The Reading Resource Site


Reading Resource Room

In Grades K-4, the Reading Resource Specialists support classroom teachers in reading instruction. Incorporated into the reading instruction are the Houghton Mifflin Journeys Program, The Spalding Method of Phonics for Teaching Reading, Heggerty Bridge to Reading and selected quality literature.

The Reading Resource Specialists provide options for on-going reading assessment of all students. Reading teachers work with groups of students on various reading skills throughout the year. They meet regularly with the classroom teachers to develop both short and long range reading plans based on student progress towards the meeting of Common Core ELA Standards.

At the Kindergarten level, the Specialists support the development of pre-reading and beginning reading skills, provide phonics instruction and assessment of early literacy skills.

In grade one, the Specialist focuses on helping students make letter-sound connections, develop efficient decoding skills, improve sight word vocabulary and build fluency.

In grade two, the Specialist helps students improve basic reading comprehension skills, increase fluent and expressive reading, and become more independent readers. An emphasis is placed on developing strategies to decode longer words.

In grade three, more instructional time is placed on developing comprehension strategies that can be applied across the curriculum. Vocabulary skills include the understanding of word parts, the meaning of words and the correct reading and  usage of multi-syllable words. Students extend oral and written responses to selections they read.

In grade four, students learn to apply higher-level thinking skills to better understand and connect with material they are reading. Longer selections and novels provide challenge and enrichment. Silent reading comprehension is measured more frequently as students “read to learn” in all subject areas.

The three curricular reading programs that the Reading Resource Specialists support include the following five areas of reading instruction, which are appropriate to grade level and ongoing assessment.

1. Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic Awareness teaches children to notice, think about, and work with (manipulate) sounds in spoken language.  (Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read, 2001 publication developed by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement.)  Developing Phonemic Awareness skills helps children to be aware of how sounds and words work before they learn to read printed words.

2. Phonics

In development of phonics skills, children learn that there is a predictable relationship between written letters and spoken words. It teaches children to use these relationships to read and write words. (Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read, 2001 publication developed by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement.) Because the human brain is a pattern seeker, phonics instruction as a basis for reading is very effective.

3. Fluency

Reading fluency is the ability to read accurately and quickly.  As students become more fluent, word recognition becomes automatic and comprehension increases.  Fluency develops gradually over considerable time and through substantial practice.

4. Vocabulary

Vocabulary plays a critical role in learning to read.  Children who are learning to read will use words they speak and hear to make sense of the words they see in print.  Although most vocabulary is learned through everyday experiences with language, we use direct instruction of specific words relevant to new text in order to increase reading comprehension.

5. Comprehension

Comprehension is the reason for reading.  If readers can read the words but do not understand what they are reading, they are not really reading. Students can improve their reading comprehension by using specific comprehension strategies that are explicitly taught and modeled.