Questions You May Ask About Title 1A at Sage Elementary
Meghan Flanary, Title 1A Reading Specialist
P: 541.316.2830 ext. 4222
How was my child selected? Students are assessed at the beginning of the school year to help us determine what reading level they are instructional at—that means not too easy, but also not too hard. Some of the assessments we use are as follows:
· Redmond Kindergarten Assessment—is a test that is given by the kindergarten teachers to determine how many of the necessary language skills your student is coming into kindergarten with. It assesses letter names, letter sounds, rhyming and a few other skills that are important building blocks of learning how to read.
· easyCBM—this is a district assessment that all first graders in Redmond participate in and is used as a ‘screener’ to tell us whether they are on track to read at grade level successfully.
· Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Benchmark System—this assessment is given to students at Sage Elementary who are readers—if your student was beginning to read in kindergarten, they would be assessed on this test, but typically 80% of first graders receive this measure in September.
· Core Phonics Survey- this test is given to students who are at risk on ECBM and Fountas and Pinnell. It measures phonics understanding from a basic to more advanced skill level. These phonics skills are necessary to mastery for future success in reading.
· easyCBM—this is a district assessment that all second graders in Redmond participate in and is used as a ‘screener’ to tell us whether they are on track to read at grade level successfully.
· Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Benchmark System—this assessment is given to students at Sage Elementary who are readers. This test looks at fluency (the speed with which your student reads), errors (how many correct words your student reads) and also uses questions after the story to assist in knowing how well your child remembers and understands what they have read.
What is the reason for these tests? Research shows us that students need specific skills—building blocks that begin the reading process like knowing the names and sounds of the alphabet and how to blend letter sounds together to form words—to be successful readers. Those same kinds of research have established what we call ‘benchmarks’ that help educators know if a student is on track compared to their peers. Also, the earlier students receive additional reading help, the more successful they will be throughout their school career.
Here are some of the skills we focus on when we are assessing or working with your student.
· Letter sounds: does a student know all the sounds the different letters can make?
· Phonemic awareness: is a student able to hear, identify, and recognize different sounds?
· Fluency: does the student read with a natural voice, more like the way they talk with breath breaks in the appropriate places or are they choppy and not ‘easy on the ears’?
· Vocabulary: does the child have good vocabulary skills and if they don’t know the meaning of the word can they figure it out from the sentence the word is in.
· Comprehension: does the student have a good understanding of the story or reading material? Do they remember what they read?
Exiting Students: When a student is successfully reading grade level material independently, they are exited from our Targeted Assistance Program. Success at grade level is determined by more assessments (we call this progress monitoring) over an extended time-frame to show a regular pattern of success.
Where does the funding for our reading program come from? The Redmond School District receives monies from the state and federal education funds to support additional literacy instruction in grades K-2nd. The amount of funding we receive is based on income levels in our community. The state and school district use the Free and Reduced lunch program to predict the level of need at each school (which is why you may be asked to fill out that paperwork—it helps keep track of how much help we are able to provide all our families at Sage!)
What does my student’s Targeted Assistance group do? How does it fit with the reading instruction they get in their classroom? We instruct students in small groups where there are no more than five students to one instructor. This creates a more individualized way for us to work with your student on the skills they need the most help with. There are a variety of curriculum that we use in Title 1A. Some of these programs include Early Intervention Reading (ERI), My Sidewalks, Reading Mastery, Quickreads, Sound Partners, Lexia Core 5, Phonics for Reading and Road to the Code.
How can I help my student at home? Here is a brief list of ideas to get you started, but I encourage you to contact me if you would like more activities or specifics about what would help your student.
· Do homework regularly and set up a homework space in your home that will limit distractions
· When reading together, read words they don’t know—“That word is____. It means_____. In this sentence, it is telling us___.” This allows your student to start making connections to words and their meanings or to strengthen the connection they may already have.
· Read while cooking, driving, shopping—just about anywhere you see words!
· Learn the sight words for each grade level—your classroom teacher will have a list of words your student needs to be working on. Try writing the words on index cards and practice daily.
· Help your child to see words inside of other words. For example: chat has the word at in it. Or stand has and in it.
· Work together on blending words instead of always sounding out single sounds. I call this “keep your motor running.” This will help with how smooth they read.
· Ask them to listen to themselves read. Are you reading bumpy like a train trying to go uphill or are you reading smooth like the way you talk to your family and friends? This will let them know what they should be sounding like when reading out loud. Be a good role model for them with your reading.
· Play games. For example, “What rhymes with _____?” You could do this verbally and/or practice by writing them down and into sentences.
· Buy or borrow books that are “just right” books; this means they are not too easy or too hard for your student. Just right books should:
1. Provide a challenge that a student can figure out.
2. Provide new ideas to expand a student’s understanding of the world.
3. Teach new strategies and skills, like long vowel blends (ex. ai, ou).
Just right books should help a student feel as though they are in control of their reading, the story is enjoyable and/or relaxing and that it will help them practice their literacy skills in a way that requires minimal effort for their growing brain.