Guided Reading is the research-based instructional approach employed at REACH to develop independent readers who can demonstrate deep comprehension of, and maximum knowledge gained from, increasingly more complex texts across a diversity of genres. This goal is achieved by teachers modeling reading strategies such as context clues, letter and sound knowledge, and syntax or word structure and then working with students in small groups of like abilities to reinforce and apply these strategies to texts that are unfamiliar to them. Teachers circulate among small groups and assist each small group by giving everyone in the group the same text, listening to students read, prompting students to apply the modeled strategies, and engaging student in conversations about the text. Other small groups awaiting teacher assistance collaborate on “word work” activities such as spelling or phonics or independently read texts of their choice for enjoyment.
If specific phonics instruction is needed to develop students’ de-coding skills, REACH teachers use the SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words) program which is a curriculum that systematically develops word-recognition skills and reading fluency through direct instruction that moves students through an orderly progression from the simple alphabetic phase (level), the spelling patterns phase, and polysyllabic/morphemic phase. Additional information about the SIPPS curriculum/program can be found at:https://www.collaborativeclassroom.org/sipps.
The over-arching instructional goal of the writing program at REACH is to develop student mastery of the writing process so that s/he can produce a variety of types of writing— narrative, informational, and opinion writing genres—in real-world situations . REACH utilizes the Writing Workshop Model and the Becoming A Writer curriculum, to combine direct instruction about writing strategies with active student writing, both independently and in small collaborative groups. Specific writing skills, including vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and editing, are integrated into each step of the writing process. For example, The Words Their Way™ program enables students to develop an understanding of English spelling instead of just memorizing spelling rules by examining words using a hands-on, manipulative approach.
Writing instruction is explicitly integrated with reading instruction because the topics explored in reading become the prompts for writing assignments. REACH also recognizes the important connection between writing and critical thinking and creativity in all subject area and therefore encourages teachers to incorporate writing across the curriculum.
Students acquire digital literacy skills through the integration of technology across the curriculum with the suite if IPads in each classroom