Our goal in the Literacy Department is to mold our students into life-long readers and writers who will be ready for college, work force training, and life in a technological society. All instruction is driven by the Common Core Learning Standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Language.

The Literacy Classroom:

Ninety minute periods are devoted to Readers’/Writers’ Workshops. The Workshop Model places an emphasis on the students actively engaging in the lessons and activities of the classroom. In a mini-lesson, the teacher models/shows a particular reading and/or writing strategy. Rituals and routines of the workshop model guide the students in predictable, organized, and independent activities. Routines define what is carried out each day; rituals define specifically how it is carried out. The learning objects or artifacts involved in the work are materials that are provided by the teacher to facilitate learning as well as materials created by students as a result of learning. The agenda for the Workshop consists of the following: Warm Up, Mini-lesson, Connection, Active Engagement, Work Period, and Closing/Share.

Rubrics are distributed to the students and clearly outline what the students must do in order to receive a particular grade. All rubrics are aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards. A grading policy that is uniform across the grade enables teachers to study patterns and trends of students’ literacy strengths and weaknesses in order to implement the strategies necessary for students to achieve success.

The Literacy Curriculum:

The curriculum in the English Language Arts classroom is one that is based on conceptual and constructivist learning. The learner constructs meaning through strategies that lead to higher level thinking. Accordingly, the units in grades 6-9 are those in which the major concepts of the unit are developed into the “Essential Understandings” that the students will eventually conclude as the lessons progress. The lessons “hinge” on a guided question from which the daily mini-lesson questions are developed.
All units in grades 6-9 are grounded in Common Core Learning Standards in which students are instructed to be active readers who analyze and synthesize text. The units of instruction in writing are also grounded in the Common Core Learning Standards for argumentative, informative, and narrative writing.

New York State P-12: Common Core Learning Standards for ELA

Junior High School 157 has transitioned to the NY State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). The New York State Assessments reflect the NYS P-12 Common Core Learning Standards, which are the compilation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the additional standards developed by the NY State Department of Education (NYSED). The state assessments, focus on measuring deeper levels of thinking. Accordingly, the Common Core lessons developed by the teachers will prepare students for college and career readiness.
Additional Information about the Common Core State Standards can be found at: as well as on the Common Core Library and Engage NY websites. Utilize the following web addresses for more information:

Common Core Library:

Engage NY:

Department of Education New York City:
NY State Department of Education: