Children are entering kindergarten with more literacy awareness skills, they are responding to literacy-rich kindergarten curricula, they are learning fast and acquiring more experience in reading and writing.
-Fountas and Pinnell (The F&P Text Level Gradientâ„¢ Revision to Recommended Grade-Level Goals)
As educators, we want to provide opportunities for students to maximize their growth. In order to do this we must consider what it means to provide holistic support for students’ literacy development. We must also consider what it means to create a strong literacy environment.
The SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words) curriculum empowers teachers to meet the rigorous demands of foundational skills standards. But to maximize growth, teachers must plan intentionally to provide additional rich literacy experiences across the day that support reading development beyond the instruction in SIPPS Beginning Level.
SIPPS Beginning Level provides the foundational skills instruction needed to meet the standards: phonological awareness, phonics, and 81 sight words (download the scope and sequence here). Through daily fluency practice, the students develop into fluent readers who read with automaticity and accuracy.
Fluency practice using the Little Blue Books provides progressively more challenging text that brings students to the point where they can read a leveled text beyond F&P Level D. (Factors considered include the number of words per page and the complexity of sentence structure.)
In addition to focused foundational skill instruction, teachers must consider the other types of literacy experiences they are providing for students across the day. These experiences should extend students’ access to a variety of texts that are more challenging than the students can read themselves and should expose students to a variety of genres, including poetry, informational text, and functional text.
Rich literacy experiences might include:
You might consider these questions as you reflect on your instruction:
Center for the Collaborative Classroom strives to support teachers in creating literacy-rich environments for their students. Some resources teachers might use to support their planning are listed below.
SIPPS Beginning Level Teacher’s Manual
Making Meaning Assessment Resource Book
Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual