During this week’s School Meeting, the 2nd Grade gave book reviews for Black
History Month. My heart burst open as each pair of students offered not only a book that centered a Person of Color but also what aspects of the story or illustrations resonated and where the book was introduced in the curriculum throughout the year. My favorite part of the presentation included when a child mentioned that a buddy or an eighth grader had visited and read a book to them.
The images evoked feelings of engagement, warmth, and nurturing. But midway through the presentation, I realized the rich narratives they shared were typewritten onto a sheet of paper and not memorized. They were reading and showing evidence of reading fluency!
Reading fluency is the ability to read accurately at a conversational rate with the proper expression or intonation. We saw that in gobs that day! The entire school felt boastful at that moment, and our teachers and librarian deserve huge kudos because the performance served as another testament to how we prioritize literacy at Brookwood. Our educators dedicate a lot of instructional time and apply many philosophies to teach reading. Students check out many library books because Brookwood students identify as readers. We see the results in so many ways and places.
The Lower School faculty is presently engaged in an informal research project surrounding literacy at Brookwood. We are reflecting on our already sound practices with an eye toward learning more. Soon, we will organize into professional learning groups and read the latest research on the science of reading. But most importantly, the knowledge will come from the educators with hundreds of years of dedicated practice at Brookwood. Because of their high standard and level of commitment to Brookwood, I have confidence we will reconfirm the best practices in our teaching and learning literacy philosophies and add to our teaching praxis new information that continues our ability to develop reading identities in our students.
So, parents, prepare those reading nooks and find the fuzzy slippers and pajamas! Soon, you will be invited to a Lower School Literacy Event. We look forward to seeing you in the classroom with your children reading and will follow up with a discussion on supporting your readers at home.