Hello and welcome!  This website is a place for you to find resources and ideas to help your children develop their reading skills.  I hope you will find it helpful.

Response to Intervention (RTI)  

At Claypit Hill  students who need additional support are provided with differentiated reading instruction through our Response to Intervention (RTI) model.   Students are seen by reading specialists, special educators or classroom teachers in small group with instruction focused on their current needs.

Kindergarten students will first receive instruction in phonemic awareness which helps them hear and identify the sounds that make up a word, and letter identification, which is the ability to recognize and name a particular letter quickly.  Both skills are essential building blocks for reading acquisition.  Once they have a good facility with both of these skills, we know they are ready  to begin learning the sounds each letter makes and putting those sounds together to read words. While we are providing instruction in these isolated skills, we are also reading leveled books to practice sight words, letter recognition and new decoding skills.

For First and Second Graders, phonics and fluency instruction and practice help children read fluently and accurately.  Their ability to read fluently and accurately has a direct impact on their ability to comprehend what they read.  The ultimate goal is that they view reading as an enriching and enjoyable experience.  As their fluency grows, we shift some of the instructional focus to include comprehension strategies as they begin to read more complex texts.

When a child reads they use a complex systems of connections between several different areas in their brain; there is no one designated reading center. Therefore, children should feel comfortable and relaxed so that these connections can be made easily.  A happy reader will spend more time reading.  The more time spent reading, the greater their mastery.  It is that simple of an equation.  For this reason, it is extremely important that children practice their reading skills using books that are at the correct level for their ability.  They will make the most gains in their reading skills if they practice with books that are accessible to them.  If they are too hard, they stop reading, usually because the story or content stops making sense to them.  They can always listen to books on CD  that are above their reading level.  It is actually great way to boost their vocabulary, comprehension and listening skills.  

According to an article written by the National Institute for Professional Practice, students who have difficulty with fluency tend to be reading books that are too difficult for them. (National Institute for Professional Practice, 2015) When working with students who have difficulty with fluency, it is important to guide them to choosing the correct level of books. In order to help foster fluent independent skills, it is important that students are reading books within their"just right" level. According to Regie Routman, "if the book is too difficult, it will lead to frustration; too little of a challenge will lead to boredom." When students are reading books at an appropriate, they make greater gains in their fluency and comprehension.  

Below you will find a list of resources to help you find "just right" books for your children to practice their reading.  A just right book is a book the student finds interesting and can confidently read and understand with a small amount of support. These books also make the student stretch a little bit so that they have opportunities to apply the strategies they have been learning and to experience new vocabulary and different genres (Routman, 2003).

There is also an app called the Literacy Leveler available to help you check the reading level of a book simply by scanning the barcode, an excellent resource for your visits to the library or a bookstore.

Leveled Books Data Base
Mr. Schu Reads Blogspot  (I had the great pleasure of listening to a presentation by Mr. Schu at a recent conference.  He has a wonderful site where he reviews books for young readers.)

Please feel free to browse my site and if you have any questions you can contact me at Kim_Walls@wayland.k12.ma.us.  It is my great pleasure to work with the amazing children at Claypit Hill School:)