We established a literacy leadership team in January 2022. The group includes a grade level representative, a Reading Recovery teacher, a special education teacher as well as our principal and assistant principal. To help guide us and learn more about each other, we shared our top four core values. This is an activity we will revisit every year and reflect about to see if things have changed.
Our first task was to examine our literacy beliefs and unpack Literacy Collaborative's first pillar
Pillar 1: Collective Ownership of Student Outcomes
Educators create a common vision for literacy learning in the school, collaborating in teamwork, and shared leadership.
Educators in the school work as one team responsible for the literacy outcomes of all children. Within the school community, educators form specific action groups for different purposes. Time is dedicated for literacy problem-solving, data analysis, and the implementation of Literacy Collaborative.
The team is responsible for:
- Creating a home-community-school partnership.
- Creating and working together toward a common vision.
- Communicating progress toward the common vision with interested groups including teachers, school administrators, families, community members, the Board of Education, etc.
- Considering and problem solving the factors of implementation.
- Monitoring student progress, program evaluation and interventions.
- Ensuring the individual needs of all literacy learners.
- Managing literacy materials including the leveled book collection.
We read the article Every Child, Every Classroom, Every Day: From Vision to Action in Literacy Learning by Fountas and Pinnell. We then charted our understandings and highlighted our literacy beliefs.
Here are just a few:
- No cookie-cutter teaching.
- Our students, Our goals.
- Culture of shared responsibility often reflects the same tone in classrooms.
- Obligation to learn about different cultures.
- Create inclusive environments that honor and leverage the strengths of diversity.
- Execute data-informed teaching (how they read and write).
- Develop expertise around the reading and writing processes.
Around that same time, the new professional resource Leading for Literacy by Fountas and Pinnell was published, and our team attended a virtual mini workshop with the authors. We each received a copy of the book and homed in on the LIFT rubric (Literacy Improvement Facilitation Tool). We decided to score and only focus on the first section on Culture and Leadership to start. We built conversation around that part of the rubric and noticed that there were areas that received higher scores and there were some discrepancies. We also noticed that overall, we scored lower in the areas of common values and beliefs and collaboration and teamwork.
The team decided to take our common literacy beliefs list and create a visual representation to share with others. We thought about making a poster, but ultimately decided on creating a video that showcased our beliefs in action at our school. Over the next school year, the team took photos and videos of teaching and learning in the language and literacy framework. It was a labor of love but truly ended up being the best way to showcase our beliefs and what we do every day.