benchmarks, D’Nealian Handwriting and the 6+1 Writing Traits, in addition to the rich literature resource of our school library.
The Elementary Years
Children in grades one and two learn reading and writing using various materials. We combine a phonics and literature based approach with which we guide young children through the early stages of skills acquisition.
From grades three to six, novel study, grammar, sentence structure, word study and writing skills are taught. Reading, creative and expository writing, and library activities are integrated in all areas of the Program of Inquiry in a truly transdisciplinary approach to literacy. Reading materials include novels, poetry, newspapers and magazines, non-fiction books and on-line sources. Sunnybrook uses the “Spelling With Inquiry” approach and individualizes the spelling process, allowing children to progress according to their abilities, with a focus on more in-depth word study as they mature in their literacy skills. Our comprehensive approach to language arts uses a combination of programmes and approaches. These include First Steps Literacy, Nelson PM Benchmarks, D’Nealian Handwriting, Growing Steps for Vocabulary and the 6+1 Writing Traits.
“Sunnybrook Reads” is a Community Event held in the fall to celebrate literacy and add to our library collection. Three events occur on this special day. First is the “Birthday Book Program”, where our librarian selects many wonderful books for the children to choose from that will then be added to the SBS library. Students purchase a book that will be donated to the collection in recognition of their birthday. Each child is the first to sign out their birthday books and they receive a book plate in the front of the book. Also, on that day each child will share literacy activities in their classroom with their parents and have an opportunity to enjoy special treats at the grade five run Action Cafe. All proceeds from the Cafe are donated to the Children’s Book Bank, to share the love of literacy in our community. This is always a special day at Sunnybrook to celebrate the love of reading and support our library.