At Fayerweather, we create an environment rich in opportunities for children to develop language through reading, writing, speaking and listening. As children move through the grades, we stress the importance of content and understanding in their reading and writing. Learning is centered on an integrated approach — developing proficiency across the skill areas. Students are given direct instruction in spelling, grammar, writing mechanics and communication skills. Activities in this area are often interwoven with each other through thematic studies, research, projects, drama, and formal and informal presentations.

Grades 1 & 2

List of 3 items.

  • Reading

    In first and second grades, reading takes center stage with emphasis on decoding, reading comprehension, vocabulary, sight word development and the cultivation of a love of books and reading. Children read independently, one-on-one with a teacher and in small groups.
  • Writing

    Students write on a daily basis through stories and daybook entries with thematic unit activities. Teachers work to help students see and use writing as a means of communicating their ideas, reflections and imagination. As students move from first through second grade, they begin to see themselves as authors who can write confidently and clearly. Spelling, grammar and writing mechanics are taught through individual writing pieces and through practice work on specific skills.
  • Listening and Speaking

    Listening and speaking skills are embedded in all areas of the curriculum. Our goals are to help students be confident in having their voices heard and to develop the skill of listening to others. To that end, children are encouraged to use their words to express thoughts and ideas to peers and adults in a variety of settings. In turn, we support children in developing the ability to listen patiently, hear different points of view and to work towards mutual understanding. Reading aloud, acting in role-plays, presenting in front of a large group or simply sharing in class meeting are ways in which children develop their speaking voices. As listeners, children practice active listening in group meetings, conversational give and take in interchanges, and problem solving with peers and teachers.

Grades 3 & 4

List of 3 items.

  • Reading

    By third grade, our main goals for the reading program are to immerse children in different genres of literature and to deepen their understanding, connection with and appreciation for books, while also developing skill and fluency. Students read a variety of genres as part of literature discussion groups, choose books of their own for in-school and at-home reading and develop skills in non-fiction reading for data collection and research.
  • Writing

    Writer’s workshop focuses on building writing skills through students’ creative work. Written pieces are the result of a process that takes students through the initiating of ideas and stories, writing drafts, and then to editing and producing or “publishing” final pieces. Most workshops include a mini-lesson around grammar or mechanics. Spelling is woven into these workshop lessons with students building on prior knowledge as well as learning new spelling rules and word families.
  • Listening and Speaking

    Students develop their capacities to be thoughtful listeners and speakers. Developing the ability to paraphrase another’s view or piece of text, or explain the main idea, all provide opportunities to connect language experiences. In addition to speaking in front of peers, there are increased opportunities to present orally to groups of parents through poetry readings, oral history stories and literature shares.

Curriculum Sample

List of 5 items.

  • Decoding strategies including phonics and sight words

  • Identifying the main idea and sequence of events in a story

  • Literature discussion groups

  • Writing across genres

  • Writing process (brainstorm, draft, conference, revise, edit and publish)

Fayerweather Street School | 765 Concord Avenue,  Cambridge, MA 02138 | 617-876-4746
Fayerweather is a private PreK, kindergarten, elementary and middle school. We engage each child’s intellect.