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Literacy Plan

Holli Haskins & Victoria Parrott

Longwood University

April 21, 2018


Section I: Literacy Need

Contextual Factors

Located in Woodbridge, Virginia, in Prince William County, Occoquan Elementary

School is one of sixty elementary schools in the county. Occoquan

Elementary has approximately 630 students and in grades kindergarten through fifth grade.

Occoquan Elementary demographics show 52% Hispanic of any race, 0.8% American

Indian/Alaskan, 8.7% Asian, 19.3% African American, 0.3% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 14.3%

White, and 5.1% Two or More races. More than half of the students at Occoquan Elementary

School qualify for free/reduced lunch, 65.3% (VDOE).

At Occoquan Elementary School there are five second grade classrooms. There are 107

second graders, 57 ESOL students, 6 Special Education students. There are 56 Hispanic students,

and 25 African American students. When reviewing data for all of second grade the five

classroom teachers and two ESOL teachers look at data from all the students, but specifically for

the ESOL, Hispanic, African American, and Special Education students.

Description of Need

Based on the mid-year Reading Benchmark data, we have determined an instructional

literacy need in the following areas: comprehension of nonfiction texts (51%), use of text

features (56%), and comprehension of fiction texts (65%). This data demonstrates a grade level

weakness in comprehension skills.

Analysis of Data used to Determine the Need

To determine a literacy need for second grade, we looked at the mid-

year Reading Benchmark data from January 2018. There were three areas that were below the

passing rate of 80%. In the reporting category of SOL 2.9, students in second grade correctly
answered 51% of questions relating to reading and demonstrating comprehension of nonfiction

texts. For the reporting category of SOL 2.10, students correctly answered 56% of questions

relating to using pictures, captions, and charts to understand a text. For the reporting category

of SOL 2.8, students in second grade correctly answered an average of 65% of questions relating

to reading and demonstrating comprehension of fiction texts.

Section II: Possible Solutions

Guided Reading

Guided reading is a small-group reading approach in which students are grouped

homogeneously by developmental reading level. In this approach, the teacher provides students

with differentiated support based on individual needs. Guided reading provides students to

experience working with a variety of genres of texts. Guided reading addresses the

demonstrated literacy needs in the data because it provides support on specific comprehension

skills for both fiction and nonfiction texts. It will also expose students to different text features in

a variety of texts to further enhance understanding of texts. The materials needed for this

program would be a class set of leveled books so that every student could have access to on-level

text. Pitfalls may include time and organizational issues. Teachers that are new to this approach

may not be comfortable with implementing this in the classroom and/or unaware of the benefits

this could have on comprehension when done properly.

Balanced Literacy Program

A Balanced Literacy Program incorporates a balance of reading, writing, and word study

components into literacy instruction. It provides opportunities for whole group, small group, and

independent practice to scaffold students into readers and writers. The Balanced Literacy

Approach enhances reading, writing, and word study by recognizing their relationship with one
another. This approach would be relevant to second grade literacy needs presented in the mid-

year Benchmark data because it includes guided reading/writing, shared reading/writing,

interactive reading/writing, independent reading/writing, and word study based on student

needs. A balance of these literacy strategies would boost comprehension through exposure and

experience with a variety of texts. Materials needed for the Balanced Literacy Program would be

a class set of leveled texts for guided reading, a diverse classroom library for shared and

independent reading, sorts and activities from Words Their Way for word study and writing

materials. The pitfalls of this program are planning for multiple differentiated reading and word

study groups.

Teacher Designed Plan: GUIDE

This teacher designed plan is called GUIDE. GUIDE derives from a math program that

the second grade team at Occoquan Elementary already uses. Each letter in the word GUIDE

stands for a different rotation. The G stands for Games; this is where students will focus on doing

word sorts and activities for Word Study, from Words Their Way. The U stands for

Understanding; this is where students will focus on reading with a teacher. The teacher should

plan for homogeneous groups of an instructional level. The teacher

should pick a comprehension skill that students need to learn or are struggling with to teach. The

I stands for Independent Reading. This is where the students get to have choice and freedom in

deciding what they want to read during their rotations. The D stands for Developing Fluency.

This rotation is where the students get to hear a fluent reader read to them by using the online

reading program called My On. The E stands for Expressing Yourself. This is where the students

get the chance to express themselves by writing. The pitfalls of this plan include needing to only

have six or less students in a group. The small group setting is best for guided reading because
having enough leveled texts for more than six students in a group is difficult. Another pitfall

would be having your classroom run smoothly since every rotation is only 18 minutes long.

Students need to have urgency and be prepared for every rotation they go to.

Section III: Solution

Description of Solution

The solution that we chose is the teacher-designed approach, GUIDE. We believe

that this solution would be a great fit for the second grade team and would also be beneficial in

enhancing not only comprehension, but all areas of literacy. Since GUIDE is already used in

math in second grade, the familiarity of this program should be an easy transition for teachers.

The GUIDE approach is a combination of different literacy skills including: differentiated word

study, guided reading, fluency work, independent reading, and writing. Students rotate every 18

minutes in order to visit every station in the 90-minute Language Arts block.

Justification

We chose the teacher designed approach because it is a combination of best practices

used in a literacy classroom. Through this approach students get to visit a word study station, a

guided reading station, an independent reading station, a read aloud station, and a writing station.

Through this approach students will be able to better comprehend fiction and nonfiction texts.

This will also help students use pictures, captions, and charts to understand a text. This approach

also benefits students because it gives them choice and exposure to different types of

print, using My On. This approach is also very engaging for students as they are given the

opportunity to move around the classroom and practice a variety of skills at their level.
Supplementary Materials

The supplementary materials needed for the teacher-designed approach, GUIDE, would

be different for each of the 5 stations. For the Games/Word Study station, the teacher will select

differentiated sorting patterns for each group based on their developmental spelling stage. Their

stage will be determined by the Words Their Way Elementary Spelling Inventory. The students

will be introduced to their sort on Monday, and then complete a variety of sorts, games, and

activities throughout the week during their station time. These sorts, games, and activities will

come from Words Their Way.

For the Understanding/Guided Reading station, the teacher will need a classroom set of

leveled books to differentiate for each group. In this station, the teacher will guide students

toward understanding of different genres of text. There will also be a focus on vocabulary and

fluency. The teacher will monitor progress and complete running records for fluency check. The

teacher will also prompt student thinking by asking questions about the text to check for

comprehension. Graphic organizers may also be used to accompany a specific comprehension

strategy of focus.

For the Independent Reading station, students are given the chance to read for enjoyment

and choose their own texts. The materials needed for this station is a classroom library with a

wide range of books for students to choose from. Students may also bring in books or texts from

outside sources. The teacher may need to guide students in choosing an ideal independent book

to fit their independent level and personal interests. Students will have the freedom to choose

where they want to read in the classroom during this station.

For the Developing Fluency station, students will need a computer or

tablet in order to access the My On online program. My On is a reading program that was
recently purchased at Occoquan Elementary school. This station will give students the

opportunity to use this new program to practice listening to audio passages that model fluent

reading. Through this program the teacher can also assign comprehension questions that can be

asked at the end of a book that the student has read or that is read aloud to them. There may also

be a project that is assigned with the book. This holds the students accountable for paying

attention and actually reading during this center.

For the Express Yourself/Writing station, students will need paper and a writing journal.

This station will provide options for free-writing, written responses to text, and roll-and-write

prompts. The focus of this station may vary depending on the day/week. It can be used to check

comprehension of a text or as an opportunity for creative writing. Writing will be completed in

their individual journals and will be used for conferencing with the teacher.

Process of Implementation

To implement the teacher designed plan: GUIDE, the classroom teachers, reading

specialists, and reading coaches would need to sit down together and analyze the Benchmark

data. This will help determine specific comprehension needs of the students. The classroom

teachers will need to administer a Development Reading Assessment (DRA) and perform

running records to determine developmental reading levels. The classroom teacher will also need

to administer a Words Their Way Spelling Inventory to determine each student's spelling stage.

Each teacher will also meet with the reading specialist and coach to discuss

spelling inventory data and developmental reading levels. With this data, along with the

Benchmark data, they will organize their tiered instructional groups. The developmental level of

each group will help determine the amount of teacher guidance needed. For the Tier 1 group(s),

there will be low level of teacher-guidance and more independent practice. For the Tier 2
group(s), there will be some teacher-guidance and some independent practice. For the Tier 3

group(s), there will be a higher level teacher guidance and less independent practice.

Section IV: Professional Development Plan

Description of Plan

All of the second grade teachers, ESOL teachers, special educators, Title I specialists

and reading specialists will need to attend the professional development sessions. The reading

specialists and coaches will lead the professional developments for the second grade teachers and

other instructional staff. At the beginning of the professional development the reading facilitators

will go over the data and the solution chosen to enrich the education of the second graders. They

will provide their research and justification for why they think GUIDE will work best to improve

the comprehension scores on the end of year Reading Benchmark.

Training and Supplementary Materials

Training will be held to help teachers to understand that reading is a comprehensive

skill. Fluency, word work, writing, comprehension should be taught simultaneously in order

for students to make connections between these areas of literacy. We will provide examples of

ideas to use in each GUIDE station to help teachers with instructional planning. We will also

discuss the importance of keeping students on-task and engaged during each rotation.

Throughout the school year, literacy specialists and coaches will observe and model

lessons, as well as check in and reflect on progress and/or make necessary changes. Student

assessment will be continuously analyzed and discussed for progress monitoring. Changes will

be made to groups as student achievement improves.

No supplemental materials are required for this plan as we have chosen to use programs

that the school already has in place, just in a different, more purpose-driven way. Since the
GUIDE approach was adapted from the math program currently used in the second grade,

it removes spending a great deal of time on introducing an entire new plan that teachers are

unfamiliar with.

Motivation for Change

Data demonstrates that the current reading program, the Benchmark series, is not meeting

the literacy needs of students, particularly in comprehension. Simply using the Benchmark series

to drive guided reading is not meeting the standards set forth by the Virginia Department of

Education or the Benchmark Reading tests. By using GUIDE students will be exposed to a

balanced literacy program that focused on best practice and putting the students’ needs first. We

believe that teachers will be more open-minded and motivated to use this approach since it uses

programs that they are already familiar with.

Role Before, During, and After Implementation

The school reading specialist or coach will facilitate the professional development

session with the second grade team. Next, teachers will meet individually with the reading

specialist or coach to analyze data and organize groups with common literary needs. After

instructional grouping decisions have been made, implementation of GUIDE will begin. The

specialist and coach will check in regularly with each teacher, as well as meet with the team as

whole to share ideas and thoughts with one another. After each assessment period, the team and

specialist will meet to discuss strengths and weaknesses presented in the data, as well as set goals

for improvement. The specialist and coach will provide modeling for teachers, if needed or

requested, throughout this process.

Section V: Timeline for Implementation

Timeline
The two weeks February March April/May
following the Mid-
Year Reading
Benchmark
Once all students have Specialist/coach will Specialist/coach will Students will take the
completed taking the provide professional provide modeling in end of year Reading
Mid-Year Reading development for each classroom during Benchmark.
Benchmark, all second the second grade team GUIDE/Language Arts
grade teachers, and the and discuss plans for block.
reading specialists implementation.
should sit down and GUIDE
analyze the data for Language Arts
together. They should block will be
determine areas of explained.
weakness that need to
be focused on.

Students will be One week after the Classroom Second grade teachers
grouped by DRA level professional observations during and reading
and by Word Study development, GUIDE and specialists/coaches
group. implementation of debriefing/reflection will analyze end
GUIDE will begin. meetings for each of year data for all of
teacher during planning second grade. Data will
time. be compared to the
mid-year test. This
will show how effective
the GUIDE program
was.
Team will discuss
strengths/weakness
with GUIDE and ways
to improve any
problems with GUIDE.
This, along with
assessment data, will
determine how GUIDE
will be implemented in
the future.
Assessment Plan

Assessments will take place weekly and monthly. A weekly spelling assessment will be

given based on the students' word study groups. Running records and DRAs will be

assessed monthly to see student reading growth. Students will also be given a weekly

comprehension assessment on the Benchmark site to get them used to taking tests similar to the

Mid-Year and End of Year Reading Benchmark Assessments. Writing will be assessed

biweekly, using the writing completed during centers. The classroom teacher will hold writing

conferences weekly with every student.

Adjustment to Hypothetical Problem that will occur During Implementation

Many times, teachers get burnt out on doing reading centers because of the lack of

classroom management or time management. When using the GUIDE plan, it is important to

have time management. Since students are only at each center for 18 minutes it is important

to have a timer set so that there is no going over the designated time. A large timer should be

used for students to see too so that they can pay attention to how much time they are working

or wasting. Also, students should be well organized for each center they go to. This is where

a five-pocket folder would come in handy. Students could carry around the folder to each center

and each pocket could hold any paperwork from each of the five centers.
References

MyON Professional Development Services. (n.d.). Retrieved

from https://solutions.myon.com/professional-development

Virginia Department of Education. (2017). School Report Card. Retrieved

from http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/nutrition/statistics/index.shtml