Introducing NYC Reads
Ensuring that all New York City Students become confident readers.
What Is Literacy?
Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen effectively. These skills enable students to express themselves clearly, listen to others, gain knowledge and build an understanding of the world around us. While each school selects its own literacy curriculum, there are common features in every New York City Public School classroom. These include books that help student apply new reading skills in context and units of study that teachers use for reading and writing instruction.
Schools have a focused, intentional sequence of lessons for both reading and writing for the school year so that the instruction is planned thoughtfully. Lessons include:
- reading and writing
- opportunities for thinking
- rich discussion with peers in pairs or in small groups
Teachers model good questioning and encourage students to ask questions about what they read and learn. Students receive instruction on specific strategies to help them read difficult text, and practice using those strategies on a variety of reading passages, both fiction and nonfiction. These texts are selected to meaningfully reflect the rich cultural and ethnic diversity in our schools. There are also opportunities for daily independent reading and writing guided by the classroom teacher, and school libraries offer opportunities for further inquiry and research projects. Finally, examples of student work applying what they have learned to their research, analysis, and writing are displayed in classrooms and hallways so everyone can learn from each other's efforts.
Some of the additional features you can expect to see in your child’s school are the following:
In Elementary Grades
- A strong early reading and writing program in kindergarten, first, and second grade that includes instruction in the five fundamentals of reading:
- Phonics: relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.
- Phonemic awareness: the ability to understand that spoken words are made up of individual sounds.
- Vocabulary: the meaning or definition of words.
- Fluency: the ability to read accurately with reasonable speed and expression.
- Comprehension: the ability to understand and interpret what is read.
- A literacy program that has a predictable format so that students understand the goal of each lesson
- Teachers leading daily read-aloud using high-quality, culturally diverse, age-appropriate books
- Writing instruction that includes daily opportunities to practice skills such as handwriting, word choice, sentence structure, and punctuation in varied genres
- Classrooms with libraries offering a wide range of grade-appropriate books across many topics and reading levels
- A reading coach who supports early reading acquisition in kindergarten, first, and second grade
- Extra support in focused, small group settings for students who are struggling in reading and writing