Early Literacy & Reading
Morningside’s reading program directly supports student achievement by implementing a reading program that is built to meet all students’ needs. We use the Georgia Standards of Excellence as the guide for our curriculum, and we implement resources and activities from a wide variety of sources.
Fountas & Pinnell (F & P) Classroom Resources maximize student learning with systematic lessons, student books and materials, and powerful tools that guide teachers’ language and actions and support them in expert decision making for high-impact literacy instruction.
Wilson Fundations Phonics (Fundations) is an explicit and systematic phonics and spelling program used in grades K-2. Fundations lessons focus on carefully sequenced skills that include print knowledge, alphabet awareness, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and spelling.
Accelerated Reader (AR) provides students with a fun and rewarding way to promote reading at home and in the classroom. It helps students choose books on their reading level, making reading less frustrating and more enjoyable. In addition, AR assessments allow teachers and parents to monitor a student’s reading skills and growth. After selecting a book, the student takes a multiple-choice comprehension test based on the book's content. Students are awarded points based on his/her scores, and a cumulative performance record is generated that is accessible to both teachers and parents. For more specific information about the process please visit Renaissance Place. To determine if a particular book has an associated AR test please visit the AR BookFinder.
We also implement several assessments and screeners to learn about our students’ levels and guide our individual and small group instruction. The F&P Benchmark Assessment System is an accurate and reliable tool to identify the instructional and independent reading levels of all students and are used to document student progress through one-on-one formative and summative assessments. We also use STAR Testing in reading (Early Literacy for Kinder) as a benchmark for students’ progress throughout the school year.
Our Morningside Foundation funds continued professional development for our staff in the teaching of reading. All of our faculty have participated in a series of staff development courses called The Complete Reading Series, through the Georgia Educational Training Center. The Complete Reading Series is a comprehensive reading course designed to empower teachers to possess, understand, and master the content and instructional practices necessary to teach reading, spelling, phonics and reading comprehension to all students. In addition, staff members can also learn about the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching. Orton-Gillingham is an explicit, systematic multi-sensory approach used to teach children to read, write, and spell and is very focused at the word level. These professional development opportunities help our teachers to develop their expertise in teaching early literacy from kindergarten through fifth grade.
Handwriting & Cursive Program – There is a strong connection between handwriting proficiency and literacy skills. We also believe that helping our upper-grade students learn to read and write in cursive is an important tool for cognitive development.enVisionMath is a comprehensive mathematics curriculum for Grades K-5. It offers the flexibility of print, digital, or blended instruction. enVisionmath2.0 provides the focus, coherence, and rigor of the Common Core State Standards. Project-based learning, visual learning strategies, and extensive customization options empower every teacher and student.
STEMscopes provides comprehensive STEM digital resources, supplemental print materials, and hands-on exploration kits that drive engagement and academic growth.Supplemental programs: Morningside uses several supplemental programs to enhance our rigorous research-based curriculums.
- Educational Advisory Foundation – This Teacher to Student Tutoring (TST) program provides early one on one and small group tutoring to improve reading and math skills through individualized instruction in grades K – 3, if needed.
- Study Island – Web-based program which combines rigorous content customized to Georgia’s standards in math, reading, writing, science, and social studies through interactive features and games. Teachers are able to track student performance in real-time to address individual learning gaps.
- iXL - IXL is personalized learning with a comprehensive K-12 curriculum, individualized guidance, and real-time analytics. IXL meets the unique needs of each learner.
- Brain Pop & Brain Pop Junior - Websites with short animated learning movies for students in grades K-12 that combined with quizzes, supplemental information and related materials cover science, social studies, English, mathematics, engineering and technology, health, and arts and music topics to enrich the learning experience of students.
- Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reading - The Accelerated Reader Program (AR) provides students with a fun and rewarding way to promote reading at home and in the classroom. It helps students choose books on their reading level, making reading less frustrating and more enjoyable. In addition, AR assessments allow teachers and parents to monitor a student’s reading skills and growth.
- STAR Early Literacy, Math, & Reading – These online standardized, computer-adaptive assessments are used to provide teachers with valuable information about student performance and progress.
Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE)
Morningside Elementary Schools' core curriculum is based on the Georgia Department of Education Standards of Excellence and the APS Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. At each grade level our teachers write and create the curriculum based on the students’ needs as evidenced through our local, state, and district assessments. We seek out supplemental programs, materials and student experiences based upon student needs identified, supported by our MES PTA and Foundation. The MES curriculum is designed for students to achieve to the highest standards, through a hands-on, enriching, experience based approach, with frequent review and assessment. Our students participate in contests such as Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, Technology Fair, and Science Fair, placing at district, regional and state levels.