Martin Kozloff David Gill December, 2004 This module describes the main features of Reading First. Five major reading skills, or Big Ideas. Three kinds of curricula. Four kinds of assessments. Systematic and explicit instruction. Scientific validation of all aspects of instruction (the first four items in this list). Reading as a school-wide endeavor. Five Major Reading Skills, or Big Ideas Reading First gives educators a clear picture of reading. Proficient reading consists of five major skills, or big ideas. When these five skills are taught in a logically progressive sequence, early skills help students to learn and use the later-taught skills. This leads to accurate, rapid reading with comprehension and enjoyment. More information is on the IDEA website, at http://reading.uoregon.edu/big_ideas/trial_bi_index.php Now let’s look at the five main reading skills, or big ideas. Five Major Reading Skills, or Big Ideas The five major reading skills are: 1. Phonemic awareness 2. The Alphabetic principle 3. 4. 5. Letter-sound correspondence r says rrr Sounding out, or decoding, words “rim” -> rrriiiimmm -> rim Fluency Vocabulary Comprehension Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Phonemic Awareness Is… The Ability to Hear and to Manipulate Sounds in Words. There are a dozen ways to hear and manipulate sounds in words. These ways are best taught from easier to harder. For example, 1. Identify words that sound the same and different. run fun sit mouse hat house 2. Rhyme. can, man, fan, rrr__ 3. Count the number of words in a sentence. The dog sat by the cat = 6 words Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued 4. Count the number of sounds (phonemes) in a word. sat = /s/a/t/ = 3 sounds 5. Blend (make) words from separate syllables and sounds. “Listen. ice…..cream. What word?” icecream “Listen. mmm…aaa…nnn. What word?” man 6. Segment words by identifying the first, last, and middle (medial) sounds. “What’s the first sound in rrrruuuunnn?” Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued 7. Say what a word would be if one sound were removed (phoneme deletion). “Listen… sssaaaat. Take out ssss. What word now?...” at 8. Say what a word would be if a sound were replaced with another sound. “Listen…. ssssiiiit. Take out ssss and put in fff. What word now?...” fit Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued Caution! 1. It’s best to work on only three or so kinds of phonemic awareness—not all of them. 2. The best choices are rhyming, segmenting, and blending. Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued 3. Connect skill at phonemic awareness with instruction on the alphabetic principle— a. letter-sound correspondence m says mmm b. sounding out words raaannn -> ran Specifically… Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued Don’t work on phonemic awareness by itself for weeks and then work on letter-sound correspondence and sounding out. Instead, in close succession, when you teach students to hear and manipulate sounds in words, teach them the letters that go with those sounds and then to sound out words made of those letters. Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued Phonemic awareness helps students to read and to do other literacy skills. How? Students who hear and manipulate sounds (phonemes) and syllables in words, and words in sentences, can more easily do the following: 1. Remember which sound goes with which letter. 2. Sound out words. cat k/aaaa/t 3. Say and read sentences smoothly. Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued 4. Spell. “How do you spell cat?” kaaaat. /k/ is c. /a/ is a. /t/ is t. c a t…cat. 5. Detect and correct errors in reading and spelling. “The hou…no hhoorrr…horse ran fast.” Big Idea 1. Phonemic Awareness: Continued See http://reading.uoregon.edu/pa/index.ph p for more information on phonemic awareness. Big Idea 2. Alphabetic Principle The Alphabetic Principle is… The Ability to Associate Sounds With Letters and to Use This Knowledge to Read Words. The alphabetic principle (sometimes called phonics) has two skill-parts. 1. The student knows letter-sound (sound-symbol) relationships: m says /mmm/, i says /iii/, and r says /rrr/. 2. The student uses letter-sound knowledge to sound out or decode words—perhaps letter by letter at first and then quickly. “The bike has a bent rrrriiiimmm….rim.” Big Idea 2. The Alphabetic Principle: Continued When students use letter-sound knowledge to sound out words (the alphabetic principle, or phonics), they know exactly what the written word says. However, Many students are not taught to use phonics knowledge as the first and most reliable strategy for identifying words. Many students are not taught phonics in a systematic way. Big Idea 2. The Alphabetic Principle: Continued Many students are (wrongly!) taught to guess using context cues. “What word fits there?” So, instead of reading words as written (“The bike has a bent rim”) these mistaught students guess… “The bike has a be…be..bell…belt….ri…ri…rip. The bike has a belt rip.” Big Idea 2. The Alphabetic Principle: Continued When students can’t read words as written (can’t read the letters), they try to guess or “predict” what a word is, using Pictures on the page. “A cat picture. Billy put on his cat.” [The word is “hat.”] The shape of a word. “That word looks like it says ‘baby’.” [The word is “maybe.”] A few letters in the word. The child says “kite” instead of “kit.” What seems to fit the meaning of a sentence. “The lamp fell…down.” [The word is “over.”] Big Idea 2. The Alphabetic Principle: Continued Using these “context cues” is NOT reading—any more than guessing answers to math problems is the same as solving problems. “Show your work.” “I can’t.” “Why not?” “I guessed.” Big Idea 2. The Alphabetic Principle: Continued Students who guess what words say (because they were taught to do this, or because they were not taught phonics systematically, and therefore have to guess), may never become skillful readers. That’s why Reading First stresses thorough, systematic, and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle. Read more at http://reading.uoregon.edu/au/index.php Big Idea 3. Fluency With Text Fluency is… The Effortless, Automatic Ability to Read Words in Connected Text. Fluency means reading with accuracy, speed, and prosody (pitch, emphasis). Fluency is important for enjoyment and comprehension. If a person struggles with words such as “guilty” (gu…qu…guil…quil…), the person will also struggle to figure out the meaning of sentences. In fact, dysfluent readers spend so much time and effort trying to figure out what the separate words say, they can barely pay attention to the meaning of the sentence. “The ju..jur….jury found her gu..qu…guil…quil…”) In other words, they learn very little (e.g., vocabulary, ideas) from reading. Big Idea 3. Fluency With Text: Continued To help students read connected text (e.g., story passages) accurately, quickly, and with prosody, it is important to: 1. Teach students to decode separate words (regular and irregular) accurately and quickly—which means (1) using knowledge of letter-sound correspondence (not guessing); and (2) blending the sounds into words. 2. Teach students to self-correct. “ssiiib… No sssiiip…sip.” Big Idea 3. Fluency With Text: Continued 3. Provide practice reading words enough times that it’s almost automatic; that is, the words become “sight words.” 4. Provide practice reading text with which students are already accurate. 5. Encourage students (and model how) to read faster and faster without making errors (i.e., more words correct per minute, or wcpm). Big Idea 3. Fluency With Text: Continued Note! Sight words are not words a student memorizes. The student still knows how to decode words letter by letter. The student has simply read the words so often that decoding takes only an instant. Learn more about fluency here. http://reading.uoregon.edu/flu/ Big Idea 4. Vocabulary Vocabulary is… Understanding (receptive) and Using (expressive) Words to Gain and Express Meaning. The first three reading skills… 1. Phonemic awareness 2. The alphabetic principle--letter-sound correspondence and the strategy for sounding out or decoding words 3. Fluency… …have to do with the mechanics of reading. The last two skills—vocabulary and comprehension— have to do with making sense of the written word. Big Idea 4. Vocabulary: Continued Vocabulary and comprehension can’t be taken for granted. Many students won’t “pick up” these skills. Students should be taught systematically and explicitly how to get and express the meaning of words and passages. This is especially important for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. These students Are read to less often. Hear fewer vocabulary words, and therefore Understand and use far fewer words than children born to working class or professional class families. Big Idea 4. Vocabulary: Continued Here are important methods of vocabulary instruction. 1. Read storybooks to children. 2. Provide direct instruction of new vocabulary words by: Selecting important words in a story. Explaining or defining the words. Giving students many chances to discuss and use the new words. Big Idea 4. Vocabulary: Continued 3. Teach older students morphemic analysis (analysis of word parts) to determine meaning. For example, “Bisect. Bi means two. Sect means part. So, bisect means divide into two parts.” 4. Teach contextual analysis--inferring the meaning a word from the context in which it occurs. “The fan’s oscillations cooled everyone in the room…Sometimes fans move back and forth. If everyone was cooled, it probably means the fan blew on everyone. So, oscillate probably means to move back and forth.” Find more on vocabulary here. http://reading.uoregon.edu/voc/ Big Idea 5. Comprehension Comprehension is… Reading and Reflecting on a Text to Gain Meaning Sentences don’t tell you what they mean. Students must interact with the text—for example, 1. Ask questions. “When did Huck see that Jim was more than a slave?” 2. Check to see if the text gives answers. 3. Reread, and modify interpretations. 4. Connect one sentence with later sentences to get the flow of the argument or the flow of events in time. Big Idea 5. Comprehension: Continued These comprehension strategies are learned best when taught explicitly. This means 1. Setting comprehension objectives. For example, students will answer specific literal (who, what, when), inferential (why), and evaluative (what might have happened if…?) questions. 2. Focusing on main ideas in a story or informational text. Big Idea 5. Comprehension: Continued 3.Preteaching vocabulary words important for comprehending the material. 4. Reading (with students) the material in manageable chunks, and asking literal, inferential, and evaluative questions on each chunk. 5.Using a KWL strategy: students think about and discuss what I know; what I want to know; and what I learned. Learn more about comprehension here. http://reading.uoregon.edu/comp A Comprehensive Set of Curriculum Materials No set of curriculum materials (program) is adequate for teaching all five main reading skills to all beginning readers. Materials may have the following weaknesses. Weaknesses in Curriculum Materials There are two main weaknesses in curriculum materials. 1. The scope and sequence (what is taught and in what order) may not adequately cover all five skills. For example, there is too little instruction on phonemic awareness; some skills are taught in the wrong order; there is too little review and practice. Weaknesses in Curricula 2. Materials are designed for the average student, and may not provide the sort of instruction needed by: Students with little background knowledge; for example, small vocabulary little phonemic awareness little knowledge of letter-sound correspondence Students with specific difficulties learning to read. For example, some students know how to sound out words, but they take too long to do it. As a result, they can’t keep pace as the teacher points to words on the board and asks the class to read each word quickly. Weaknesses in Curricula Therefore, a comprehensive reading curriculum will have three sets of materials. Reading First recommends three kinds of curriculum materials, or what is sometimes called the “three-tier model”--which you can read about at the following websites. http://www.utsystem.edu/EveryChild/Presentations /SVaughnPDF9-9-02.pdf http://www.texasreading.org/3tier/materials.asp http://texasreading.tea.state.tx.us/readingfirst/3tie modreainsint.pdf http://www.fcrr.org/science/pptpresentations.htm http://www.fcrr.org/science/publications.htm Three-Tiered Model The three sets of materials are Core. For almost all students. Supplemental. To fill gaps in core materials or to provide additional instruction to certain students. Intervention. Highly focused, intensive instruction for certain students. Core Materials in the Three-Tiered Model A core reading program should: 1. Cover all five main reading skills, or big ideas. 2. Be designed to be useful for almost all beginning readers. 3. Be well-designed, in terms of sequencing of skills, practice, and building simpler skills into more complex wholes, to name a few features. Core Materials: Continued The University of Oregon’s website states: “A core reading program is the primary instructional tool that teachers use to teach children to learn to read and ensure they reach reading levels that meet or exceed grade-level standards. A core program should address the instructional needs of the majority of students in a respective school or district…Adoption of a core does not imply that other materials and strategies are not used to provide a rich, comprehensive program of instruction.” Core Materials: Continued “The core program, however, should serve as the primary reading program for the school and the expectation is that all teachers within and between the primary grades will use the core program as the base of reading instruction. Such programs may or may not be commercial textbook series… Teaching reading is far more complex than most professionals and laypersons realize. The demands of the phonologic, alphabetic, semantic, and syntactic systems of written language require a careful schedule and sequence of prioritized objectives, explicit strategies, and scaffolds that support students' initial learning and transfer of knowledge and skills to other contexts.” Core Materials: Continued “The requirements of curriculum construction and instructional design that effectively move children through the ‘learning to read’ stage to the ‘reading to learn’ stage are simply too important to leave to the judgment of individuals. The better the core addresses instructional priorities, the less teachers will need to supplement and modify instruction for the majority of learners.” [http://reading.uoregon.edu/curricula/core _program.php ] Core Materials: Continued Criteria for evaluating core reading programs, and reviews of many core programs, can be found here. http://reading.uoregon.edu/curricula/index.ph p http://reading.uoregon.edu/appendices/con_gu ide.php http://reading.uoregon.edu/curricula/or_rfc_r eview_2.php Supplemental Materials in the Three-Tiered Model Supplementary curricula or programs are used in two ways. 1. They fill gaps in a core reading program. For example, a core program may have too little instruction on rhyming (one aspect of phonemic awareness), or it may have too few storybooks connected to its instruction on decoding and vocabulary. Therefore, a school or district would purchase or create materials to give the additional instruction. Supplemental Materials in the Three-Tiered Model 2. A core program may not provide the amount of highly focused instruction some students need on certain skills. For example, some students enter school with a vocabulary so small that they don’t know what the stories are about. Therefore, a school or district might use a supplementary program for accelerating these students’ vocabulary development. Supplemental Materials in the Three-Tiered Model Caution. It’s important to select core and supplementary materials that are compatible, or at least to train teachers to make them compatible. For example, a core program might tell teachers exactly how to correct errors when students misread words. For example, the word is “made” but a student reads “mad.” “He m….mmm…mad the....” Teacher. “That word is made. What word?” Student. “made.” Teacher. “Spell made.” Student. “m a d e” Teacher. “What word?” Student. “made.” Teacher. “Yes, made. Please start the sentence again, Joey.” Supplemental Materials in the Three-Tiered Model However, supplementary materials might not tell teachers how to correct reading errors, or they may suggest a different method (format). This will confuse students. So, the school either has to use core and supplemental materials that correct errors the same way, or the school has to decide that teachers will apply to all supplementary materials the error correction format used in the core program. Intervention Materials in the Three-Tiered Model Intervention programs are designed to meet the needs of students with so little background knowledge or so much difficulty learning to read that they need specially designed instruction and special, additional time for instruction. For example, diagnostic assessment may show that some kindergartners are falling behind, perhaps because their phonemic awareness skills are still so weak. Or, some third graders struggle to comprehend text because they are still weak on basic comprehension skills. In both cases, students would get extra time for interventions, using materials that focus on their skill weaknesses. Intervention Materials in the Three-Tiered Model Caution. Again, core and intervention materials should be compatible; e.g., both teach the same word identification and comprehension strategies. In addition, teachers must ensure that what students learn during intervention instruction is transferred to general (core) reading instruction. For example, teachers ensure that students are taught to use their new phonemic awareness and comprehension skills when they are with the rest of the class reading storybooks in the core materials. Otherwise, intervention instruction will be of little benefit. Intervention Materials in the Three-Tiered Model You can read more about supplementary and intervention programs at the following websites. http://reading.uoregon.edu/curricula/or_rfc_r eview_si.php http://readingserver.edb.utexas.edu/downloa ds/primary/booklets/Essential_Strategies.pdf http://oregonreadingfirst.uoregon.edu/downlo ads/S-I_Review_Full_06-23-04.pdf http://readingserver.edb.utexas.edu/downloa ds/primary/booklets/supplementTutoringGr35.pdf Four Kinds of Assessments A rule in Reading First is that instruction should be rational and accountable. Teachers need solid information on skills students bring and do not bring to reading instruction, on progress they are making during instruction, and how much progress they made during the year. Without this information, teachers can’t successfully: Assign students to proper reading groups and to properly trained teachers. Decide if the core program is adequate or if students need supplemental or intervention instruction (and on exactly which skills). Decide at the end of the year if students are ready to move to the next year/level of a core program. Therefore, Reading First advocates four kinds of assessments. Each has a different function. Four Kinds of Assessments: Screening Screening assessment is used when students enter a beginning reading program or at the start of the year. The function is to determine whether a student has the entry skills (e.g., knowledge of the alphabet, phonemic awareness, and vocabulary) that are likely to make instruction in the core program alone adequate, or whether the student has specific skill deficits and learning difficulties that require supplemental and/or intervention instruction. Progress Monitoring: Continued Progress is monitored on skills worked on. These assessments might be done bi-weekly (or more often) to see how much students’ skill at decoding (sounding out) words is improving, or how much fluency (measured as words correct per minute, wcpm) is increasing. This information is used to make decisions. Progress Monitoring: Continued Decisions based on progress monitoring: 1. A student should be moved to a reading group that is progressing more quickly (or more slowly). 2. A student might get extra practice at decoding so the student reads connected text more accurately and quickly. 3. A student’s progress is so slow that intervention instruction is called for. However, before that is done, more information is needed—supplied by diagnostic assessment, discussed later. Progress Monitoring: Continued Progress monitoring also says something about the quality of a curriculum and/or the quality of instruction delivered by teachers. For example, 1. If teachers use the core program exactly as instructed but many students make little progress, this suggests weaknesses in the core program. The core then might be reevaluated with the following documents. http://reading.uoregon.edu/curricula/con_guid e.php http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/Evaluating%2 0a%20Core%20Reading%20Program.pdf Progress Monitoring: Continued 2.Students in Ms. Black’s class make excellent progress in the core program, but students in Ms. Winter’s class do not. This suggests that Ms. Winter is not using the core properly. For example, Ms. Winter may not correct errors, or she may go to the next lesson before students master skills in the present one. In this case, Ms. Winter’s teaching must be assessed. The inventory, here, shows how to assess teachers’ reading instruction. http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/inventory.doc Diagnostic Assessment Screening assessment may show, for example, that a student has little knowledge of phonemic awareness. But what does this mean? Does this mean the student is not read to and talked with enough at home? Does it mean the student can’t easily hear the differences between one word and another? Does it mean the student simply has trouble producing the sounds? Diagnostic Assessment: Continued Likewise, progress monitoring may show that a student is not picking up skill at sounding out words. Does this mean the student’s knowledge of letter-sound relationships (s says /s/) is weak, and therefore the student can’t say and blend the separate sounds in many words? Or could it be that the student knows letter-sound relationships but has a hard time retrieving and then using this knowledge quickly enough to keep up with the pace of instruction? Clearly, making the right instructional decision requires answers to these questions, which are supplied by diagnostic assessment. Outcome Assessment Outcome assessment determines how much students have learned at the end of a semester or year. This information is used to evaluate: The quality of the core, supplemental, and intervention materials. The quality of instruction. Student motivation, attention, and participation. Students’ specific reading skills and difficulties—leading to decisions about curricula (keep, change, modify), instruction (ways to improve and how to assist teachers), and classroom management. Features of Good Assessments Assessment instruments should: 1. Provide valid information (information on the skills that need to be measured). 2. Be appropriate for students’ age and grade level. 3. Be reliable (different users would get about the same data with the same students). 4. Be relatively easy to use. 5. Provide objective information (e.g., 100 correct words per minute) rather than impressions (“Sally reads pretty accurately and quickly”). Therefore, it’s wise to select instruments with a solid track record. Features of Good Assessments Here are sources that describe and evaluate many assessment instruments. http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/rfassessmentins truments.pdf http://idea.uoregon.edu/assessment/analysis_resu lts/assess_results_by_test.html http://www.fcrr.org/assessment/ http://idea.uoregon.edu:16080/assessment/ Systematic and Explicit Instruction The most respected scientific research in education and psychology shows clearly that instruction yields higher and faster achievement in more students (with and without learning difficulties) when instruction is systematic and explicit. Here are some resources you might examine. http://epaa.asu.edu/barak/barak.html http://epaa.asu.edu/barak/barak1.html http://idea.uoregon.edu/~ncite/documents/techrep/t ech05.pdf http://idea.uoregon.edu/~ncite/documents/techrep/t ech06.html But what does systematic and explicit mean? Systematic Instruction: Continued Systematic means that: 1. Instruction is given in a planned, logically progressive sequence of things to be taught. For example, certain letter-sounds (a, s, i, m, r) are taught before other letter-sounds (b, n, y, sh) because they are easier to learn and are used more often. 2. Instruction is guided and assessed with clearly defined objectives for everything taught. Objectives are stated in terms of what students will do. Poor objective. Students read story books quickly and get most words right. Good objective. Students are given two minutes to read the assigned passage from “The bear and the hare.” They read the passage at a rate of at least 100 words correct per minute.” Systematic Instruction: Continued 3. Instruction is focused precisely on the thing (knowledge unit) to be learned, as specified by the objective. For example, if students are to read a passage at 100 wcpm, then that is exactly what the teacher focuses on during the ten minute fluency exercise during lessons. She does not work on fluency, new vocabulary, and comprehension at the same time. 4. Instruction provides planned practice to strengthen all of the skills worked on. Systematic Instruction: Continued 5. Instruction provides planned work on new examples (e.g., words, text) to foster application or generalization of previously taught knowledge. 6. Instruction includes assessments designed and used in a timely fashion to monitor the different phases of instruction, or mastery: acquisition, fluency, generalization, retention, and independence. Systematic and Explicit Instruction: Continued Explicit means that: 1. The teacher reveals in an obvious and clear way to students the knowledge she is trying to communicate. She does this through demonstrations (modeling) and running commentary to students. For example, “I’ll show you how to sound out this word. [man is written on the board.] Listen. I do NOT stop between the sounds. [Teacher touches under each letter as she says the sound.] mmmmaaaannn. Now, I’ll say it fast. [Teacher slides her finger under the word.] man.” Explicit Instruction: Continued 2. The teacher ensures student attention to important features of an example or demonstration. “Look. [points to the word “ate”] Here is a vowel, then a consonant, and then an e at the end [name]. So, we do NOT say the e at the end.” Explicit Instruction: Continued Here’s an example of instruction that is not explicit. It is implicit—or buried in the teacher’s talk. The teacher holds up a big book that has a paragraph from a story. She reads the words slowly. Occasionally she points to the letter r in different words and says rrr. She expects that this will be enough for students to get the connection between the letter and the sound. Of course, many students do not get it. Systematic and Explicit Instruction In contrast, using explicit instruction the teacher would hold up the big book and say, “New sound. This sound (points to the letter r in ran) is rrr. Say it with me… And this sound (points to r in car) is rrr. Say it with me… And this sound (points to r in barn) is rrr. Let’s see if you remember our new sound. What sound is this? (points to r in ran)… What sound is this? (points to r in barn)… What sound is this? (points to r in car)…. Now I’ll read the story.” (Teacher points to each r as she reads and has students say rrr and then read the whole word.) Systematic and Explicit Instruction Explicit instruction of letter-sound correspondence, in which… The teacher focuses on sounds in isolation to aid attention. Points to the letter and says the sound (model). Has students say the sound with her and then by themselves. Practices this many times over the next few days …is more likely to teach most students quickly. Scientific Validation This is one of the most important contributions of Reading First. Every curriculum or program, every teaching method (e.g., how to correct errors), and every assessment instrument must be: 1. Valid (does what it is supposed to do) and reliable (works the same way in the hands of different people). 2. Based on scientific research. For example, the sequence for introducing new letters-sounds in a core program must be based on solid scientific research that says this is an effective sequence. 3. Field tested to ensure that it is valid and reliable and effective before it is used. Scientific Validation Teachers will be more confident, and certainly will be more effective, if all of their teaching methods and materials are known to work. Here are websites with more information on scientific validation. http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/RigorousEvid ence.pdf http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/whatresearch says.htm http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/Research%20 and%20Reason.pdf http://www.ecs.org/html/educationIssues/Rese arch/primer/understandingtutorial.asp Reading is a school-wide Endeavor If teachers in different grade levels and classes use different curricula, different assessments, different teaching methods, and different rules for interpreting assessment data and for making instructional decisions, students are not likely to benefit as much from reading instruction as they would if reading were a coordinated school-wide activity. Reading is a School-wide Endeavor Therefore, schools need to: 1. Develop a school mission stressing the importance of reading, setting high but realistic achievement goals for each year, and assuming primary responsibility for students’ achievement. 2. Examine different curricula and assessment instruments (using materials at the websites listed earlier), and select the ones shown to be most effective. 3. Select the right teachers for the right jobs. It’s essential that the best teachers teach students in the early stages of reading and teach students who are behind or who need interventions. Reading is a School-wide Endeavor 4. Select specialists to coordinate testing, collect assessment information, order curricula, obtain outside consultation and training, and provide technical assistance to teachers. 5. Ensure principals and other administrators know: the five reading skills; what explicit and systematic instruction looks like; what effective reading instruction looks like; what to ask job applicants to ensure that they get skilled teachers; know the criteria that define adequate curricula; and have the strength to require teachers to use curricula faithfully and to improve their teaching as needed. 6. Provide professional development on all aspects of Reading First, as well as timely ongoing assistance. Reading is a School-wide Endeavor Here is the website for an instrument that lays out the skills teachers need. It can also be used to guide assessment, professional development, and ongoing assistance. http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/inventory.doc Additional materials on school-wide implementation include the following. http://oregonreadingfirst.uoregon.edu/downloads/Progr am_Fidelity_Checklist.doc http://www.texasreading.org/utcrla/ http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/al_jan_02.pdf http://readingserver.edb.utexas.edu/downloads/primary /guides/2000_word_analysis_SE.PDF http://reading.uoregon.edu/logistics/trial_log_index.ph p Let’s summarize The six features of Reading First discussed above amount to an integrated approach to reading. There are five main reading skills: phonemic awareness, the alphabetic principle (lettersound correspondence and using this knowledge to decode words), fluency (accuracy and speed), vocabulary, and comprehension. Three kinds of curricula ensure that virtually all children learn to read: core programs, supplementary programs, and intervention programs—with placement determined by assessment information. Let’s Summarize There are four kinds of assessments: screening, diagnostic, progress monitoring, and outcome. These provide information used to make decisions about students’ curriculum and instructional needs, the quality of curricula used, and the quality of instruction. The wisest course is to teach all skills systematically (in a planned, logical sequence) and explicitly (the teacher clearly demonstrates knowledge). All of the above are based on the rules and procedures of scientific research to ensure validity, reliability, and effectiveness. All of the above are part of a coordinated, schoolwide effort that includes clear mission, strong leadership, assignments based on expertise, and professional development.