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Reading Success For All in 2015-2016


booktashuaWe want all of our students to succeed in reading. To ensure that they do make continual progress, we have a process in place that enables us to monitor the growth of every student in our school. It starts with our District Universal Screening assessments which begins during the month of September. Each student in grades one through five is assessed in reading individually by his or her classroom teacher using the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System. While a student reads from leveled text, the teacher takes a running record which provides valuable information about a child’s oral reading behaviors. The teacher notes if a child is repeating words and/or phrases, omitting or adding words or misreading words. The teacher also notes the child’s phrasing while reading and the various cues a child is utilizing while reading. After reading a leveled text, the teacher initiates a comprehension conversation with the student about the text to measure the child’s understanding of the text. The child will continue to read progressively more difficult text until the teacher finds the child’s instructional level, the level at which a child can read and understand text with some teacher support.

Students in grades 3 – 5 are also assessed using the Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) which is a timed group administered test. While taking this test, a child independently reads a series of increasingly difficult non-fiction selections. Each selection has seven words omitted and a child faces the task of choosing the correct answer for each omitted word from a bank of words. In order to complete this task, a student must understand what he or she is reading.

We also have assessments that provide valuable information about our kindergarten students. These assessments help us to determine if they are able to identify letters/sounds and basic sight words.
After the classroom teachers have finished their assessments, the reading consultants and I meet to review the data and to identify which students are below the district criteria established for their grade levels and to determine which students are in need of intervention. Depending on a child’s areas of need, he or she will receive intervention in decoding, fluency, and/or comprehension. Once this is determined, we group students by need and assign personnel to teach each group.

Additionally, the reading consultants and I meet with the classroom teachers to review their assessment data, to group students for small group reading instruction, and determine which students will be provided targeted intervention by the classroom teacher.

The first round of intervention for students who qualify typically lasts for a period of six to eight weeks. The staff member providing the intervention continually monitors each child’s progress. At the end of this time frame, our Early Intervention Team (EIT) meets to review each child’s progress, determine if the intervention is working, and to change or discontinue the intervention as needed.

In November, we administer another Fountas and Pinnell assessment to any student in grades one and two who did not meet the fall benchmark and then the reading consultants and I meet to determine if additional students are in need of intervention. In January, we reassess students in grades 3, 4, and 5 who did not make the fall benchmark for their grade level and then meet to determine if additional students need intervention.

In January, all students in grades one and two will be reassessed using the Fountas and Pinnell assessment and kindergarten students will be administered their first Fountas and Pinnell assessment of the year. Once again, we examine the data to see if additional students need to be provided intervention services.

As you can see, this is an ongoing process. In addition to the interventions our students receive, every student receives high quality reading instruction daily in the classroom. The classroom teachers provide whole group, small group, and individual instruction in reading based on students’ needs.

We are committed to ensuring our students are strong readers. In order for them to succeed in school, even in math and science, students must be able to think critically about what they read. Our classroom teachers and support staff are working to develop the skills our students need to become strong readers; however, we need your support at home as well. In order to access the complex texts that students are expected to read at each grade level, students need to spend time practicing their reading at home as well as in school. By ensuring your child reads at home we can approach the recommended daily reading time for elementary students.

Tiger Times December 2015