Each of Parkland’s elementary schools has a full time reading specialist. Students are heterogeneously grouped in classrooms with careful placement of students of varying abilities.
The elementary reading program is Wonders, which was published by McGraw Hill in 2017. It is a comprehensive literacy program which focuses on kid-friendly, engaging and authentic literature. It is designed for core instruction and differentiated to meet the needs of English Language learners, intervention and enrichment. Each unit has a big idea and each week has an essential question that connects vocabulary, skills, strategies, writing and literature. There are three key texts: Reading/Writing Workshop, Literature Anthology and Close Reading Companion along with differentiated leveled readers composed of fiction and non fiction texts centering around the weekly theme. Writing is composed of both analytic and genre writing. All texts are available online for student access at both school and home.
A few of the reading specialist’s responsibilities:
– monitor all students’ reading progress
– administer and analyze reading assessments
– serve on the Response to Instruction and Intervention team (RtII)
– attend monthly grade level data meetings
– attend bi monthly core team meetings
– work with Tier II and III students on a daily basis utilizing various interventions to improve reading skills
– meet monthly with the Elementary Curriculum Coordinator and elementary reading specialists
– meet with parents regarding strategy use for reading improvement
The Title I and district remediation program (DRP), which is implemented by six assistants, is also coordinated by the reading specialist. Our job is to create schedules, supervise the program, and meet with the aides for curriculum direction and to discuss student progress. The role of the aides is to reinforce and supplement reading and/or math for those students who need extra instruction under the supervision of the classroom teacher and reading specialist.