Grade K-5 teachers in the Hingham Public Schools are expected to provide a minimum of 90 minutes of instruction per day in the English/Language Arts (ELA). This instruction includes reading, writing, spelling, and language study and is intended to establish the foundation for the entire K-12 ELA program. In addition, all students in grades K-3 participate in instructional groups based on a model of tiered instruction. Tiered instruction is a process by which educators utilize data from a variety of assessments to evaluate learners’ needs and provide all students with targeted instruction at their appropriate reading levels. Teachers adjust instruction as needed and monitor student progress so that groupings are fluid. Similar practices have been integrated into literacy instruction in grades 4 and 5 as well.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Reading is the core program recently adopted for literacy instruction in grades K-5. This new publication is a comprehensive core reading program aligned to the Science of Reading tenets that promotes the acquisition of foundational skills as well as critical thinking, writing, speaking, listening and research skills. Through this program, students will interact with enriching vocabulary and engage in complex text sets to foster close reading and analysis skills.
Targeted Reading Instruction
Targeted Reading Instruction (TRI) is a cornerstone of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). Students in K-5 receive targeted instruction in areas of need in addition to the general classroom curriculum. Instructional groups are fluid and are based on assessment data and teacher recommendations.
Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum
The Heggerty program is an interactive and engaging approach to daily instruction in foundational phonemic awareness skills such as rhyming, syllable blending, syllable segmenting, and phoneme manipulation. Students in K-2 participate in daily activities to improve their phonemic awareness abilities and form a strong foundation for reading growth.
Lexia Core 5
Lexia Core 5 is a computer-based supplemental reading program designed to help all learners master basic literacy skills. Through independent practice, students build speed and accuracy in the application of phonics skills. The program develops critical phonological reading skills to foster automatic word recognition while monitoring for meaning. The activities promote comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency skills through explicit activities. This program is available for all students K-2.
iReady My PathiReady is a computer-based assessment system that includes personalized online learning paths for students in both math and reading. Students engage with online learning tasks and games to develop proficiency in phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. This program is available for all students in grades 3-5 for reading, and K-5 for math.
Writing instruction begins with a review of proper letter formation, as well as practice with writing process routines. Students see themselves as authors as they learn to organize their ideas, write stories about their lives, and apply grammar conventions. Students use journals, graphic organizers, and shared writing to learn how to communicate across the curriculum in written form. Teachers also begin to incorporate Empowering Writers lessons to develop writing skills that meet the grade-level standards for informational, narrative and opinion writing.
Students continue to learn how to express themselves in written form and respond to what they are learning in all areas of the curriculum. In addition to informal writing practice that takes place during the literacy block, students receive direct, explicit instruction surrounding the writing process through the Empowering Writers program. In this way students continue to develop writing skills that meet the grade-level standards for informational, opinion, and narrative writing.
The upper grades present a shift from the basics of learning to write, to using those skills as a means of enhancing comprehension and communication. As teachers incorporate best practices from the writing process, writing workshop, and direct instruction, the reading/writing connection is emphasized across all content areas. Teachers provide explicit instruction through Empowering Writers lessons that evolve in sophistication and complexity as students progress through each grade level. In this way students continue to develop writing skills that meet the grade-level standards for informational, opinion, and narrative writing.