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LITERACY PLAN

Literacy Plan

Laurie Shapiro & Meredith Seay

Longwood University

READ 680: Developing Literacy Leaders


LITERACY PLAN

Section 1: Literacy Need

Contextual Factors

The focus elementary school is located in Chesterfield, Virginia within the Chesterfield

County Public School District. The focal grade of this report is grade five, where students range

in ages ten to eleven. The elementary school has a current enrollment of approximately 750

students and serves students in grades pre-k through fifth. The elementary school is reflective of

the demographics found in the surrounding region. Chesterfield County has a population of

335,687, of which 69.2% are White, 23.7% are Black, 0.5% are American Indian, and 8.4% are

Hispanic.

Description of Need

The report shows that fifth grade students in the focal school are having the most

difficulty in two areas. They are having difficulty with recognizing organizational patterns in

texts (48%). They are also having challenges in determining character

motivation in texts (66%). These difficulties demonstrate a need for targeted instructional

intervention.

Analysis of Data Used to Determine the Need

The literacy need was determined through an analysis of the Virginia SOL Fifth Grade

Reading Test. There were two areas that fell below the Standards of Learning passing rates of

70%. In the reporting category of demonstrating comprehension of printed materials. Here,

students scored 48% for recognizing organizational patterns in texts, which can be compared to

51% correct for the entire division. They also scored 66% in the reporting category of

determining character motivation in a text, whereas the division score is 70%.

Section 2: Possible Solutions


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A Description of the Program

Response to Intervention can be described as a multidimensional model that utilizes

evaluative measures and targeted create targeted instruction in response to student needs. It

employs the use of a three-tiered system for intervention. Tier one occurs on a whole group level,

where students receive research-based and differentiated instruction. At this level, screening

periodically occurs to identify struggling readers and takes shape in the form of running records

and benchmark assessments. Those that are identified as struggling are placed in tier two, where

instruction is expanded upon. The instruction is personalized for student’s needs and must

improved upon and extend classroom lessons. This is typically where guided reading instruction

occurs. Those who still struggle are directed to tier three intervention, which is the highest level

of support in the model for handling the most difficult and advanced reading problems. Although

the classroom teacher does not typically instruct at this level, they must be trained to identify

those in need of this support.

How the Solution Will Address the Literacy Need

Response to Intervention will address the two identified literacy needs at each level of

intervention. Tier one classroom instruction will target the literacy need for recognizing

organizational patterns and determining character motivation in a text through various formats.

These formats include instructional practices such as interactive read alouds, sequencing through

beginning, middle, and end, and identifying headings and subheadings as text supports for both

nonfiction and fiction titles. An interactive read aloud is a systematic method of reading aloud

that allows teachers to scaffold children’s understanding of the book or passage being read.

Teachers follow steps in sequence by guiding students before, during and after reading. Before

reading, the teacher examines the book and determines teaching points. This can be
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accomplished by marking areas for discussion with sticky notes. Once the teacher meets with the

students, they should discuss the author and illustrator, flip through the pictures, invite students

to discuss what they already know about the topic, and make predictions. They should also

discuss the skill of recognizing organizational patterns within a text and how it influences

understanding of it. Lastly, although vocabulary is not the focus of the comprehension strategy,

discussion and instruction of key vocabulary should be embedded in the text to help students

create meaning as they read. Teachers should also pre and post-assess students to identify their

instructional needs and tier placements. After conducting interactive read alouds, teachers can

assess students for their understanding based on the lessons through the use of benchmark

assessments.

Tier two of the Response to Intervention model addresses the literacy need as it serves to

further support struggling readers in understanding organizational patterns and character

motivation. This occurs as students that are still struggling with concepts discussed during

interactive read alouds that continue to their conversations and development of understandings

during guided reading. Guided reading is small group instruction designed to differentiate

instructional practices that support students in their identified literacy needs. It serves to increase

the extent of their advancement in their reading development. Teachers should organize their

guided reading groups in a flexible fashion, meaning students that are progressing may transition

into higher-level groups and vice versa. The target skills of recognizing organizational patterns in

texts can be accomplished by having the small groups of students read a text, with teacher

support, on their reading level while working with graphic organizers that target fiction text

features such as beginning middle and end, and non-fiction text features such as headings and
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subheadings. Character motivation can be taught using graphic organizers that target character-

comparing skills and evaluate character feelings.

Those that have persistent difficulties after tier two instruction should be by teachers

through progress monitoring, formative evaluations, and observations. These students will move

on to tier three, where intervention takes place on an individualized level with intensive

intervention provided by resources, such a reading specialists, within the school building.

The Necessary Requirements to Implement the Program

To implement the plan, teachers must analyze their student data after implementing tier

one instruction. They must use the previously established benchmark data coupled with progress

monitoring assessments after tier one instruction to identify those students in need of further

intervention. Teachers must also analyze student data and progress monitoring after the

implementation of tier two instruction to determine the at risk students needing further

intervention.

The tools necessary to implement the program relate to interactive reading and guided

reading that occur during tier one and tier two, both of which take place in the classroom. For

interactive reading, teachers should have access to nonfiction and fiction titles found in book

rooms and school libraries. These books can relate any topic so long as they support the

identified skill for each lesson. For guided reading, teachers will be provided with Scholastic

leveled books that relate their student’s previously determined and identified instructional

reading levels.

Possible Pitfalls of the Program

One possible pitfall of this program is that it relies on teacher’s understanding and

interpretation of progress monitoring of data. Student groupings and reading levels are
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previously determined by the teacher’s evaluation based on running records. To circumvent this

challenge, the school’s reading specialists should have previously provided training with regards

to proper identification of student reading levels along with their comprehension skills.

Section 3: Solution

Description of the Solution

This research-based solution targets student comprehension through a variety of

applications. Tier one instruction occurs in a whole group setting, where students can either

gather at the front carpet or remain in their seats. Together, students are introduced to their

reading strategy and practice applying new knowledge by contributing to the class discussion.

Tier two instruction occurs in a small group setting during the literacy block stations. Students

engage in tier two intervention during guided reading, where students meet the teacher at a small

table within the classroom. These groups are typically no more than six students in size. Each

student within these groups function within a close instructional reading range. At this time,

other students are working independently in their literacy stations, which include independent

reading and technology centers. These components are part of the research-based balanced

literacy approach as they incorporate reading, listening, viewing, writing, and speaking. Tier

three instruction occurs on an individual basis, where collaboration with reading specialists and

other reliable resources in the building is key.

Justification Statement

This instructional plan addresses the literacy needs according to the data demonstrating

that students need further instruction in recognizing organizational patterns along with

determining character motivation in a text. This is accomplished through differentiated teaching

practices that occur during whole group and small group instruction. This program scaffolds
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students’ independence for those to demonstrate understanding of the skills while also providing

teacher support for those in need of further instruction. As a result, students will be able to

identify text structures in fiction and non-fiction texts through character analysis, sequencing,

comparing and contrasting, cause and effect, and problem and solution within a grade level

appropriate text.

Methods, Materials, and Techniques

Guided reading stations offer differentiated and direct instruction as students work in

small groups with the teacher. During this instruction, teachers utilize leveled scholastic reading

books to provide materials catered to students’ individual needs. This is accomplished by having

students work under teacher guidance using a number of resources such as whiteboards, graphic

organizers, and interactive notebooks. Teachers may utilize techniques before during and after

questions, question and response (QAR) questioning techniques, and discussion questions

relating to the comprehension skill.

Independent stations are a great way of extending the work done during guided reading.

An example of how this can be implemented is by having students read a book of their own

choice. During their reading, they can practice applying the skills they learned during guided

reading groups to understand the text. They can demonstrate their knowledge by writing their

notes relating to the skill discussed in their writing journals.

Technology reading stations are where students can engage in literacy online. Razzkids is

an example of online literacy learning, where students engage in listening, viewing, and reading

to comprehend texts. This occurs as Razzkids is an online-guided reading system complete with

interactive eBooks, downloadable books, and reading quizzes.


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Implementation

Implementation of this instructional plan involves utilizing resources within the school

and district. This includes reading specialists, trained professionals, and teachers that analyze

student data to identify the students in need of instruction and provide lessons and intervention.

Literacy coaches serve to provide professional development to teachers tasked with

implementing new strategies for success. The classrooms that need tier two interventions will

have guided reading and centers during their literacy block. At this time, two to three groups of

students will be placed in independent-related center, while the teachers work with guided

reading groups. During centers, students will further apply their knowledge of comprehension

skills while further utilizing previously established reading strategies. If tier three intervention is

needed, then reading specialists may “push in” or “pull out” from classrooms to further identify,

assess, and instruct students in need during literacy blocks.

Section 4: Professional Development Plan

Description of the Plan

All fifth grade teachers and reading specialists from the Chesterfield County Elementary

School will be in attendance at all professional development activities. There will be three

professional development training sessions, occurring before, during, and after implementation

of the program. Before implementation, the training will discuss the benefits and importance of

the tiered literacy program. It will include explanation of the materials used, interpretation of

data to be responsive to students needs, in depth explanation of how to apply the tiered system

into the classroom and progress monitor students’ efforts. Additionally, the workshop will

include an explanation of how to teach target skills during interactive read alouds, guided

reading instruction, and other various independent centers. During implementation, a workshop
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will be held to discuss progress monitoring and to offer teachers an opportunity to ask further

questions they may have come across in the field. The last session after implementation will be

held to debrief regarding successes and problems found in the program and determine who to

collaborate with for students who are now in need of tier three intervention. Discussions will also

be taken into account to further tailor the program for the following year.

Adult Learning Theories

A collaborative and problem-based approach will be utilized during professional

development meetings, as these approaches honor the thinking process involved in adult learners.

One way of doing this is by making the learning goal oriented (“6 Top Facts About Adult

Learning Theory,” 2014). This can be accomplished by having teachers drive their personal

instructional goals throughout each professional development meetings. This will serve to

increase motivation and real life and classroom application of knowledge gained during training

sessions. After each training session, facilitators providing professional development will create

learning activities for the following sessions that align with the learning goals and objectives

specified by participants. Another way of incorporating adult learning theories is by making

learning relevancy oriented. This will be accomplished by making the tasks discussed during

professional development directly related to the tasks that teachers implement in their classrooms

(“6 Top Facts About Adult Learning Theory,” 2014). This will increase engagement during the

sessions.

Professional Development Books

Additional resources used for professional development training are valuable, as they

provide guidelines for teachers and implementers of the plan. One book that will be utilized

during professional development is entitled “RTI in the Classroom; Guidelines and Recipes for
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Success”. This book is written articulately with the elementary school teachers as its target

audience. This resource contains a plethora of tools and strategies for integrating response to

intervention into instruction that occurs each and every day. It also includes a multitude of real-

world connections for teachers to use when instructing struggling learners and strategies to fit

assessments and progress monitoring into average school days. The practices described in this

book are evidenced-based, making them especially appealing to instructors.

Another resource that will be used and provided for teachers during professional

development is the book “The Power of RTI and Reading Profiles: A Blueprint for Solving

Reading Problems”. This book is an excellent resource as it explains why response to

intervention is the best approach for addressing reading difficulties. It gives a firm guideline as to

how to use RTI and reading profiles together can be used to plan effective curriculum that

addresses the instructional needs of struggling readers. The target audience is elementary grade

teachers. The strategies addressed in the book foster instructional practices for general education

students and for students with disabilities or issues related to experience reading. This book will

be discussed during professional development days and will serve as a reference for teachers as

they practice putting the response to intervention model into place while in the field.

Training for All Instructional Personnel

Training for teachers will occur during the three professional development sessions.

Initial training will take place during the first session, where teachers will learn the differences

between the three tiers, how to identify the children in need of intervention through universal

screening, and learning activities and objectives to help the children succeed in their academic

careers. The second training session will focus on progress monitoring, where examples such as

the use of running records and evaluative comprehension questions will be discussed.
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Additionally, this will be an opportunity for teachers to ask and discuss questions that they have

come across in the field. The final training session will be a debriefing of the program. Here,

teachers will be able to discuss the success and problems that they encountered during

implementation. Additionally, discussion surround final data will be incorporated as a way of

showing the progress made in classrooms as a result of intervention.

Motivation for Change

This literacy program will augment teacher’s strengths and will help support additional

for areas of growth. This program is beneficial for students as it provides progress monitoring of

comprehension skills along with goal setting for both teachers and students. This serves as

motivation since the goals are catered to both teacher instruction and student needs. In the

process, student performance when demonstrating comprehension of written materials will

increase dramatically. Acquiring the knowledge to apply comprehension strategies learned

through the research based teaching practices in this program will ultimately serve students to

become stronger readers.

Long Term and Short Term Support

The literacy reading specialists and literacy coaches involved in coordinating professional

development sessions will offer teachers varying levels of support. The literacy specialists and

coaches will serve to model lesson ideas and provide feedback for teachers in their classroom

instruction. Specialists and coaches will also support teachers by providing opportunities for

authentic learning activities. Lastly, they will make resources, such as textbooks previously

discussed, available for use by teachers.


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Section 5: Timeline for Implementation

Timeline

January (after February March


benchmark assessing)

Analyze data to assess the Teachers identify students Progress monitor continues as
areas of student need. that are not responding to tier teachers identify students that are
one instruction based on not responding to tier two
progress monitoring and instruction.
formative assessments.

Professional development Workshop will be held to Teachers collaborate with literacy


sessions are held to discuss progress monitoring coaches and specialists as
discuss the benefits and and allow teachers to ask unresponsive students are placed
importance of a tiered questions relating to their in tier 3 to further receive
literacy program. field experience. resources found outside the
classroom.

Workshop held to train Students that do not The last professional


teachers on target skills demonstrate progress are development session will be held
and progress monitor. placed in tier two, and to debrief regarding successes
guided reading intervention and problems found in the
ensues. process of executing the program.

Assessment Plan

Daily and weekly progress monitoring will take place in the classrooms through

collection of data deriving from student responses in guided groups, independent literacy stations

and technology centers. Student comprehension in tier one will be monitored by their responses

to discussions surrounding interactive read alouds and their progression in their independent

work that serves to extend interactive lessons. Tier two comprehension will be evaluated through

responses to guided reading questions and work completed during centers, both of which relate

directly to identifying character motivation and organizational patterns in texts.


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References

Bronaugh, L., Chidsey-Brown, R., & McGraw, K. (2009). RTI in the Classroom: Guidelines and

Recipes for Success.New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

eLearning Industry. (2014). 6 Top Facts About Adult Learning Theory. Retrieved

from https://elearningindustry.com/6-top-facts-about-adult-learning-theory- every-

educator-should-know

The Measured Mom; Tools For Teaching. (2017). What’s an Interactive Read Aloud?

Retrieved from https://www.themeasuredmom.com/interactive-read-aloud-

printable-book-list/

United States Census Bureau. (2017). Quick Facts; Chesterfield County Virginia. Retrieved

from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/chesterfieldcountyvirginia/PST0452 17