Evaluation for 4.2
Materials provide explicit instruction in phonological skills and opportunities for student daily practice (e.g., rhyming, syllabication, blending, segmenting, manipulation) (K-1 only).
The materials provide explicit instruction in phonological skills and opportunities for daily practice. The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) Toolkit contains lessons that provide explicit instruction in phonological skills; the formative assessment materials support teachers in determining which lessons students receive from the IRLA, so if a student requires additional support in certain skills, teachers can access varied levels of support within different IRLA Toolkits. The students practice these skills in their small group reading lessons and also whole class activities such as “Morning Message,” “Accountable Talk,” and writing. Routines are built into the literacy block that offer practice in rhyming, syllabication, segmenting, blending, generating phonemes, and discrimination of beginning sounds.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Oral Language Skills are explicitly taught in the IRLA over several different reading levels. For example, the earliest level, a light purple bin, is called the “Read-To-Me” level. Teachers are directed to “build the vocabulary, background knowledge, language experience, reading identity, attention span, genre exposure, and phonemic awareness to get ready to use the print on the page to read.”
Oral language activities with poetry and song are present throughout the materials. Poem activities with familiar nursery rhymes include jumping or clapping when the rhyming word is heard and underlining rhyming words in the poems. Suggested nursery rhymes include “Jack Be Nimble,” “This Old Man,” “Humpty Dumpty,” “Jack and Jill,” “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” “Hickory, Dickory, Dock,” “Ring Around the Rosie,” and “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.”
In the IRLA Toolkit’s “Y (Yellow) Handbook,” the teacher is provided with explicit instruction for letter sounds. The lesson includes a review activity, an introduction strategy, guided reading texts, ideas for writing/invented spelling, picture cards for the letter, and phonemic awareness activities for the letter. There are also activities and ideas provided in the Resource Section at the end of the Yellow Toolkit.
In the Resources section of the Yellow Toolkit IRLA Foundational Skills Toolkit, a progression of phonological skills is given. Students identify initial consonant sounds, generate other words that start with the same sound, and sort/differentiate between sounds.
Beginning in the IRLA Level 1G, students can receive small group instruction in consonant sounds. Each level has a specific focus in phonics development and the lesson follows a traditional guided reading format. In 1G, readers use high-frequency sight words to read books without patterns while they continue to build sight word fluency. In 2G, readers continue growth in sight words and use initial consonant blends and initial digraphs to learn new words.
The level 1B, which is mid-first-grade level, begins with students locating known high-frequency words inside new words. For example, in Lesson 1, students review the Power Word "all" and the sounds of letters “b,” “m,” and “t.” They learn to blend the sounds with “-all,” substitute the beginning sound, and check if words rhyme.
Throughout all units, teachers can utilize the “Phonological Awareness/Physical Stretch” activities. These are daily activities that use poems, songs, jingles, and nursery rhymes to develop students’ ear for word/letter sounds. During these activities, students find two words that begin with the same letter, select a word and brainstorm other words that begin with the same letter, identify and generate rhyming words, stretch words (segment), and clap syllables of words.
In Unit 1, students partner read and then participate in a partner share. A guiding question is provided: “What is your favorite part of the book? Why?” Partners are instructed to take turns speaking to the question using the sentence stem.
In Unit 2, the teacher joins in center time, supporting students as they engage in imaginative play and use oral language to express ideas.
In Unit 3, during Reader’s Workshop’s “Accountable Talk,” students share an opinion with their partner: “I liked…part in my book because…”
In Unit 4, sounds and patterns are taught through Reader’s Workshop. The “l” blend is taught by introducing initial consonant blends. The teacher demonstrates the blend and ensures that students hear the sound each letter combination makes. New sound cards are distributed, and the students trace the blends. Students also practice reading the blends to themselves with the flash cards and can also play Go Fish with them. Blends are placed on the Blends and Digraphs Wall for student reference.