Dear Parents and Guardians -
An instructional area of focus for us this year is centered around teaching the foundational reading skills to students. While this is not a new concept, this year we do have a much more systematic approach to teaching reading skills to students in kindergarten through 3rd grade.
The components necessary for quality literacy instruction are numbered and complex. We know from research on literacy instruction that beyond explicit, direct instruction, students must have multiple, high quality practice opportunities to apply their learning in both reading and writing. These opportunities include whole group, small group and independent practice daily during the daily literacy block.
The language components include the Concept of Print - which is the understanding of principles around the meaning of the printed word and organization of words on a page. The Concept of Word - refers to a student’s automatic knowledge of letter sounds and words in isolation. Phonological Awareness includes identifying and manipulating units of oral language and forms the building blocks for reading. Phonemic Awareness refers to the ability to focus on and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words. And finally Phonics is learning sound and spelling patterns to recognize the sounds letters make in print.
Again complex concepts that require explicit instruction. It is important to note that even strong readers may need additional instruction in certain areas to solidify their skills as readers and writers. Working together as a staff, we are breaking down the components of reading and providing direct instruction based on what we learn to students in classrooms which will positively impact literacy skills for everyone.