Literacy

  • LITERACY MISSION, GOALS, VISION & VALUES

    The Mission of the Literacy Department includes and supports District 15's mission to produce world-class learners by building a connected learning community.

    The Goals of the Literacy Department support the vision & values set forth within District 15’s Strategic Plan.

    Our Strategic Plan Vision
    Preparing students to be critical thinkers, effective communicators, engaged community members, self-reliant, resilient, & healthy individuals who are equipped for continued success.

    Our Strategic Plan Values

    • Innovation
    • Prepare students for future success
    • Meet the needs of every child every day
    • Healthy and supportive culture
    • Rigorous, personalized learning
    • Equity and inclusivity

    DISTRICT 15 K-6 LITERACY CURRICULUM (Core Instruction- Tier 1)

    District 15 uses a multitext literacy approach and framework across all general education K-6 classrooms. According to Fountas & Pinnell, leading experts in the field of literacy teaching and learning, a multitext approach allows readers to “build effective and flexible literacy processing systems” through “varied, well-written, engaging, accessible, and plentiful” amounts of texts.

    Beginning in the Fall of 2018, District 15 began a multi-year literacy curriculum revision and implementation plan. Using board-approved materials from the Fountas & Pinnell Classroom system, teachers are continuing to cultivate their craft of literacy teaching while also gaining expertise with the implementation of new materials. The following contexts of literacy are part of this multi-year literacy implementation. You can expect your District 15 student to engage in reading, thinking, talking, and writing about texts every day, through these literacy contexts as implemented by grade level.

    READING

    Interactive Read Aloud (K-6)

    Through a daily Interactive Read Aloud, teachers read a selected text to the whole class, occasionally and selectively pausing for thoughtful conversation. Students think about, talk about, and respond to the text as a whole group or in pairs, triads, or quads. Students actively process the language, ideas, and meaning of the text. Interactive Read Alouds are the “heart” of literacy teaching and learning, as they build a community of readers among these shared books.

    Shared Reading (K-3)

    During Shared Reading, teachers and students read aloud an enlarged version of an engaging and enjoyable text. These “big books” provide opportunities for students to expand their reading competencies through engaging in reading, thinking, and talking about the enlarged text as a whole group. By participating in multiple reads of the same text over the course of a few days, students develop in all aspects of the reading process.

    Readers’ Workshop with Reading Minilessons (K-6)

    Through a Readers’ Workshop instructional framework, students engage in a daily reading minilesson as a community of readers and thinkers. Following the daily minilesson, students have opportunities to practice and apply their ongoing understandings to their independent reading with books of their choosing. In addition to daily independent choice reading time, students also have opportunities throughout the week to meet for small group instruction with the classroom teacher.

    Independent Reading (K-6)

    “The purpose and the goal of literacy instruction is to create lifelong learning readers who have the power of choice and enjoy the pleasure of reading” (Fountas and Pinnell). Within a Readers’ Workshop instructional framework, students engage in daily independent reading time with books of their choice. It is during this time that students are able to apply their literacy learning, while also developing and increasing their experiences with texts over time.

    Guided Reading (K-6)

    Guided Reading is a powerful literacy context in which a teacher brings a small group of learners together for instruction who have similar reading behaviors, understandings, and needs. It is only in this context of literacy, that a teacher uses leveled text. The carefully selected text and planned lesson is designed to engage readers in explicit reading instruction and support in areas such as fluency and comprehension.

    Word Study (K-6)

    Word study plays a critical role in expanding and refining students’ reading and writing powers. This context is taught both out-of-text through explicit instruction, and in-text through implicit instruction. Students receive instruction across Nine Areas of Learning within word study, including Early Literacy Concepts, Phonological Awareness, Letter Knowledge, Letter-Sound Relationships, Spelling Patterns, High-Frequency Words, Word Meaning/Vocabulary, Word Structure, and Word Solving Actions. Word study combines both whole group instruction and small group/individual application. Word study in Kindergarten through Grade 3 is implemented with Fountas & Pinnell Classroom materials. Word study in Grades 4-6 is implemented with Words Their Way. See Words Their Way Word Study Program for more information.

    Book Clubs
    Book Clubs gives students an opportunity to come together in a small group for an in-depth discussion of a book they have chosen to read. These discussions are student-led. Book Clubs help students to share and extend their thinking and learn about themselves as readers. Student choice is a critical and empowering part of this small group literacy context.

    WRITING

    Learning to write begins in primary grades with shared, guided, and independent writing. Topics for writing assignments are balanced between teacher-assigned subjects and those that students select themselves. Writing often takes place in a writer's workshop format with the use of minilessons, writing, individual and small group conferences, and sharing time as an effective model. District 15 currently utilizes Kid Writing in Kindergarten and the Scholastic Traits Writing program in Grades 1-6.

    DISTRICT 15 TIER 2 LITERACY INTERVENTION

    Reading Consultant Specialists (RCS)

    Classroom teachers are the critical component for effective literacy instruction. Each school in the district also has a reading specialist(s) on staff to provide additional support and expertise. The reading specialist supports classroom literacy instruction and serves as a resource to all teachers in a building.

    District level literacy coordinators provide resources, training and support for teachers while continually assessing student needs, determining best practices, and evaluating current research to be sure that District 15 students are receiving the best possible instruction.

    READING INTERVENTION PROGRAMS

    Most District 15 students successfully learn to read in a regular classroom environment. For some students, learning to read may require an additional layer of support. The district proactively addresses the needs of these students at all grade levels through the use of the Leveled Literacy Interventions System (LLI) and through the use of Soluciones for our multilingual students in grades K-2.

    The Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention System (LLI)

    Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) is an intensive, small-group, supplementary literacy intervention for students who may need an additional layer of support. The goal of LLI is to advance the literacy behaviors of students.

    The LLI systems are designed to:

    • Deepen and expand comprehension
    • Increase the variety and amount of text that students can successfully read
    • Build knowledge while keeping students engaged
    • Aid students in becoming manipulators of words
    • Capture student’s thinking through writing about reading

    Soluciones

    A research-based literacy solution for students who need additional support or intervention, Soluciones has been carefully developed to correlate with all aspects of a comprehensive literacy program, to close literacy gaps for students who need additional support beyond the classroom walls, and to build knowledge and respect for the Hispanic culture.

    The components of Soluciones have been crafted to:

    • Support high-quality reading instruction using authentic Spanish texts
    • Emphasize comprehensible input in the areas of listening and reading
    • Emphasize comprehensible output in the areas of speaking and writing
    • Provides explicit phonemic awareness, phonics and vocabulary instruction
    • Includes both reading and writing output