At the International School of Ulaanbaatar (ISU), we believe that:
- language is socially constructed and everywhere.
- learners must interact and engage with language which develops thinking and an inquisitive nature.
- language learning is more meaningful when acquired in an authentic, transdisciplinary context, involving all members of the school community.
- language can act as a tool in social settings.
- within a transdisciplinary programme, all forms of literacy are valued, helping to create inquisitive and lifelong learners.
- home language is crucial to the cognitive development of students.
- on-going assessment and differentiation is essential for student progress.
- language development is individual to each student and is measured on a continuum
At ISU, we foster the development of home languages within the capabilities of the school, while encouraging parental support at home. We support language learning by providing a meaningful context and utilizing students’ previous experience and prior knowledge.
Essential Agreements for Reading
We believe that reading is important because:
- reading development is a continuous process throughout life.
- readers must have the ability to find and construct meaning from the diversity of information that influences our daily lives.
- readers must have the ability to use information meaningfully in all aspects of our daily lives, whether it is reading for pleasure or for information.
We believe that parents have a vital role to play in the development of reading
At ISU, our instruction includes:
modeling (including thinking skills, comprehension strategies, fluency, reading skills)
- differentiating to meet student needs and abilities
fostering a passion for reading
connecting reading to the individual student
integrating strategies and skills to be used across the curriculum
- encouraging students to experience many kinds of text
articulating how thinking helps readers understand what they read
using visible thinking strategies with students
having high expectations and helping students set personal learning goals
naming explicit skills using the language of the ISU scope and sequence
- using a range of tools
We use flexible student groupings, including grouping by:
PM Benchmark instructional level
independent reading level
We use a flexible classroom environment, including:
a reading area and class library
displays of student work and visible learning
seating to allow for flexible grouping
- visuals and reading prompts
We have time for :
adults to read aloud to students every day
students to read every day
students to practice skills, either stand-alone or in context with the UOI
students to ask questions
students to share their thinking
We use assessment data to track learning and modify teaching by using :
formative assessment (ongoing assessment that helps the student and teacher reflect on their learning)
summative assessments (to allow students the ability to demonstrate their reading ability)
self assessments (eg. reading response journals, self-evaluation continuums or rubrics)
peer assessments (eg. peer editing, various rubrics, or peer verbal conferencing)
- standardized assessments (to display a student’s ability to perform in reading through the PM Benchmarks, CAP test, or MAP test)