Shifts in Foundational Skills Instruction: Spelling Tests?!?!

By Gina Fugnitto | Categories: Uncategorized

There is much discussion about the Common Core. There is much discussion about shifting practice to meet the needs of the students as addressed by the Standards. There is much discussion about supporting students to engage in reading and understanding complex texts.

Yet there is little or no discussion around the Foundational Skills instruction as addressed by the Standards. The Common Core State Standards-including the Reading Standards, Writing Standards, Math Standards AND the Foundational Skills-demand that we make shifts in our thinking and our instruction.

The Common Core states:

These foundational skills are not an end in and of themselves; rather, they are necessary and important components of an effective, comprehensive reading program designed to develop proficient readers with the capacity to comprehend texts across a range of types and disciplines.

Students are asked to know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. The Common Core uses the descriptors “read,” “decode,” “distinguish,” and “recognize” to depict how students should use their knowledge to engage in the application of the Foundational Skills and support their reading and writing.

A descriptor NOT represented in the Common Core is spelling tests. Skill development in isolation is not a response to Foundational Skill development. As we strive to shift our practice, let’s not forget about the shift in our development of the foundational skills.

Share what instructional shifts you will make to support the teaching of the Common Core Foundational Skills…