FISD recognizes the importance of developing proficient readers and writers in the early years. The elementary literacy program may be best characterized as a balanced one including the following components: teacher read aloud, shared reading, word study activities, guided reading, independent reading, modeled writing, shared writing, and independent writing. Critical features of the program include individual student assessment, literacy based professional development for teachers, and the implementation of research based instructional strategies.
Every student in grades kindergarten through fifth grade is individually assessed in reading at the beginning of each school year and monitored throughout the year. This assessment affords teachers the opportunity to determine each student’s strengths and weaknesses in reading, allowing for more individualized instruction.
District professional development provides teachers opportunities to remain current in literacy instructional strategies and practices. In addition to this literacy based training, each FISD elementary teacher is supplied with literacy resources that include 6 Trait Writing materials, the district phonics continuum, campus based guided reading libraries, the FISD spelling lists and suggested research based instructional strategies.
The district phonics program continuum has been in place for several years. This guideline for phonics instruction indentifies important phonics concepts and the corresponding grade level at which each concept should be introduced, developed and mastered.
FISD’s Spelling Program outlines the district’s philosophy of spelling instruction as well as grade level instant words, chunks and prefix/suffix lists, and summaries of the most current spelling instructional strategies. The district’s spelling philosophy supports direct spelling instruction with embedded opportunities for the authentic application of learning through writing. The goal of all spelling instruction is to develop independence, fluency and accuracy in writing. FISD recognizes that a quality spelling program equips students with strategies for spelling words independently, and for monitoring and proofing personal writing.
Important components of the FISD writing program encompass the craft/process of writing, the integration of writing in all disciplines, and teacher training. Students are encouraged to develop their own writing “voice”, and teachers utilize holistic rubrics for scoring writing selections. Writing workshop, academic journaling, and self-editing are all integral parts of the FISD writing program. FISD language arts teachers are provided a common FISD Writing Model and associated teaching resources.
For the student in need of additional literacy support, the district offers:
1. Accelerated Reading Program, for students in grades K-5 at-risk in general reading development
2. Scottish Rite’s Take Flight Program, for the third through fifth grader who demonstrates dyslexic tendencies.
Questions about the dyslexia program may be directed to Mia Bennett, Director of Instructional Support Programs, 469-633-6840.