Early Literacy Guided Reading Initiative at Mountain View Academy
“The Road to Reading”
Mountain View Academy is excited to report the recent launch of a new K-4 literacy initiative. The “Fountas & Pinnell” guided reading approach is a multifaceted program which aims to bring students from “learning to read” towards “reading to learn”.
At the onset, students were individually assessed and put into homogenous groupings for their continued classroom work. At any given time, should you be visiting during our guided reading block, you would see three main components in action. The first component is the small group teaching led by the teachers. In the lower levels of these groups you would see students working on skills necessary as they learn to read – how to decode words, how to read with fluency (speed, accuracy, and expression), and how to engage with the story by retelling the events, making connections, and answering relatively simple “who, what, when, where” questions. At the higher levels the student focus changes from learning to read to using reading as a learning tool. These students, while still focused on reading fluency, are learning vocabulary, engaging in the story by making predictions and connections, and extending their learning into writing.
Essentially, students rotate through three reading experiences in their literacy block time. While the small groups are working with their teacher the other students are engaged in one of two other components to the program. Some students will be working on reading activity stations which are designed to scaffold their learning and give them an opportunity to apply it in a more individual and creative way. Other students will be on the computer, working their way through their reading levels, with the Raz Kids subscription that was recently purchased. Students are also encouraged to use Raz Kids at home.
Another formal assessment will be done at the end of the school year which will provide important feedback on student improvement as well as target skills to continue working on the next year. Both students and teachers have reported a high interest and enthusiasm about this way of learning and we are already seeing improvements in skills, fluency, and confidence with our readers.