Overview of Reading Program, K-2
The teaching of reading in grades K-2 is a careful combination of phonics instruction and lessons in comprehension. For phonics, we use Wilson’s Fundations, a systematic and multisensory phonics program which incorporates both spelling and handwriting. Grades K and 1 have been using Fundations already and grade 2 will join in using it for school year 2019-2020. For comprehension, this year we will begin using Wit and Wisdom with our K-2 students. Wit and Wisdom teaches students both comprehension skills and content knowledge through rigorous anchor texts that students read and re-read to develop as critical thinkers and effective communicators. Wit and Wisdom emphasizes both writing and speaking. Wit and Wisdom does have key assessments, including writing tasks, vocabulary quizzes, and discussion circles. However, you will notice fewer weekly assessments than in year’s past.
A critical component to learning to read is practice. Fundations and Wit and Wisdom are teaching the building blocks of reading, phonics and comprehension, but our students need plenty of time to practice what they are learning. We will be giving students time in the afternoons to read independently and put into practice what they are learning in the morning with the two programs described above. In order to foster students’ learning and keep our school to home connection strong, your child will be asked to read 15-20 minutes a day at home. A child that reads this often (5 days a week) will have 87 hours of reading time clocked each year. Reading this frequently, and at these earliest grades, is a huge predictor of academic success later on in life. Studies show that these students, by middle school, will outperform their peers in college readiness. We want to be partners with you in your child’s reading success.
Fountas and Pinnell will continue to help us assess your child’s reading performance. We assess students informally several times throughout the year to identify growth and be an indicator of student struggle. We will continue to use Fountas and Pinnell to guide our K-2 students’ reading growth this year.