When Florida State Assessment scores revealed that our third-graders were under-performing in reading, my colleagues and I analyzed the data to determine the root cause of performance. The data showed a need for an explicit, phonics-based approach to literacy for our young students. Unless they develop foundational reading skills early, students will experience literacy deficits across all subjects, and phonics instruction embedded in comprehensive reading instruction is the most effective way to teach them how to read.
In fact, last year the Florida Senate passed a bill that requires instructional materials to incorporate evidence-based strategies, including a phonics-based approach to acquiring literacy skills, with the goal of improving reading performance for all students. According to the new law, Florida districts aren’t required to provide state-approved literacy resources until 2021. However, our team had a great sense of urgency. Whether it was required by the state or not, we set out to create an ecosystem of phonics-based learning that would reduce the number of students who struggle with reading.
Setting goals to satisfy all stakeholders
Our goals in creating this ecosystem were to increase reading achievement, help students succeed on their third-grade state assessments, and, most important, inspire our students to become lifelong learners through reading.…Read More