Students are pursuing their own interests and engaging in personalized learning with a reading and writing program in their schools.
At Oak Park Schools, students no longer sit at their desks for reading. They don’t write book reports on the same book. They explore a variety of books, and enjoy reading them while sprawling out on the floor or sitting on a large inflatable ball. Some fine standing at a table is best for their concentration, while others fidget and tap their fingers they are reading.
On the opening day of school, students in kindergarten through fifth grade were introduced to the changes at a workshop.
“(Oak Park) teachers have been attending workshop trainings from Teachers College, Columbia University as far back as 2003,” said Jay Greenlinger , director of curriculum and instruction. “I myself was trained in Writing Workshop when I was a fifth-grade teacher at (Brookside). My children attend Arroyo West, a Reading and Writing Workshop school in Moorpark, so I can attest as a teacher and as a parent that Workshop is the most effective and engaging form of literacy instruction.”
The new English language arts program was adopted by Oak Park schools last spring. The “forwardthinking” program has only been adopted by a handful of California districts. Students select books based on their interests, fostering a passion for reading.