We believe in using research-based strategies to help students become literate and conscious human beings. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should support us:

1) We believe literacy encompasses more than reading, writing, listening, and speaking; being literate means being “present and active in the struggle for reclaiming one’s voice, history, and future.” Morelle & Duncan-Andrade, 2004

2) We intentionally infuse our curriculum with reading, writing, and discussions surrounding equality and social justice. “If our moral ecology encompasses equality and social justice, and if we want that moral ecology to guide our society, then equality and social justice must be taught – carefully taught.” Goodlad, 2004

3) We teach using the Gradual Release of Responsiblity Model, modeling strategies and skills, sharing our thinking, and shifting cognitive processes to students when they have received enough support to be successful. Fisher & Frey, 2008

4) We engage students with a variety of “high-quality, diverse, and multileveled reading materials,” capturing their attention and challenging them to question what is happening in their communities and the world. O’Shea, McQuiston, & McCollin, 2009

5) We provide students with “direct, explicit comprehension instruction,” a key component in enhancing skills in literacy. Alliance for Excellent Education, 2004

6) We believe writing is sacred, and provide students with writing to learn opportunities daily. Students articulate their thinking through the end of their pens, blurring the lines between “school writing” and “real-world writing.” Daniels, Zemelman, & Steineke, 2007

7) We examine the strengths and struggles of the community in which we teach, providing “ways to involve students in authentic reading and writing in response to community needs.” Duke, Purcelli-Gates, Hall, & Tower, 2006

8) We provide students with “frequent and specific feedback” in verbal and written form, pairing feedback with “activities that offer guidance and direction to pupils on how to remedy their learning problems.” Guskey, 2007

9) We create a classroom community built on the principles of honestly, respect, ritual, and energetic reciprocity; we work to “transform the structure” of the traditional classroom setting as opposed to “integrate” students into a setting which furthers their oppression. Freire, 1968

10) We set high expectations for our students, communicating these expectations with them daily.  We believe “one reason disadvantaged students may perform poorly in school is because that is what their teachers expect of them, disadvantaged students might perform better if their teachers expected them to improve academically.” (Rosenthal) Furthermore, “self-fulfilling prophecy effects are strongest among individuals who are stigmatized, including African American students students who are tracked into low-ability groups within their classrooms, and students who have histories of poor academic achievement.” Jussim, Eccles, & Madon, 1996

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