Written by Chantal Willis
Our Early English Literacy Program, also known as the Bee-Lit Program, was created to help our younger students develop as strong readers and writers. These students are encouraged to look at materials we present to them, to make connections to what they already know, and to make careful inferences based on their observations.
For younger students, our Bee-Lit Program focuses on reading and interpretation. There are many steps to this activity. Before reading a book together as a class, our teachers will first show the cover to the students and ask them what they see. The students will then list various items that they identify, or state what they already KNOW. Next, teachers will ask the students to offer their thoughts on what they think the book will be about and to explain their reasoning. Finally, the class reads the book together. The class will occasionally pause and ask questions about WHAT they want to know before the book is completed. After finishing the book, group discussions will be held to discuss what they have LEARNED.
For our older students, we have a more independent program to help them develop their reading and comprehension skills. At the start of each lesson, students are required to write a brief journal in order to teach them to retell the important events of their day. This activity both allows students to reflect on their experiences and further provides the teacher with a quick snapshot of the student’s writing ability and their areas of improvement. After their journal of the day, students will then grab a chapter book, their chapter summary worksheet, a KWL chart. They will fill these sheets out as they read. Once the book and summary sheets are completed, the student will work on a book report for their novel under the supervision of their teacher. They will subsequently hand the papers in for grading, and decide whether or not to recommend their book to other students. This recommendation portion of the assignment allows students to form and develop their own opinions, teaching them to provide evidence to support their arguments. As our students grow older, we encourage them to become more independent learners who look for their own answers to their questions using the books and resources around them.
Bee-Lit is an interactive program that the students enjoy and continue to learn from. We use many different resources to help each child in the group to ensure that their strengths shine through as the program continues. I am very proud of the program and hope that more children will be able to reap the benefits from being a part of it.
Quality Assurance Officer