Robbinsdale Area Schools
Pilgrim Lane

Curriculum & Literacy

At the heart of Robbinsdale Area Schools is the philosophy of See All, Serve All, Support All! Our elementary schools offer foundational learning for students based on the Minnesota state academic standards. This foundation is purposefully designed to provide learning in academic and social-emotional areas which will prepare students to be career, articulated skilled trades and college ready.

We embrace culturally relevant teaching and learning and strive to create authentic learning experiences for our students where they can see themselves in the learning and feel empowered to learn as much as they can to make the world a better place. 

Our elementary students receive instruction in:

  • Literacy and Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Music and Art
  • Physical Education
  • Media and Technology
  • Health
  • Social-Emotional Learning

Balanced Literacy Framework

Robbinsdale Area Schools ​uses the Balanced​ ​Literacy​ ​​framework​ ​for implementing literacy instruction. Balanced​ ​Literacy​ ​is​ ​demonstrated​ ​by​ ​the​ ​following​ ​principles:

  • A​ ​Gradual​ ​Release​ ​of​ ​Responsibility​ ​approach​ ​allows​ ​teachers​ ​to​ ​slowly​ ​and​ ​consciously​ ​release​ ​more​ ​responsibility for​ ​learning​ ​to​ ​the​ ​students.
  • Explicit, systematic instruction of foundational literacy skills is critical. Teaching​ ​for​ ​understanding​ ​must​ ​be​ ​the​ ​primary​ ​goal.​ ​​ ​Teachers​ ​will​ ​implement​ ​explicit​ ​instruction​ ​to​ ​model​ ​their thought​ ​processes​ ​out loud.
  • Students​ ​learn​ ​best​ ​through​ ​collaboration​ ​and​ ​conversation​ ​with​ ​others.
  • Skills​ ​must​ ​be​ ​taught​ ​in​ ​context,​ ​as​ ​part​ ​of​ ​relevant​ ​literacy​ ​events through culturally relevant texts.
  • Differentiated instruction and student-centered learning maximize teachers’ ability to serve all students and address individual needs
  • Assessment​ ​that​ ​identifies​ ​strengths​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​needs,​ ​and​ ​involves​ ​students​ ​in​ ​making​ ​decisions​ ​about​ ​their​ ​own learning.
  • The​ ​purpose​ ​of​ ​assessment​ ​is​ ​to​ ​inform​ ​and​ ​shape​ ​instruction.
  • Students need access​ ​to​ ​interesting​, appropriate ​texts​ ​and​ ​choice.
  • Quality literacy​ ​instruction​ ​builds​ ​skill​ ​and​ ​the​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​read​ ​increasingly​ ​complex​ ​materials.
  • Students​ ​need​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​books​ ​and​ ​other​ ​reading​ ​materials​ ​in​ ​their​ ​classrooms​ ​and​ ​in​ ​school​ ​and​ ​community libraries.
  • Teachers must​ ​understand​ ​text​ ​complexity​ ​expectations.
  • Writing​ ​and​ ​reading​ ​have​ ​reciprocal​ ​positive​ ​effects.
  • Link​ ​reading​ ​and​ ​writing​ ​to​ ​take​ ​advantage​ ​of​ ​the​ ​natural​ ​reciprocity​ ​between​ ​the​ ​various​ ​reading​ ​and​ ​language processes.
  • Some​ ​students​ ​need​ ​more​ ​intensive​ ​and​ ​more​ ​expert​ ​instruction​ ​if​ ​they​ ​are​ ​to​ ​maintain​ ​a​ ​pace​ ​of development​ ​that​ ​is​ ​comparable​ ​to​ ​their​ ​peers.
     

Program​ ​Goals​ ​and​ ​Objectives

Reading​ ​Well​ ​by​ ​3rd​ ​Grade​ ​is​ ​one​ ​component​ ​of​ ​our​ ​comprehensive​ ​efforts​ ​toward of our goal of​ ​having​ ​all students​ ​reading​ ​proficiently​ by the end of third grade.​ ​Progress​ ​toward​ ​this​ ​goal​ ​is​ ​monitored​ ​using​ ​data​ ​from​ ​state​ ​accountability tests.​ ​​FastBridge​ ​Learning offers​ ​adaptive​ ​Reading​ ​and​ ​Early​ ​Reading​ assessments to measure​​ ​reading​ ​fluency​ ​and​ ​early​ ​reading​ ​skills.

Curriculum Maps

Our elementary teachers utilize a district-wide curriculum map as a guide to support planning instruction over the school year. Grade level, topics, big ideas and standards have been mapped as a suggested teaching sequence for the school year. In addition to being mapped across the year, it is mapped vertically to support integrated subject teaching.

Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS)

Robbinsdale Area Schools​ ​utilizes​ ​Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS), an​ ​instructional​ ​framework​ ​for​ ​literacy​ ​instruction.​ LETRS provides the essential research​ ​of​ ​reading ​instruction.​​ ​  Flexible grouping and literacy instruction in all content areas support student growth from preschool through grade twelve. ​The literacy frameworks we use in conjunction with Charlotte Danielson’s Framework ​for Effective Teaching help​ ​instructional staff use​ ​a​ ​common​ ​language and​ ​understanding​ ​to drive data-driven, best ​instructional​ practice.​ ​​ 
 

Benchmark Workshop

Benchmark Workshop curricular resource supports a model that is responsive to student strengths and needs. Teachers draw from literacy modules in five areas to support their instruction: reader’s workshop, writer’s workshop, phonics and word study workshop, technology and professional development.

This resource recommendation was the result of a comprehensive process, including engaging with (and seeking input from) stakeholders across our district. The collaborative recommendation process also included feedback and input from teachers, families, students and staff from the Robbinsdale Area Schools community. The recommendation was consistent across stakeholder groups. 

Highlights of Benchmark Workshop include:

  • Phonics instruction based on Wiley Blevins’s research (A Fresh Look at Phonics)
  • Responsive Toolkit for intervention needs 
  • Authentic texts including texts about or written by Native Americans from Minnesota
  • Direct correlation with the Robbinsdale Area Schools’ Balanced Literacy framework with clear outlines and resource support
  • Beginning-of-year “Launching” units to establish routines and rituals, aligning with the Safe and Civil Schools Pillar of Focus
  • Equitable resources in Spanish
  • Teacher tools to support biliteracy instruction
     

District Dyslexia Plan

We recognize the importance of screening elementary students annually to identify reading difficulties. Screening measures indicate if students have or have not acquired grade-level reading skills. If expected skills are not established, we engage in a decision making process which includes the collection of additional assessment data and allows teachers to match instruction to the identified need. Subsequently, student growth is monitored throughout the learning process.

Robbinsdale Area Schools does not formally diagnose dyslexia. Our screening process and ongoing progress monitoring of student performance provides us with the information we need to identify missing or under-developed reading skills associated with dyslexia and helps to design and implement the appropriate instructional match to develop those skills. If your student has received a dyslexia diagnosis from an outside agency, please inform your student's classroom teacher. This information will assist the teacher in designing an appropriate plan for instructional support. The plan may include additional instructional support in the classroom, adding support through one of our supplemental reading programs or additional assessment to better understand the learning need. Teacher-Family communication is a critical component of this process.

Elementary Academics at a Glance

Elementary Grade Level at a Glance