Title 1 Reading Program Abstract

The Title I Reading Support Program at Center Woods Elementary School provides individualized skills and small group guided reading instruction that supplement the regular school reading program, and is taught by a highly qualified teacher.  Students from first through third grade are selected to receive extra reading support based upon scoring criteria that includes standardized assessment scores, individual needs, and teacher recommendations based on classroom performance.  The current Title I program is a full time position that supports students on a regular basis. 

The Title 1 reading program utilizes the research based supplemental reading programs Fundations, Soar to Success and Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI).

 Fundations is a subprogram of the Wilson Reading System, published in 2002, specifically designed for K-3 students. The program is built on several key instructional principles. Students receive highly explicit and systematic instruction, and concepts are introduced in small increments and practiced and reviewed frequently to ensure mastery. Students are given immediate and instructive feedback as they learn, and have the opportunity to use multiple modalities as they approach learning new information and building onto material that has already been mastered.

 Fundations addresses each of the five components (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) required by Reading First. The program uses a number of multi-sensory techniques that are combined into activities during phonics instruction intended to heighten students’ awareness to word structure with the ultimate goal of increasing fluent decoding and automatic word recognition. Fluency development is approached with activities designed to increase speed, accuracy, and expressiveness. Visualization is taught as a specific comprehension strategy using decodable text and literature at the students’ independent and instructional levels.

 Soar to Success is a reading intervention program for students in grades 1-8 who are reading below grade level. It is used in addition to the core reading program. Two primary goals of this intervention are to accelerate students’ reading ability and to help students to quickly and easily apply the comprehension and decoding strategies that they have learned to other content area texts. Soar to Success uses reciprocal teaching.  Students are taught to use the cognitive strategies of summarizing, clarifying, questioning, and predicting. Soar to Success contains instruction in four of the critical components of reading outlined by the National Reading Panel and Reading First: phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Comprehension instruction however, is the primary thrust of Soar to Success. The lessons are structured, fast paced and collaborative in nature.

 Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) is a research-based, small group, supplementary intervention program designed for children who struggle with reading and writing. The program is designed to supplement, not replace, regular classroom instruction. The lessons are fast paced, but designed to reinforce new learning and help children make accelerated progress. LLI focuses on deep comprehending of texts and developing effective writing strategies. There is a strong home-school connection to enhance learning beyond the lesson and support parent involvement. Initial and ongoing assessments as well as progress monitoring are also a core part of the LLI program, providing regular input on student strengths and weaknesses.

Depending on the students’ needs they will be placed in one of the above mentioned programs. This instruction occurs in small groups of 4-6 students that meet 3-5 days per week.  The Title 1 teacher and the classroom teachers coordinate their schedules so that the supplemental instruction is not given during core instruction time. Teachers use weekly common planning times and team meeting times to coordinate instruction.

 Throughout the year, each Title I student is given the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) benchmarks  and the NWEA (Measure of Academic Progress) tests to help determine his or her reading difficulties individually and to show the child’s growth and improvement over the course of the year.  Progress reports are sent home regularly to parents of Title I students along with suggestions for improving specific reading skills at home.

The Center Woods administration and staff are very supportive of the Title I program, its students and their families.  Open houses, information nights, parent and faculty surveys, newsletters and parent conferences are all a part of an effort to increase parent involvement at our school.  Our Tier II and Tier III reading support programs are also evolving, and many of the practices that are considered to be highly effective in our Title I program are now being implemented in our other reading service programs.  Collaboration among our staff and many opportunities for professional development are strengths of our Title I program.