First Grade ELA Reading Expectations
Eanes ISD Reading Philosophy
In Eanes, we believe that the purpose of reading is not only to comprehend and learn but also to apply what is read to real-world experiences. Reading is the active and cognitive process of making meaning from print. It is a process that includes relevant literacy experiences before, during, and after reading.
In English Language Arts classes, teachers design reading instruction to guide students to become readers who can independently determine the message and value of the texts they read. We want to develop readers who make critical decisions about their own reading and have an appreciation for reading that will last throughout their lives.
Over their first few years in our district, our students move through a continuum of phonemic awareness (sounds in English), alphabetics (letter symbols), and phonics (sounds combined with symbols) as concrete skills. Fluency develops as these skills are applied with increasing automaticity. Once these foundational skills are learned, students continue to grow throughout their years in middle school and high school and into their adult lives, acquiring vocabulary and comprehending more and more complex texts. Vocabulary and comprehension are the keys to any discipline for a life-long learner; therefore, we have the following goals for our Eanes’ students:
- use reading as a tool for thinking and communicating.
- find and pursue their own ideas and purposes (researching, thinking, learning, communicating, enjoyment) for reading.
- read a wide variety of texts (level of difficulty, form/genre, length, topics) to develop and expand their rhetorical knowledge and their understanding of their world.
- critique, analyze and evaluate a variety of texts.
- reflect on and understand their individual processes for constructing meaning from texts.
- use a repertoire of skills and strategies that are most appropriate to their purposes.
- construct knowledge collaboratively in conferences with peers, teachers, and other readers, in person and digitally.
- respond to texts, making connections between and among texts, between themselves and texts, and between texts and the world around them
- read independently.
- transfer their knowledge of reading to all areas of study/academic disciplines.
Goals for Teachers of Student Readers in Eanes
- expect all students to read.
- create a safe environment to encourage students’ risk taking.
- provide multiple opportunities for students to read – informally and formally, for a variety of authentic purposes.
- provide balanced literacy instruction, including systematic and explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension skills and strategies.
- create opportunities for students to talk about their reading.
- use flexible grouping strategies to differentiate instruction for individual students.
- allow readers to use processes that fit their individual styles and purposes.
- provide opportunities for student choice (for example, topics, genres, structures, lengths, etc.).
- use a variety of assessment tools (such as self-assessments, conferences, and diagnostics) to decide what and how to teach readers.
- understand that growth of fluency and comprehension may not occur at the same time.
- embed language study within authentic reading experiences.
- know a variety of ways to teach reading, when to use each method, and how to combine the methods into an effective instructional program.