Kindergarten Phonemic Awareness Project
In the Spring of 2017, District 622 found that kindergarten students were not making the kind of progress we wanted with their early reading skills. A Kindergarten Leadership Team was formed to determine the cause and provide direction to address the problem.
The leadership team determined that a framework, as well as a scope and sequence for teaching letter sounds, was needed. (See Terminology Definitions below.) Next, a leadership team sub-group was established to create the scope and sequence for teaching letter sounds. This group also organized and created lessons and supporting materials for the year.
The Kindergarten Task Force worked during the summer and throughout the 2017-2018 school year developing resources, analyzing student progress monitoring data, and responding to the needs of our kindergarten teachers.
As a result of the work of the task force, and our entire team of District 622 Kindergarten teachers who implemented the plan, the percentage of kindergarten students who were “on-track” increased from 31% in December of 2017 to 76% by the Spring of 2018. In addition, race-based gaps in performance were nearly eliminated in all student groups.
The Class of 2030 kindergartners was well prepared when they arrived for school this fall as 1st graders. The new group of kindergartners is benefitting as our teachers implement the new curriculum materials for the second year. The leadership team still meets to review teacher feedback, monitor progress, and adjust the new curriculum accordingly. The implications for other subjects and students groups are very exciting.
A video was created to capture the story of this team working together to increase the success of our kindergarten students. Follow this link to watch the Kindergarten Collective Efficacy video or visit https://vimeo.com/isd622/kindergartenphonics.
Framework: Curriculum frameworks offer guidance for implementing content standards. Frameworks describe the curriculum and instruction necessary to help students achieve proficiency, and they specify the design of instructional materials and professional development. Further, they provide guidelines and selected research-based approaches for implementing instruction to ensure optimal benefits for all students. (Source: California Dept of Education, https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/imfrpfaq1.asp)
Scope: The depth and breadth of the content to be taught at a specific grade level and the development of the content across grade levels. (Georgia State University: http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwche/kh3420scpseq2.htm)
Sequence: The order in which the content should be taught for the best learning (building on past knowledge) within a grade. (Georgia State University: http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwche/kh3420scpseq2.htm)