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NOW Academy Reading and Writing Project

Using Reading and Writing Workshop in a K-5 classroom setting


Reading and writing are integral ways that humans express who they are and what they believe to the world. To be a reader and author, to see oneself as a reader and author, to live the life of a reader and author, is the challenge that we as teachers take on each year within our Language Arts curriculum.  We strive to create a space within our classrooms for our students to become readers and authors and to define themselves through that lens. 

Students ReadingYet, within our school there were many students not achieving mastery of grade level standards and moreover not invested in themselves as readers and writers. During the '09-'10 school year, we met as a team to discuss the disparity between students' current achievement and our euphoric vision. We researched Balanced Literature Approaches that would enable us to create a learning environment emotionally and academically invested in "reading and writing."

The TIIP grant offered us the possibility to reform our school by replacing the scripted Language Arts approach implemented throughout the district. It funded our exploration and implementation of Lucy Calkins's Reading and Writing Workshop as well as empowered us to create our own Units-of-Study. It allowed us to build self-capacity at our site by creating Teacher-leaders.  

Ultimately, we used the funds to plant the seed that guided us in the exploration of the following essential question: How do we create a curriculum that builds a community of readers and writers in every classroom?


Team Bio:

The NOW Academy TIIP TeamAraceli Castro, Marine Yanikian-Sutton, and Suzanne Frias have worked collaboratively on the Reading and Writing project for 2 years at New Open World Academy.

Click here for more information about each of the team members.





front facade of NOW Academy New Open World Academy (NOW) is a traditional-calendar, LAUSD Pilot School housed at the old Ambassador Hotel site. We are a new autonomous public school working collaboratively with stakeholders to reform education from the bottom-up. Located on the site where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, the vision and mission of our school is aligned to his educational ideals. We emphasize social justice, ecological awareness, and differentiating instruction to meet each child’s needs.


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