The new school year is in full swing at S.M. Rissler Elementary. With it brings a commitment to
maintaining or developing structures for all students to be successful in learning. Today, I’d like
to review the following structures currently in place at S.M. Rissler Elementary: Pathways to
Reading, Reader’s Workshop and Math Expressions.
Pathways to Reading instruction and curriculum is implemented in K-2 classrooms throughout
the building. Pathways is focused, research-based reading instruction that focuses on the five
components of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and
comprehension. The heart of Pathways is the foundational knowledge and skills needed by
teachers to teach reading and what beginning readers need to develop phonemic awareness,
phonics and fluency. The components of vocabulary and comprehensions are taught based on
the knowledge and skill development of the students.
S. M. Rissler Elementary 3rd grade classrooms are exploring and teaching Reader’s Workshop
lessons in their classroom. The Reader’s Workshop method for teaching reading comprises 3
components that work together to allow children the skills, strategies and behaviors that will help
them grow as a reader. Students are taught the skills of picking the “just right book”, building
stamina in their reading and developing skills to be a successful reader. The main components
of the program include the mini-lesson, work time and share time. The mini-lesson is when the
teacher directly teaches the whole class a skill, strategy or behavior about reading. Work time is
when children read independently and apply what they have learned in the day’s mini-lesson to
a book of their choice. Share time is an opportunity for a few children to share what they have
learned or how they have applied a new skill or strategy with the whole class.
Math Expressions is a program focused on looking beyond the numbers and understanding how
and why they work. Students learn to ask questions that lead to a more informed approach to
solving problems. This program is consistently implemented throughout grades K-4. Instead of
learning only one way to complete complex math skills, students are taught multiple ways and
then choose the method that suits them the best.
The instructional staff at S.M. Rissler school utilize these curriculum components in the
classroom to develop a well-rounded education for all students. If you have any questions about
the programs described, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher