Public PK-12 School District in Dalton, Georgia


Andrea NajeraLiteracy is fundamental for success in all pursuits and necessary for lifelong learning. Our goal in Dalton Public Schools is to provide students with a literacy-rich environment where they acquire the knowledge and skills needed to become effective communicators and critical thinkers who value literacy in their everyday lives.

Dalton Public Schools utilizes a balanced literacy approach that includes Readers’ Workshop, Writers’ Workshop, and Language and Word Study. The workshop model allows for grade-level, standards-based instruction in reading and writing to every student in the whole-group mini lesson. Small groups and leveled texts are used to meet the instructional needs of all students. Individual reading and writing conferences help tailor instruction to the individual needs of students.

Our literacy framework provides students with multiple opportunities for reading and writing across a variety of genres, in all content areas, and utilizes a range of text difficulty. At Dalton Public Schools, we are building a community of joyful, engaged, and successful readers and writers.

Young Georgia Authors

Dalton Public Schools held its annual Young Georgia Authors Celebration on Thursday, April 22 in a virtual ceremony. 

While COVID-19 restrictions prevented an in-person celebration, each school was connected via Zoom to the event. The ceremony was livestreamed the district website and the DPS Literacy Facebook page, and the recording can be viewed below. 

Readers' Workshop

Readers' Workshop

Mini Lesson, Guided Reading, Independent Reading, Reading Conferences, Writing about Reading and Share Time
Teacher giving a mini lesson

Grade level standards are taught using a brief, explicit lesson format. This includes modeling guided practice and an expectation of application of the lesson.

Students Independently Reading

After the mini lesson, students have the opportunity to apply their learning during independent reading.

Group of Students reading independently

During Readers' Workshop, students have the opportunity to choose books on their own and read independently. 

Student writes response to his book

Once a week, students write about what they are learning from the books they are reading. 

Primary Writing About Reading Notebook

Reader’s Notebooks are used to give students an opportunity to share their thinking about the books they are reading.

Class does Share Time

Readers’ Workshop ends with a time for sharing the work and learning that happened that day.

Writers' Workshop

Writers' Workshop

Mini Lesson, Guided Writing, Independent Writing, Writing Conferences and Share Time
Example of an Anchor Chart

Anchor Charts are often used to create a resource for the class to remember and use the strategies that are taught.

Student showing his narrative planning

Writers plan their stories before they begin writing. After a writing conference with his teacher, this second grade student has planned his narrative story across several pages. 

Teacher conferencing with students about writing

Teachers talk with individual students about their writing and give individual feedback and instruction.

Student shares her work with her classmates

At the end of Writers' Workshop, students share their work and what they are learning as writers.

Language and Word Study

Language and Word Study

Phonics, Grammar, Vocabulary and Language
Teacher gives phonics lesson.

Students receive whole-group and small-group instruction in phonics. These skills help build word solving strategies.

Students building words

After a whole group lesson on word parts, students practice putting parts together to build a word.

Students talking to their partners

During interactive read aloud, students share their thinking with a turn-and-talk partner. This helps develop speaking and listening skills.

An example of a primary word wall.

A word wall helps students build independence as readers and writers.

Example of a k-1 work station.

Workstations are utilized in the Primary Readers’ Workshop as a way for students to independently practice the skills they are learning in reading, writing and phonics.

Teacher reads together with her students

Shared Reading is a tool used to move students forward as readers. Reading together helps with fluency and allows students to read more complex texts.

Alice Ensley works with kindergarten students

Students in all grades work on developing vocabulary-solving strategies.

Student practicing %22close reading%22

Our students practice "close reading" by reading and re-reading a difficult text to gain a deeper understanding. Students learn to use annotation marks to guide their thinking.

Student Annotation

This is an example of a third grade annotation. Close reading helps students with comprehension and vocabulary.

An example of a middle school word wall.

The use of word walls continues into the middle school, including more academic vocabulary.

Statue of Liberty Project demonstrating a class practicing Interactive Writing

Interactive Writing allows young students to share the pen with teachers to compose and create writing pieces.