Reading & Writing Overview

An effective literacy program offers a balance of challenge and support while building children’s confidence in their emerging abilities as readers and writers.


  • To develop fluent, capable readers who enjoy the process and learn from it, drawing from a diverse array of literature.
  • To helping students become writers who can express their ideas cogently, clearly, and creatively.

A Developmental Process

We view reading and writing as a developmental process and understand that a child’s progress is seldom even or linear. It is common, for example, that a student’s leap ahead in learning is followed by a consolidating phase or an apparent plateau. We also find that students cannot be easily placed in a single category along the learning continuum. Rather, students often exhibit a range of skills and understandings.

While no two developmental journeys are identical, the following reading and writing continuum describes the basic path to literacy in the Beginning and Lower Schools. You can read more about the teaching and learning involved in each stage of development in both reading and writing.

7 Stages of Literacy Development

  • Preconventional
  • Emergent
  • Beginning
  • Developing
  • Expanding
  • Bridging
  • Fluent
An independent preschool through 12th grade day school in Portland, Oregon
8825 SW Barnes Road,
Portland, Oregon 97225 |
503-297-1894 |

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