In the Classroom
Hearst fulfills its mission with a wide variety of programs that address the unique qualities of all its students. School-wide academic approaches include Balanced Literacy and the implementation of Reading and Writing Workshop and Everyday Math. School-wide climate and culture approaches include Responsive Classroom and Positive Behavior Support.
Balanced literacy is an instructional approach that is rooted in the belief that teachers grow great readers and writers through a gradual release structure where there is time for explicit teaching of strategies and skills, teacher modeling, and students’ practice and application to their independent work using authentic texts.
Our students are given opportunities to interact with and comprehend multiple types of texts of their own choosing and are just right for them. In Reader’s Workshop, students are taught reading strategies through modeling by the teacher and have opportunities to practice and apply the strategies to their own books. Students experience explicit level- and strategy-based minilessons in whole class sessions, small groups, and individual conferences as part of their learning process.
Our students learn what it means to be a writer through Writer’s Workshop. Teachers model the use of writing crafts and structures through mentor texts by real authors and writing samples from teachers and other students. Students experience explicit strategy- and craft-based writing instruction through whole class minilessons, small groups, partner conferences, and individual conferences. Each student is a working author who experience the writing process – think, plan, draft, revise, and publish – to hone and develop their own craft as they work through each piece of writing.
Hearst elementary uses GoMath! which supports Common Core Math Standards. We also use STMath, an online math support that works at each student's math ability and moves them through various activities. STMath emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving. Hearst also emphasizes math fluency. Students take daily fluency assessments and participate in school wide math fact mastery skills.
Additionally, all students receive instruction in Science and Social Studies both as a special and in their general education classroom, and all students take one period of Art, Library-Book Sign-out, Library Research, Music, and Physical Education each week.