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Literacy Plan

Lindsay McGibbon and Nicole Walter

Section 1
Contextual Information

Grange Hall Elementary is located on the rural outskirts of Chesterfield County in

the sub county of Moseley Virginia. Chesterfield County consists of 437 miles
located south of the James River from Richmond, Virginia. It is considered part of
the Metropolitan Richmond area. According to the 2014 census, 330,043 people
reside in chesterfield. Of that population, 69% are white, 23% are black or african
american, 3% are of asian decent, 3% classify themselves as two or more races,
and 2% are other races. Within the county, 89% of residents speak english at
home, while 11% of residents speak a language other than english at home
(2014 census). The median household income in Chesterfield County is $72,514
and 23,352 people live within poverty. Chesterfield County is seen as an
educationally affluent county with 9% of the population achieving less than a high
school degree, 24% of the population graduating from high school, 30% of the
population attending some college or earning an associates degree, and 37%
attaining a bachelors or graduate degree. There are 63 schools in Chesterfield
County that service the 58,000 students which are enrolled in the county's public
schools ( Of these 63 schools, 38 are elementary
servicing 26,164 students.
One of the oldest schools in Chesterfield County is Grange Hall Elementary.
Since opening its doors in 1922, it is known for its rich traditions and is deemed
as one of the county's "best kept secrets". It services over 760 students (doe
report card) and pulls from the rural back roads which tight-line Amelia County, to
the wooded Areas of Pocahontas State Park, and dabbles through
neighborhoods in between. Of the population, 84% is white, 8% is black, 5% is
hispanic, and 1% is Asian or pacific Islander. 52% is male and 48% is female.
Only 7% qualify for free and reduced lunch (NCES 2011-2012). Grange Hall
Elementary is a fully accredited school and has met AYP standards every year.
Description of the Need
The Virginia State Reading Association defines Concept of Word as the match
between the spoken word and the printed word. It is broken down into three sub
categories: Pointing, Word Identification, and COW Word List.

Data Used to determine the need

The Data used to determine this need was the PALs Fall 2015 data compiled
from the entire Kindergarten grade level. This data encompassed the results from
109 students. The pointing assessment is made up of the recitation of a
memorized poem while tracking the words. A student is graded on a scale of 0-2
points per page based on how well they performed. The word identification

assessment consists of the teacher pointing to one word in the memorized poem
for the student to identify. The COW word list assessment has the student identify
words from the memorized poem in isolation.
(add visual)

Analysis of the Data

In Kindergarten, it was found that 29 out of 109 students did not meet the
benchmark of 2 points for pointing and 18 out of the 109 students did not meet
the benchmark of 2 points in word identification. Due to the fall benchmark of 0
for the COW word list, there were not any students that were below in this
standard. In the pointing assessment, 13 students were at the benchmark and 67
were above. The word identification assessment showed that 16 students met
the benchmark and 75 students surpassed it. With no students below, 36
students were at the benchmark point for the COW word list assessment and 73
students were above it.
Section 2

Possible Solutions
We believe that a solution to the Concept of Word issue is the Words Their Way
Concept of Word procedure. This program includes a step-by-step procedure
showing teachers how to introduce students to the idea of concept of word.
Following the teachers manual for emergent spellers as part of the Words Their
Way program. This manual is part of a series of textbooks which better prepare
teachers for literacy instruction.
The following is the step-by-step process that teachers will use in their Concept
of Word Instruction (found on pages 71-72 in the Words Their Way Emergent
Spellers Manual) :
1. Read With
Enlarge the chosen text so that everyone in the group can easily see it.
Read the text repeatedly together so that children memorize the text. The
teacher should model fingerpointing.
Invite children to individually point to the words and make individual
copies so that each child can fingerpoint.
Locate words or letters in the text and collect known words a sight words
into a word bank.
2. Sentence Strips and Cut-up Sentences
Make sentence strips (or use the ones provided) for students to match to
the enlarged version of the text.
Show students how you match the strip back to the text. Reread the words
to see if the sentence sounds the same.

Sentence strips can also be cut into words. Students can rebuild the
sentence by matching the words back to a copy of the sentence or by
3. Find Words/Letters You Know
Call out two to three words for all students to locate on either the enlarged
version or a copy of their own.
Demonstrate how to underline familiar words in text
Later, ask students to identify these words in isolation

How Would the Solution Address the Literacy Need

This program would prepare students by improving their concept of word in print.
Once they have worked through this program, they will have a better base of
literacy knowledge in general and specifically, an improved concept of word.
Necessary Requirements Needed
For this program, each teacher would need a copy of the Words Their Way Text.
This would provide them with instruction, resources, and even activity ideas for
their literacy instruction. While not necessary, professional development would
benefit all teachers looking to implement this program. They could be trained on
better ways to introduce concept of word activities into the classroom, strategies
to teach students, and how to use the resources included in the Words Their Way
Possible Pitfalls
The downfalls of the implementation of the Words Their Way Program are as
follows. Teachers may not feel that they have sufficient enough time to educate
themselves on the program. Others may be reluctant to implementation of a new
program. Lastly, this program may not provide enough structure and support to
be effective in all classrooms.
Section 3
Description of Solution:
We chose the Words Their Way process of Concept of Word instruction.
This program gives teachers a foundational knowledge of what Concept of Word
is, activities they will as well as a day-by-day breakdown of how to effectively
teach COW. This program is research based and has been widely accepted as
best practice in the education community.
Justification Statement:
We chose this program because we know it is user friendly and meets the
needs of our audience. It is also a program that is developmentally appropriate

for Kindergarten students. Its base in research made us feel comfortable enough
to promote it as best practice in our school. Words Their Way has been adopted
in the county and all schools have resources available to them from this program.
Methods, Materials, techniques, and strategies needed to implement the
Words Their Way textbooks
Words Their Way for Emergent Spellers teachers manual
Books of short poems and rhymes appropriate for Emergent learners
Sentence strips
Copier to use to make student copies of poems
Professional development time
Choral reading
Teacher modeling
Repeated reading
Whole and small group instruction



Step by step process of implementation:

Staff will attend a 2-day Professional Development Session that will
prepare them for full implementation of the Words Their Way Program.
This will take place in August.
The Kindergarten team will begin instruction on C.O.W. using the Words
Their Way model.
During the first month of instruction, the Kindergarten team will meet with
the reading coach at the end of each week to reflect on how
implementation is going. After the first month, until the end of the first year,
check-ins will be discussed at monthly PLCs.
Data will be compiled at the end of the year and analyzed for program
If changes need to be made, they will be addressed and a new action plan
for next year will be made.

Section 4

Description of the Plan

Familiarize staff with program
Go over research backing this program
Discuss what we see in our classroom as COW issues
Look at process WTW uses to teach COW
Practice COW process ourselves
Discuss whether we feel this meets the needs of our learners

Connection to the Adult Learning Theories Studied In Class

Before beginning professional development, we will have observed the
kindergarten teachers COW instruction. Learning what they are already doing
will help us to plan the most effective professional development possible. It will
also create some context for us going into the beginning of our plan. As we go
through the beginning stages of the plans implementation, we will explain how
every step leads to the next and why each one is beneficial. This will provide
teachers with a solid rationale behind the process. Understanding that this
process may be new to many of the teachers, we will go over everything they
may need to know such as how to use all materials, time management, and how
to introduce the procedures to their students. Part of our professional
development plan includes offering opportunities for the teachers to practice the
COW procedure. This practice in a professional setting allows the teachers to
work as a group making observations, questioning, and reflecting on what they
are going to be doing in the classroom. Once the teachers have begun
implementing the new COW procedure in their classroom, we plan to have
ongoing meetings to reflect and discuss how they feel it is going. Asking the
teachers about what they are noticing in their classrooms, how the students are
responding, etc. will allow the entire grade-level to analyze how the program is
Professional Development Resources Used
One great point of this plan is that it is extremely cost effective. Not many
resources are actually required! Each teacher would need a copy of the Words
Their Way text and the Words Their Way for Emergent Learners. These two
books contain an enormous amount of both information and several resources to
copy and use while implementing the program.
Training of All Instructional Personnel
Training of instructional personnel will take place during the 2-day Professional
Development time. This training will consist of exposure to the process,
instruction in how to implement the COW process, support as they begin to
implement this process in their classroom, and continuous meetings throughout
the year to monitor progress, problem solve, reflect, and exchange ideas.

Motivation for Change

Better preparation for PALS assessment and general reading success.

Our Role in the Process (short-term and long-term)

Short Term:
We will be responsible for training the Kindergarten teachers in the Words
Their Way COW process. We will be their go-to resources for questions and
concerns about the program. We will also be facilitators for discussions about the
Long Term:
We will continue to support the staff in their implementation of the Words
Their Way procedure. We will facilitate discussions amongst the Kindergarten
team for them to reflect on what they are noticing. We will track assessments and
monitor progress to further support the Kindergarten teachers.

Section 5

Timeline for Implementation

August 2016- Hold a 2-day professional development for teachers
September 2016- Teachers will start implementing the Words Their Way (WTW)
Concept of Word (COW) Program in their classrooms approximately the third
week of school. On every Thursday, for the first month (September 22, 29,
October 6, 13) teachers will meet with reading coach to reflect on how
implementation is going, to have any questions answered, and to gain support
from the reading coach where needed.
Mid-October 2016- PALS testing window will open and all students will be tested.
Baseline data will be gathered
November 2016 through April 2017- Teachers will reflect on WTW, COW program
at monthly PLCs and gain any additional support from reading coach.
Beginning of May 2017- Students will be tested for end of year PALs
assessment, data will be gathered and compared
June 2017- Teachers will give a final reflection on the program for the year and
discuss program recommendations from their point of view for next year. This will
take place at a PLC at the beginning of June.
July 2017- Reading coach will analyze the data for program effectiveness and if
changes need to be made. Will take teacher recommendations into account and
draw up a plan of action for the 2017-2018 school year.