CITY OF MALDEN, MASSACHUSETTS
MALDEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Literacy Block Non-Negotiables (K-5)
The literacy block is a 90 or 120 minute block that incorporates the 5 components of literacy—phonemic
awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The block is broken into whole group for 20-30
minutes, small group centers or work stations for 60 or 90 minutes, and 5-10 minutes of wrap up. This list
encompasses the strategies and best practices expected within the Malden Public Schools. Teachers are
expected to select the strategies for lessons that best fit the needs of the lesson objective and students’ needs; not
all strategies need to be included in every lesson.
Three to four mini-lessons, may include the following:
o Vocabulary Strategies
K-5 Build concept vocabulary connected to weekly/unit concept
K-2 Build high frequency word vocabulary
K-1 Guided practice in using context clues to understand word meaning in read alouds,
songs, & poems
2-5 Model how to use strategies, including Word Structure (i.e. suffixes, prefixes, root
words, homonyms), Context Clues (i.e. multiple meaning words, synonyms, antonyms),
and Glossary Skills
o Comprehension Strategy/Skills
Model/Think Aloud skill and/or strategy
K-5 Comprehension strategies include sequence, compare & contrast, identify literary
elements, cause & effect, identify main idea/details, draw conclusions, study genre,
identify author’s purpose, summarize, fact vs. opinion, and using text features
o Conceptual/Building Background Discussion/Activity
KWL, Concept Map, ELL Poster, Poems & Songs (K-2)
o Word Study grades K-2 (phonemic awareness & phonics)
Introduce/Review weekly phonics concepts & spelling patterns verbally and in writing
*All mini-lessons align with the targeted skill for the week & unit.
*Comprehension and vocabulary skills and strategy for each week must be posted & referred to during
whole class mini-lessons.
*All centers should align with goals and objectives of whole class lesson.
*K-3 whole group is done on the rug area.
*Turn and Talk is done 2-3 times during whole group.
Teacher Directed Center (following Reading Street core) w/ Reciprocal Teaching is done everyday,
o K & 1 Phonemic Awareness activities, specifically Say It & Move It
o K-2 Guided practice with Phonics skill and/or spelling pattern
o K-5 Guided practice applying vocabulary & comprehension skills & strategies
o K-5 Partner reading, choral reading, and/or echo reading with teacher monitoring & supporting
o 3-4 Independent reading (in a 1 foot voice for teacher to monitor) or partner reading (in 3 foot
voice for partner to hear & teacher to monitor)
o Guided practice of Reciprocal Teaching to improve comprehension with core & leveled texts
o If teachers choose to give the weekly Selection Test, it must be done in a small group(center),
not in whole group
o Lowest groups must be seen by the teacher everyday for small group instruction
Word Study (K-2) Center / Vocabulary Center
o Practice/apply phonics skill and/or spelling patterns with word building/sorting,
o Interact with lesson, concept, and high frequency word vocabulary using concentration and/or
dominoes games, cloze activities, ELL poster
o Word Study activities must match the students’ needs in terms of independent applications, such
as: word sorts, phonics rules, white boards, buddy spelling.
** Worksheets tend to be only related to reading, but aren’t directly related to reading and
writing. They tend to be ‘busy’ work.
Vocabulary Center (3-4)
o Interact with lesson, concept, and high frequency word vocabulary using four squares,
synonym/antonym sorts, vocabulary concentration, ELL Poster activities (I See, It Means),
context clue practice
Paired Reading Center w/ Reciprocal Teaching
o Groups of 2 or 5 students reading same text. Engage in reciprocal teaching & record
thoughts/discussion in writing to improve comprehension
Independent Reading Center
o Student selected, level appropriate book with journal response to Reader’s Response questions
and/or sentence starters to improve fluency and comprehension.
Paired Reading with Reader’s Response Center
o K-2 Students read and respond to story in journal/notebook/folder using sentence starters and/or
questions about story elements as well as making connections from text to self or text to text to
improve fluency and comprehension.
o 3-5 Students read and respond to core and/or leveled readers in journal/notebook using the
response prompts in the core (Think & Share, Look Back & Write, Write to Read, Words to
Write, Write Now, and/or Weekly Open Response) and/or Reader’s Response bookmarks with
sentence starters and questions to increase students’ fluency and understanding of the text.
Lexia for students identified as needing intervention (20 minutes daily)
*Centers should be differentiated to meet the needs of groups (i.e. book bins with level appropriate
readers, word work reflecting student needs).
*Not all students need to go to the same/every center.
Student placement in literacy intervention is data driven, based on DIBELs benchmark and progress monitoring
data, GRADE comprehension and vocabulary, and Reading Street Unit Benchmarks for vocabulary and
comprehension. Interventions are based on Instructional Plans developed with the Literacy Coach.
Lexia—web-enabled literacy program that focuses on the essential reading skills of phonemic
awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Students take a placement test and are
placed in one of three programs, Early Reading, Primary Reading, or Strategies for Older Students.
Student progress is monitored by the teachers and literacy coach online at www.mylexia.com
Early Reading Intervention (ERI)—intensive reading intervention program that accelerates reading
development (Kindergarten and some first grade)
Project Read—systematic approach to teaching phonics and fluency with explicit instruction and
Wilson-- systematic approach to teaching phonics and fluency with explicit instruction and guided
My Sidewalks—intervention program aligned with the Scott Foresman core to improve phonemic
awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
Quick Reads—intervention program used to improve students’ fluency with phrasing and timed
readings as well as their comprehension of connected text.
Read Naturally-- structured intervention program combines teacher modeling, repeated reading, and
If Selection Test is used it must be an independent center, so that small groups, led by the teacher can
Fresh Reads provide a more authentic assessment requiring students to apply the taught strategies in a
new text. Fresh Reads is the preferred assessment.
Selection tests are ALWAYS given open book.
Open Response must be done as a center and not in lieu of centers and literacy instruction.