Pathways Goals & Philosophy

Students should not only learn how to read, but also acquire the desire to read, write, and learn. All students deserve to be in a school situation where they have an opportunity to become passionate learners, readers, and writers.Pathways provides students with this opportunity. Pathways rests on the following principles.

Reading instruction should be incorporated within realistic situations and integrated with content areas. By combining content with major themes and issues, teachers and students have opportunities to examine topics from multiple perspectives and immerse themselves in their own inquiries. Pathways offers a cross-curriculum approach to literacy that gives students an opportunity to become deeply involved in learning.

Students' spiritual growth will be enhanced through the literature read, involvement in discussion, participation in activities from the Daily Lesson Guides, and connections with Bible classes. Pathways leads students to make good choices in life as well as in reading content.

Students will become motivated readers when they have time to read books both in and out of school. The core of a language arts program should center on complete works of literature representing many periods and genres. Students learn to love reading when captivated by great literature. Pathways develops life-long readers.

Students become more deeply involved in reading and learning when given opportunities to write and talk about their own ideas and personal reactions. The major response to reading should be writing and discussion. In Pathways, students create meaning through writing and conversations with one another.

Students become confident, effective, and motivated writers through frequent opportunities to write about various topics for different purposes and audiences. Pathways provides students with guidance and practice in developing writing skills. Students participate in Writing Workshop and have extensive practice with writing as part of thematic studies.

Confident, engaged readers know how to comprehend text through the application of strategies. In addition to enjoying a variety of literature, students must know how to comprehend and learn from their reading. Pathways provides systematic instruction in reading comprehension and learning strategies that students apply to literature and content subjects.

Phonics skills are critical to becoming a reader. If students lack tools for figuring out new words, it is impossible for them to become motivated readers. Students need a sequential program of phonics where they apply knowledge of letters and word parts in a purposeful manner. Instruction should also focus on helping students learn strategies for solving their own word-identification problems. Pathways provides students systematic, daily practice with phonics skills.

Spelling instruction should reflect the developmental level of the student as well as focus on the patterns in our language. In the primary grades, spelling instruction needs to be taught systematically and coordinated with phonics instruction. Students should also learn how to spell words met frequently in their reading and writing. Pathways provides a systematic approach to the teaching of spelling that includes high-frequency words as well as words following specific phonological patterns.

Assessment should not only provide teachers and parents with information, but also be a tool for students to assess their own growth. Students feel more motivated and in control of their own learning when they are partners in the assessment process. Pathwaysprovides a rich variety of tools for assessing individual student development.

Classroom organization is key to an effective literacy program. Pathways offers a management plan that includes whole-class, small-group, and individual student activities. The plan encompasses literature discussion groups, cooperative learning, and individual student-teacher conferencing. Sample timelines and daily schedules are included in the management section of the Daily Lesson Guides.