Overview of the Willets Road Reading Program
Many variables are considered when determining eligibility for the reading program. Students who received reading support at Northside are often recommended to continue receiving reading instruction at Willets Road. Classroom teachers are also consulted to assess how students are performing in the classroom. Additionally, standardized tests are administered at the beginning of the year to obtain diagnostic information about students' reading abilities. Parents are also an important part of determining placement in the reading program! All of these factors are considered to determine whether an individual requires reading support. All students are re-evaluated at the end of the year to assess progress and make recommendations for the following year.
Students who are placed within the reading program are pulled from their special classes (Physical Education, Music, and Art) one to two times per week. This ensures that students do not miss academic content in their regular classes. The pull out schedules are firm; to provide effective reading instruction, students must attend reading on a regular basis. However, reading teachers are sensitive to special circumstances. For example, students may miss a reading class to participate in a special project, field trip, or class event. Students are required to inform their teacher of the special circumstances in advance. When scheduling students, every attempt is made to schedule reading on alternating "A" and "B" days so that a student does not miss more than one special each week.
How many students are in each reading group?
Students are carefully placed into small reading groups based on their individual reading needs. The amount of students in each group typically ranges from one to four students. Minimizing the number of students in each group allows instruction to be truly individualized.
What skills are taught during reading?
Students will learn skills to help them improve their decoding, comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and spelling. The emphasis of each reading group varies according to the needs of individual students. Writing and study skills are also incorporated as much as possible. Classroom curricula, vocabulary, and materials are used when appropriate so that instruction is aligned with what students learn in their academic classes. In addition to teaching students explicit reading skills, building students' self-esteem and confidence is a primary goal of instruction. Instruction seeks to show students that reading can be relevant to their lives and fun.