At FAST, STEM concepts are integrated into the literacy equation for our students. Literacy is divided into four key components: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
At the K-5 level, the focus is on developing comprehension strategies that will enable children to analyze grade-level texts of appropriate complexity, and communicate effectively both in writing and in speaking. At the middle school level, instruction addresses increasing maturity and the growing sophistication of their abilities, culminating in the development by the end of grade 8 of students who are ready to succeed in high school. As students develop their literacy skills they are tasked with tackling more challenging texts and apply their skills across the curriculum.
One of the key characteristics that sets high progress classrooms apart from typical classrooms is the teachers in these classrooms. Teachers in high progress classrooms do not depend on single programs or approaches to bring about higher achievement. Rather, these teachers have many tools in their toolboxes and know how to use them flexibly and strategically. Some of the strategies and resources used by teachers at FAST include:
- Small group instruction
- EIP push-in for struggling students
- “Extensive and diverse” reading and writing with kids fully engaged in reading and writing text during most of the time devoted to reading and writing instruction.
- HMH Journeys/HMH Collections
- Zaner-Bloser Spelling Connections and Handwriting
- Novel Studies, articles, and other STEM based text
- Extremely positive environments featuring engaging instruction characterized as positive, low-risk, encouraging, accepting, conveying goals, self-selection, with ownership of reading and writing topics.
Teachers at FAST provide students with whatever tools and knowledge their professional judgment and experience identify as most helpful for meeting the goals set out in the Georgia Standards of Excellent.