Teacher Power! Greater Than the Curriculum
According to Louisa Moats, Teaching Reading is Rocket Science, and YOU can become that rocket scientist. Unfortunately, not every literacy curriculum addresses the science of reading. Teachers may be provided a literacy program that does not comprehensively include all of the components students need to learn in order to become proficient readers. The good news is you have the power to enhance any curriculum through great instruction!
Incorporating The Simple View of Reading and Scarborough’s Reading Rope is a wonderful start to ensure your instruction adequately addresses the necessary strands related to word recognition and language comprehension. Essentially, reading comprehension is the product of word recognition and language comprehension, which tells us both of these components must be strong for it to occur. The Reading Rope further breaks down each part of The Simple View of Reading equation into strands of skills that should be explicitly taught and woven together. See below for The Simple View of Reading definitions:
“The relationship between existing knowledge and reading comprehension implies students in any classroom are already advantaged or disadvantaged by what they already know” (Moats & Tolman, 2019, p. 94).
Although background knowledge is its own strand, it is important to always promote increasing background knowledge within each of the other strands to add to existing schema through systematic instruction. Systematic instruction can be applied to instruction in both word recognition and language comprehension.
Use of Assessments
Remember, even with great core instruction, it is imperative to use various formal and informal assessments targeting each strand to guide instruction. Assessments are also used to help plan for individualized interventions.
Heggerty’s Bridge the Gap: Intervention Lessons will be available for checkout soon! This resource specifically addresses the phonological awareness strand.
Curriculum Evaluation Tools
The Reading League has a Curriculum Evaluation Tool to help you identify gaps that need to be addressed. It aligns with each strand of the Reading Rope.
Other tools and resources to strengthen your literacy instruction can be found in A Principal’s Primer for Raising Reading Achievement and LETRS Foundations: An Introduction to Language and Literacy. Both are available for checkout at our T-TAC ODU lending library.
Moats, L. C., & Tolman, C. A. (2019). LETRS Volume 2 (3rd ed.). Voyager Sopris Learning, Inc.