The most recent meta-analysis of research in reading instruction has driven a paradigm shift from Whole Language/Balanced Literary approach towards the “Science of Reading” approach, which focuses on these six foundational elements: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Spelling, Sight Words/Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, and Writing. A significant body of educators in the field (Kilpatrick, 2015, Scarborough, 2001, Shaywitz, 2003) and in academia (NIH National Reading Panel, 2005) advocate for, and frame the data supporting, why educators should follow the Science of Reading. However, there are no curriculums on the market that align these six elements within a single ready-made curriculum to answer that call. This leaves 1st grade teachers who are part of the Science of Reading movement to piece together several different systems or programs that do not line up with each other. For example, a Phonemic Awareness Program that is teaching the Short A sound, the Phonics Program that week is working on the Short E, and the Writing Program is working on verbs, using worksheets the students can’t yet read. This research-based curriculum aligns these six elements into one ready-made curriculum!
In the eighteen months since Christine stepped away from the classroom to write this curriculum, the rallying call for the “Science of Reading” approach has intensified. In fact, five states have enacted laws that require the use of Science of Reading or evidence-based curriculums (Education Week).
The Science of Reading movement is based on the belief that the best way for children to learn to read is through a systematic approach to introducing them to phonemes (sounds in words) and letter patterns (phonics) and building on prior knowledge to build reading skills (NIH National Reading Report, 2005, Kilpatrick, 2015, Shaywitz, 2003, Scarborough, 2001). This curriculum does this, and takes it a step further in a way that has not been done before! Everything a student does in a week across the Main 6 is aligned. Each week, the teacher has a Teacher’s Guide, which lists the objectives and standards covered that week, as well as directions for using the ready-made practice sheets, games, daily practice, decodable reader, comprehension activities and the complete writing curriculum provided. Ready-made materials are a true highlight for busy First Grade teachers! The materials are all aligned using a systematic research-based approach to Phonics introduction, so that when a student is practicing one skill, then the student is practicing it across all of the Main 6. The students are taking what they are learning in one week and plugging it into what they have learned in previous weeks, then building through the year at a steady pace until all First Grade Standards are covered.