At Kirby Hall, we are always looking for ways to expand our academic horizons and add to our teaching toolbox. This year, we are excited to have introduced a new English and Language Arts (ELA) curriculum for Kindergarten through 8th grade.
While it is new to us, the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) from Columbia University is a well-established and highly-regarded ELA curriculum used broadly by other private and public schools throughout the country. TCRWP was founded by Lucy Calkins, a pioneer in early literacy education and research.
Kirby Hall teachers have begun implementing portions of Writing Workshop already this year with great success. Over the next several years, teachers will adopt Writing Workshop in full, in addition to Reading Workshop and the TCRWP Phonics Program for Kindergarten through 2nd grade.
The Writing Workshop curriculum is designed to develop confident and strong writers. The workshop is based on the belief that students work best when they:
- Write frequently
- Write about topics of their own choosing
- Gain guidance and support from an experienced writer
- Share and discuss their writing with others
One other major benefit of adopting TCRWP is the incredible ongoing professional development environment that they provide. TCRWP staff developers, along with Lucy Calkins, are constantly engaged in field research to hone their curriculum, and they host dozens of trainings each year. A number of our teachers have already participated in extensive training with the TCRWP and more will have access to this training as we roll out the curriculum in years to come.
One of our Middle School ELA classes recently held a reading of short stories composed during their writing workshop time followed by a ‘publishing party’ afterwards to celebrate the writing process and their final drafts, of which they were all extremely proud.
Kirby Hall School is a private college-preparatory school located in Austin, Texas where we have been educating and nurturing young minds since 1976. Kirby Hall offers a challenging, and inclusive, curriculum, as well as small class sizes for students in Pre-K4 through 12th grade. To learn more about Kirby Hall, please visit us here.