ROADMAP AND SPECIFICS FOR READING DEVELOPMENT AND READING LITERACY

INSTRUCTION in GENERAL EDUCATION

In order to produce literate, career-ready citizens able to seize opportunity, schools must lay the foundation for education success and lifelong learning accomplishments. Comprehensive Reading Development and Literacy Instruction in General Education requires that students achieve a level of reading fluency that leads to deep comprehension skills-considered "full literacy." To become fully literate, a student must receive foundational reading and writing instruction and speaking, listening, and language instruction for a range of subject areas. Put simply, full literacy affords students the opportunity to flourish and participate in society, and to be capable of both critical analysis and reflective thinking across a wide range of areas necessary for societal good.

For some children, reading literacy is achieved through almost any reliable method of instruction. For many others, however, including most of our SEEDS community, reading must be acquired through systematic and explicit instruction. This instruction allows the students to develop a sequenced progression of complex skills that build upon and interact with one another, leading over time to a deep understanding of print. The intellectual processes involved in learning to gain ever greater meaning from text become, in turn, the basis of both more generalized coherent thinking and the evolving capacity to write and expand one's thoughts and ideas.

Extensive research has documented that not all children progress in reading acquisition in the same way. In order to ensure that all children learn in a way best tailored to their individual profiles of strengths and weaknesses, the use and interpretation of data regarding these learning profiles must drive instruction, not the other way around. It is well understood by now from the many studies conducted that foundational reading skills are best taught by knowledgeable, skilled, and well-trained professional/certified teachers of reading, who have not only mastered reading, literacy, and language instruction and the multitier system of supports, but who can also interpret the results of data to tailor instruction to their students' specific needs. In other words, it is essential to have teachers know both which methods work best and how and when to implement them with students at particular levels of skills and needs.

For example, when teaching to a student in the SEEDS community, there exists substantial evidence that the amount of instruction time, its intensity, and the amount of exposure and repetition necessary to develop basic foundational reading skills will vary among individuals. It is by now well-known that some SEED students with developmental dyslexia require very different amounts of exposure and practice to master particular foundational skills if they are to connect the multiple pathways in the brain's circuit for reading. For other students, such as those who may only need concentrated language enrichment, reading may come easily after the initial vocabulary is learned. Regardless, all but a few percent of students will become proficient readers when taught using data-validated and evidenced-based instruction by certified teachers of reading.

All educators must share this essential goal: for students in grades K-2 to receive quality foundational reading, speaking, and listening instruction. By grade 3 students move toward an emphasis on text comprehension and fluency attainment; this allows them to enter a different phase of reading with the connected purposes of "reading for knowledge"(reading literacy) and writing and speaking with structure and thought. By grade 4 students continue their work toward full literacy through writing, speaking, language, and listening instruction in content area subjects, which, in turn, leads to subject area literacy. A caveat is critical at this point: If a student has not received quality instruction in the early grades, then intense and increased instructional supports with a certified teacher of reading are necessary now, regardless of a student's grade level, and for as long as it takes to acquire grade-level reading, writing, speaking, and listening proficiency skills.


Foundational Reading Development Instruction in Grades K-3

Foundational Reading Instruction programs shall consist of specific program content and a defined delivery system. The programs shall be taught by certified teachers of reading. There are eight Foundational Reading Instructional Content Components:

  • Language-Based: A program that provides instruction integrating all aspects of language, from the receptive (listening and reading) and expressive (oral expression such as word finding and sequencing) aspects to written expression (spelling, mechanics, coherence) and handwriting.
  • Phonological Awareness: A language program that explicitly supports that words are made up of individual speech sounds and that those sounds can be manipulated. This component includes rhyming; recognition of initial, final, and medial sounds; recognition of vowel sounds; recognition and identification of the number of syllables in a word; blending of phonemes (sounds) in words and detached syllables; phoneme segmentation of real words and detached syllables; and phoneme manipulation.
  • Phoneme-Grapheme Correspondence Knowledge: A program that provides instruction on the system by which written symbols represent sounds. This encourages accurate pronunciation of each phoneme represented by a given grapheme (symbol to sound), writing the graphemes that represent each given phoneme (sound to symbol), and blending of rules.
  • Syllable Instruction: A program that provides instruction in syllables and their application to reading, as either a word or part of a word containing one sounded vowel.
  • Linguistics: A program that involves the science of language, including phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics (the study of the structure of a language and its relationship to other languages).
  • Meaning-based Instruction: A program that provides instruction, through words and sentences, in extraction of meaning; isolated letter-sound correspondence; morphology, from identification of morphemes to their functional use in written and spoken words; syntax, including sentence construction, combination, and expansion in narrative and expository text; semantics, including vocabulary acquisition, idioms, and figurative language; and comprehension of narrative and expository text.
  • Reading Fluency Instruction: A program that provides instruction in the imperative of reading fluency, including accuracy; appropriate use of pitch, juncture, and stress; text phrasing; and the rate at which one reads. Instruction will provide for substantial practice and continual application of word recognition and decoding to work toward automaticity. It will also offer opportunities for reading large amounts of text to achieve independent, grade-level reading with 95 percent accuracy and will give students specific practice in the skills they are learning.
  • Phonics:A program that provides instructional practices to emphasize the systematic ways in which spellings relate to speech sounds.


Instructional Methodology and Delivery of Foundational Reading Development Instructional Content

All teachers of reading shall be prepared to utilize the following techniques and strategies with a diverse student population in the classrooms. Foundational reading instruction with student- teacher interaction shall be delivered as follows:

  • Systematic (structured), sequential, and cumulative instruction that is organized and presented in a way that follows a logical, sequential plan, fits the nature of language (alphabetic principle) with no assumption of prior skills or language knowledge, and maximizes student engagement. This instruction proceeds at a rate commensurate with students' needs, ability levels, and demonstration of progress.
  • Individualized instruction that meets the specific learning needs of each SEEDS in a small group setting, including a reading curriculum that matches each student's individual ability level.
  • Intensive, highly concentrated instruction that maximizes student engagement, uses specialized methods and materials, and produces results.
  • Meaning-based instruction directed toward purposeful reading and writing, with an emphasis on comprehension and composition and on independent thinking.
  • Instruction and instructional delivery that uses a simultaneous combination of internal learning pathways and incorporates the simultaneous use of two or more sensory pathways (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, tactile) during teacher presentations and student practice to achieve proficiency in language processing.
  • Synthetic to analytic phonics delivery that first teaches students the letters and their corresponding sounds and then combines or blends these sounds to decode and create words. Synthetic phonics methodology is delivered to students as follows:
    • Systematically. The material is organized and taught in a way that is logical and fits the nature of our language. This characteristic of the methodology refers to the way a system of rules governs how sounds combine to form words and words combine to form sentences to represent knowledge.
    • Sequentially. The learner moves step by step from simple, well-learned material to that which is more complex, as he or she masters the necessary body of language skills.
    • Cumulatively. Each step is incremental and based on those skills already learned.
    • Individualized. Teaching is planned to meet the differing needs of learners who are similar to each other but never exactly alike.
    • Automaticity. Student reading performance requires a fluent processing of printed material. The goal is that the process requires little effort or attention, as in sight word recognition. Adequate student practice with decodable text is provided for mastery of automaticity skills and application of concepts.

The Foundational Reading Instruction Program is routinely implemented within the regular school day for a defined amount of time per week or per day. The instruction is scheduled in two segments for students as follows: regular class instruction, out-of-class instruction, individual or small group instruction, a combination of these options, or any additional arrangements that may be developed by the committee.


Grades K-5 Speaking, Listening, and Language Instruction

Speaking and listening skills of increasing difficulty by grade level will be taught to students in grades K-5 for academic and lifelong expression, comprehension, cooperation, and collaboration.

Comprehension and collaboration in discussion with increased difficulty by grade level:

  • Students will learn to engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade-level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own ideas clearly.
  • Students will learn to come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material, and to draw explicitly on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion by:
    • Following agreed-upon rules for discussions and carrying out assigned roles.
    • Posing and responding to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborating on the remarks of others.
    • Reviewing the key ideas expressed and drawing conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.
  • Students will learn to summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • Students will learn to summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.

Expression and presentation of knowledge and ideas in discussion with increased difficulty by grade level:

  • Students will report on a topic or text or present an opinion; sequence ideas logically and use appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; and speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • Students will include multimedia components (e.g. graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
  • Students will learn to adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.

Conventions of Standard English in speaking and writing with increased difficulty by grade level:

  • Students will learn and demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • Students will learn and explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and in particular sentences.
  • Students will learn to use the perfect verb tenses (e.g. I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked).
  • Students will learn to use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.
  • Students will learn to recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense (e.g. either/or, neither/nor).

Command of the conventions of standard English- capitalization, punctuation, and spelling-when writing with increased difficulty by grade level:

  • Students will learn to use punctuation to separate items in a series.
  • Students will learn to use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
  • Students will learn to use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g. Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g. It's true, isn't it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g. Is that you, Steve?).
  • Students will learn to use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
  • Students will learn to spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Vocabulary acquisition and use with increased difficulty by grade level:

  • Students will learn to determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
  • Students will learn to use context (e.g. cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • Students will learn to use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g. photograph, photosynthesis).
  • Students will learn to consult reference materials (e.g. dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.
  • Students will learn to demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meaning.
  • Students will learn to interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.
  • Students will learn to recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
  • Students will learn to use the relationships between particular words (e.g. synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand each of the words.
  • Students will learn to acquire and accurately use grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal contrast, addition, and other logical relationships (e.g. however, although, nevertheless, similarly, moreover, in addition).


Grades 4-12 Reading Literacy Instruction in Content Areas

Reading literacy skills will be provided to all students by content area and English language arts teachers as determined by the Standards to define college- and career-readiness expectations.

Learning and identifying the key ideas and details in content area reading literacy with increased difficulty by grade level:

  • Read closely to determine the explicit meaning of the text and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
  • Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
  • Craft and structure content area reading literacy with increased difficulty by grade level:
  • Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings; and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g. a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and to the whole.
  • Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Integration of knowledge and ideas in content area reading literacy with increased difficulty by grade level:

  • Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually, quantitatively, and in words.
  • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
  • Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics to build knowledge or to compare author approaches.
  • Range of reading and level of text complexity for reading literacy must increase by grade level. Instruction is based upon complex textual literature that requires increased comprehension and encourages independent analysis.


Grades 4-8 Writing Literacy Instruction

Writing literacy skills are provided to all students by teachers of content areas and English language arts as determined by the Standards, to define college- and career-readiness expectations.

In grades 4-8, with increased difficulty by grade level, students will learn and master the skill of writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information that increase in complexity:

  • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and organize the piece by grouping related ideas to support the purpose.
  • Provide reasons supported by facts and details.
  • Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

In grades 4-8, with increased difficulty by grade, students will learn and master the skill of writing arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence to:

  • Introduce one or more precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  • Develop the claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge, concerns, values, and possible biases.
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while abiding by the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

In grades 4-8, with increased difficulty by grade level, students will learn and master the skill of writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences:

  • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
  • Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or to show the responses of characters to situations.
  • Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
  • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to precisely convey experiences and
  • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

In grades 4-8, with increased difficulty by grade, students will learn and master the skills of the production and distribution of writing:

  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • With guidance and support from peers and teachers, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • With some guidance and support from teachers, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills.

In grades 4-8, with increased difficulty by grade level, students will learn and master the writing skill of using research to build and present knowledge:

  • Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information; and provide a list of sources.
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


Grades 9-12 Writing Literacy Instruction

Writing literacy skills will be provided to all students by content area and English language arts teachers as determined by the Standards to define college- and career-readiness expectations.

In grades 9-12, with increased difficulty by grade level, students will learn and master the skill of writing informative and explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately. They will accomplish this through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. Students must introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; and include formatting (e.g. headings), graphics (e.g. figures, tables), and multimedia to aid comprehension. Mastery of these skills requires that students consistently do the following:

  • Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic.
  • Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.
  • Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while abiding by the norms and conventions of the discipline in which students are writing.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g. articulating the implications or significance of the topic).

In grades 9-12, with increased difficulty by grade level, students will learn and master the skill of writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences:

  • Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.
  • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and characters.
  • Sequence events using a variety of techniques that build on one another to create a coherent whole and a particular tone and outcome (e.g. a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution).
  • Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and characters.
  • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.

In grades 9-12, with increased difficulty by grade level, students will learn and master the skills of production and distribution of writing:

  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. Focus on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.
  • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.

In grades 9-12, with increased difficulty by grade level, students will learn and master the writing skill of using research to build and present knowledge:

  • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating an understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, while avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and while following a standard format for citation.
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Executive Summary

KEY COMPONENTS

ROADMAP AND SPECIFICS

MODEL LEGISLATION LANGUAGE