Science of Reading isn’t just a K-2 phenomenon. If you’ve been here for a while, you know I believe this to my core. It’s the reason I spent countless of my own hours outside of school going to trainings, doing the research, so I could support my 4th graders and meet their needs!
But I have been in many schools and many classrooms over the last two years, and one of the most consistent conversations is the lack of support for upper elementary educators in science of reading based instruction.
Now don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly agree with early intervention and putting practices in place that will lead to less of a need in upper grades, but K-2 educators aren’t the only ones that need support and resources (love all of you K-2 people, too!)
So let’s talk. Science of Reading isn’t going anywhere. It isn’t a pendulum swing, it’s a body of research derived from researched from multiple fields. But I’d also isn’t just phonics! It is phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary… and the all-encompassing, comprehension! I want to show up here more to support YOU, so ask the questions, start the conversations, let’s do this together!
Think about your classroom this year, and previous years.. when you think about those faces who walk into your room with so much potential, hope, and for some, anxiety. I think about each and every one of those faces and the important role I would play and will plan in building them up as a reader. The Science of Reading is not an end all tell all idea, it is years and years of research that shows us the blue print on how to reach each and every one of this students. 95% of humans can learn to read. Let’s help as many as we can.
But here’s one of my problems with the Science of Reading.. it isn’t just phonics, despite what so many people seem to focus on. The Literacy 5: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. All 5 of these must be present in our daily lessons and curriculums to produce successful readers.
In upper elementary especially, it is critical that we are connecting the 5 Pillars of Literacy. Our striving readers have already missed crucial elements of their reading journey, and we have to move them at a developmentally appropriate pace, while also being intentional about connecting it to make it stick. The skills we choose for phonemic awareness warm ups should be the same skills we use for phonics instruction and identify in fluency practice. Our vocabulary words should be explicitly taught and routined tier 2 words. How do we connect those? We can find them in the literature we put in front of our students, and have our students use them in multiple ways. Comprehension? It wraps it allll up! All 4 of these lead to comprehension.. they are the path students walk along to understand the text.
I want to equip you will the knowledge, skills, and applicable teaching strategies for your classroom. I want to take away the overwhelm and make it easier for you! To start, I wanted to give you a great at-a-glance resource! This is perfect for you to take to admin, co-workers, use as your own guide, or even share with parents! Enter your email below to have this delivered directly to your inbox!
AND if you are ready to get started NOW, did you know that I created an entire Upper Elementary Science of Reading Curriculum? It has everything you need, including video PD for you to start right away. You can check that out here!