Follow Minimal Recommended Times for Daily Reading Instruction Based Upon Student Needs
Make sure that each student receives the type and amount of instruction he or she needs in order to make adequate progress.
The goal of reading instruction is to keep those students already performing at grade level at grade level, and to bring those students who are performing below grade level up to grade level within 1-2 years. To achieve this goal, the daily “reading block” must be protected, and additional instruction must be carefully differentiated and targeted according to students’ specific needs.
Provide an uninterrupted 90 – 120 minute reading block daily.
From K-3 there are on average only 720 school days to use in teaching your students to read. Therefore, reading instructional time should always be prioritized and carefully protected.
Prioritize and protect instructional reading blocks.
Minimize or eliminate interruptions to instructional time in order to maximize learning. Prioritize reading instruction by conducting all other school business outside instructional time.
Deliver secondary and tertiary interventions outside the 90-120 minute core reading block.
Students who are reading below grade level must receive added instruction beyond the reading block in order to catch up to their peers who are performing at grade level. If all your students make the same level of yearly progress, a reading achievement gap will continue to exist.
Provide added instructional time proportional to the level of deficiency to those students who are performing below grade level.
In general, the further a student is below grade level goals, the more daily instruction is needed.
Provide additional instructional time that is intentional and explicit to students who are performing below grade level.
The primary variable for accelerating students’ progress in reading is added instructional time. Such additional time should include explicit targeted instruction based on data and further assessed for mastery. Additional instructional time should not include substantial practice time, silent sustained reading, spelling instruction, or time spent in any other activity involving little to no direct teaching.
Professional Development Presentation
- Part 1 (17:30)
One of the challenges frequently facing schools is how to find the time needed for a strong literacy program. This presentation offers sample solutions to scheduling and organizational issues that are typical in our schools, as well as resources to help your school identify particular infrastructure changes that may be needed. A critical piece to a schoolwide reading model is to apply the concept of differentiation not only to curriculum materials, but also to instructional time, in order to maximize learning opportunities for all children.
Apply the Concepts
1. Uninterrupted Time Template
A template to use to identify current interruptions that need to be addressed, identify who is affected and possible solutions or alternatives.
2. Time Evaluation
Look at the District Level and/or School Level Self-Assessments associated with the Oregon K-12 Literacy Framework. Specifically focus on the area of “Time” under the Assessment chapter. Self-assess your district or school on the listed elements. A screen shot of this section of the School Level Self-Assessment is attached.
1. Sample Schedules
View the sample schedules that show examples of how the 90+ minute reading block and additional reading instruction can be built into the school day. These schedules are not meant to be models; rather, to illustrate how creative scheduling can help with this process.
2. Suggested Instructional Times
This document lists suggested instructional time for reading based upon grade level and benchmark status. Keep in mind this is an “ideal” schedule. Schools may need to vary these times based upon assessment data and resources available.
3. DuFour, Richard, DuFour, Rebecca, Eaker, Robert, & Karhanek, Gayle (2004). Whatever it Takes- How Professional Learning Communities Respond When Kids Don’t Learn. National Bloomington, IN: National Educational Service. [ISBN: 1-932127-28-3]
Whatever it Takes promotes the formation of a school-wide response to students who are not making the expected progress. Specific strategies are provided and can be used to make and immediate impact.
4. Fielding, Lynn, Kerr, Nancy, & Rosier, Paul (2007). Annual Growth for all students, Catch-Up Growth for those who are behind. Kennewick, WA: New Foundation Press, Inc. [ISBN: 978-0-9666875-2-1]
This book describes the struggles and triumphs of the Kennewick School District (Washington) after they were mandated by their school board to have 90% of all third graders in each school at grade level within three years. The Kennewick model shows how to assure annual growth in K-12 for all students and catch-up growth for those who are not at grade level. The concept of instructional time based upon individual student need is thoroughly discussed.