Reading is the foundation of all learning. As you know, we have had a group of intentional teachers that have been meeting with the purpose of researching and studying the ingredients of effective ELA practices. The group has met regularly since the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. Guiding principles (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension) were developed and serve as the anchor for the work that continues. Included in the guiding principles are the Wyoming Core ELA Standards.
Numerous comprehensive resources were studied and a careful analysis lead to the selection of two programs/resources to be piloted during the 2017-2018 school year. These two programs are Reach For Reading developed by National Geographic and Core Knowledge developed by Amplify. There are currently 18 classrooms ranging from Kindergarten to 5th grade that are participating in the reading pilot and all four elementary schools are represented as well. A decision will be made in April, 2018 regarding the resource that will be selected as a tool to support our curriculum and meet the demands of the Wyoming Core ELA Standards.
It is important to remember the rigorous and relevant instructional practices that have been an integral part of our approach to English Language Arts instruction. These research and evidence based practices will continue to be utilized in classrooms throughout the district. Effective practices currently in place will continue to impact student growth in ELA classrooms. These instructional tools, strategies and techniques include: effective lesson structure (connect, teach, active engagement, link, share-gradual release of learning), small group instruction, guided reading, purposeful strategy groups, learning targets, success criteria, questioning, accountable talk, think alouds, modeling, close reading, quiet signals, turn and talk and engagement strategies, classroom libraries, feedback, conferring, assessment, data analysis, running records, progress monitoring, independent reading, student self assessment and goal setting.
Communication will continue as we move forward in this process. Please feel free to ask questions as they arise.