How can this gap be decreased in a school
Follow a research-based scope and sequence of
explicit instruction for at least 45 minutes daily.
The Foundational Skills Guidance Document
from Student Achievement Partners outlines
essential instructional components to teach
early reading skills. Some educators need access
to an effective curriculum to support this work.
There are a number of open source curricula
available if you need access to one.
EdReports.org is a great starting point if you are
looking for a curriculum.
2. Perfect practice makes perfect.
There are 44 phonemes, or units of sound, in the
English language that comprises all of the words
that are spoken or read.
What can educators do to support students
with understanding how these phonemes
translate into words?
Provide frequent opportunities for students to
practice the acquired foundational skills
through a variety of ways both in context
through decodables or controlled texts and out
of context. Regularly assess student
understanding of the skills and clear up
misconceptions directly to a student, small
group, or entire class. Student Achievement
Partners has a Foundational Skills Assessment
Protocol that includes ways to assess student
- A D R I A N N E R O B I N S O N S U B L E T T
3. Sharpen your skills.
In 2012, Harvard posted a memo that spoke to
the duality of literacy instruction through both
skills and knowledge-based competencies. With
adequate instruction, skills-based competencies
are mastered by grade 3.
Where can educators go for additional support
with understanding this work?
It is crucial that every early literacy teacher and
observer have a solid personal understanding of
effective foundational skills instruction to
provide the best support for ALL students. The
Foundational Skills Mini Course builds content
knowledge for teachers and those who support
teachers. Educators who support teachers
should utilize tools that ensure effective
standards-based instructional practices. The
Foundational Skills Observation Tool provides a
process for engaging in meaningful
conversations to both build teacher capacity
and improve student outcomes.
We have 24 hours in a
day to plan, teach,
monitor, and adjust
instruction to support our
students with reading
(decoding) and writing
(encoding.) Reflect and
seek opportunities to
grow in your practice as
you empower your
students through the gift
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