What Does Literacy First Mean?
Literacy First is a pillar of New Summit Charter Academy. We understand that in order for a child to access all subjects, he/she must know how to read. This creates a love of learning.
We believe that all students can learn to read, and it is the responsibility of the teacher, parents, and interventionist to work together to determine how best to support the child. We believe in Early Intervention vs. the Wait to Fail model. At New Summit, a student will receive support as soon as the data shows a gap.
We know that multi-sensory, explicit, sequential, phonics-based instruction has proven to be the most effective.
How is Literacy First Demonstrated at New Summit?
Literacy First can be seen in the classroom with differentiated, skill-based reading groups in addition to whole class instruction.
DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time is essential and a vital part of each student’s day at New Summit. Every grade participates in DEAR time regularly.
Beginning next year, our students will have access to our library as a weekly Special, which will include content-rich, curriculum supported, and classical literature. Also included will be Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales. We believe in quality literature which feeds our students’ minds in a healthy way.
Also next year, we are planning to implement Student Book Clubs for some of the upper grades.
At New Summit, the students enjoy being read to by parents, teachers and VIP guest readers.
Literacy First is based on the concept that without the ability to read well, children will not be able to access the knowledge required to be successful in school OR in life. For that reason, we intend to ensure that our kids are GREAT readers. Some elements of the Literacy First program will include:
- Heavy Emphasis on Reading to Kids
- Early Detection and Intervention of Reading Struggles
- Strong Systematic Sequential Phonics Approach
- Building A Solid Foundation For Life Long Learners
- Considering the rich Core Knowledge curriculum, students at New Summit can read about a great variety of people who have gone before. From Johann Sebastian Bach, Martin Luther, and Michelangelo to Socrates, Susan B. Anthony and Shakespeare, your older students will read about characters from history with unforeseen enjoyment. These remarkable past individuals will become new friends, and heroes to your New Summit students.
- Well Stocked Library With Many Choices
- Reading Buddies
- At New Summit, older students will be reading to emergent readers on an ongoing basis. This advances everyone. The younger students hear what fluent reading sounds like, and the older students have the opportunity to practice their reading aloud. But perhaps the greatest benefit is the long-term relationship that students of differing grades develop over time.
- Guest Readers
- Book Clubs
- When students participate in Book Clubs, they have an opportunity to enjoy a book with others. They can discuss concepts and characters, pick apart plots, and investigate the intricacies of an author’s writing. Reading a book is more fun and engaging with a group of peers!
- Reading Incentives
Reading Skill Groups
Research shows that beginning readers benefit most from being taught explicit skills during intensive small group instruction.
Why Small Groups?
The small group, differentiated, reading model enables teachers to focus on specific skills needed by varied groups of children. By integrating strategy instruction and engaging students, educators support students’ early literacy learning.
What do These Reading Small Groups Look Like?
- Differentiated Reading: – Matching instruction to meet the needs of learners.
- Reading Centers: – Provide practice opportunities and individualized work.
- Small-Group Literacy Lessons: – Teach explicit skills and objectives in intensive small groups.
- Hands-on Word Work: – Promote inquiry and critical thinking.
- Active Responses: – Increase student engagement and motivation to participate.
Why are Small Groups Important?
Small groups are important because learning is social. Children make sense of school activities through observation, participation, and social interaction.
What are the Benefits of Small Group Instruction?
- Easier to differentiate instruction.
- It enables teachers to recognize struggling readers.
- Easier to attend to student needs.
Various Types of Small Groups
- Guided Reading: – Provides a context in which the teacher can monitor and guide the student’s application of specific skills in decoding and comprehension to construct meaning while reading.
- Rotations/Literacy Centers: – Centers can be set up with various activities to engage children who are not in the teacher-directed group.
- Skill Groups: – Small groups based on specific reading skill levels.