Chelmsford's Essential Course of Study (ECOS): An Integrated Approach to Literacy in Grades 1-4

  • ECOS cover page How did ECOS come to be?  With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Chelmsford teachers needed a way to integrate reading and writing to accomplish their literacy goals.  Specifically, the tasks set before them were to use text based prompts, incorporate 3 genres of writing into their everyday program, and effectively assess growth. 

    One of the more substantial changes for teaching writing in grades 1-4 is the shift to text-based writing.  In order to accommodate this shift, teachers will use the Journeys curriculum as a way to set the experiential background for all students.  Consequently, students that do not have rich experiences with a topic can still write a satisfactory piece using the information from the reading selection.


    In addition to leveling the playing field for all writers, the CCSS requires that all students have equal exposure to three genres of writing: narrative (personal and imaginary), informative,and opinion.  ECOS provides teachers with a realistic guideline for accomplishing not only their reading skills but integrating writing as well. 


    Last but not least, teachers needed a way to assess where students are in the learning process. By instituting diagnostic, formative and summative assessments throughout the school year, teachers can monitor progress and determine where specific students need to focus their learning.


    The birth of ECOS has been a thoughtful and cooperative process where together district leaders and teachers devised a way to accomplish their goals. 
    The teachers listed below worked diligently to produce ECOS:


    Grade 1: Meghan Hogan
    Grade 2: Lisa Thomas-Boyle
    Grade 3: Kristy Streeter
    Grade 4: Tammy Abbott
    Grade 1: Susan Dooley
    Grade 3: Barbara Knight
    Grade 4: Susan Santa Barbara
    Grade 2: Donna Omobono
    Grade 3: Tara Trainor
    Grade 4: Janet Hoffman
    Grade 2: Elaine Connolly
    Grade 3: Martha Krauch
    Grade 4: Terry Driscoll
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