The Science of Reading (SoR) is a body of research that informs us about how children learn to read and how we can best teach them. One of the implications of SoR is that we need to provide systematic and explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. But how can we fit all these components into our daily literacy block?
In this blog post, I will share with you a sample literacy block schedule that aligns with SoR and covers all the essential skills for reading success. This schedule is based on a 90-minute literacy block, but you can adjust it according to your own context and needs.
The sample schedule is divided into three parts: whole-group word recognition instruction, small-group instruction, and whole-group language comprehension instruction.
Here is an overview of what each part entails:
- Whole group word recognition instruction (20 minutes): This is where you teach phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency skills to all students using a scope and sequence that follows a logical progression from simple to complex patterns. You can use a variety of activities such as review games, mini-lessons, guided practice, independent practice, and dictation to engage students and reinforce learning.
- Small group instruction (50 minutes): This is where you differentiate instruction based on students’ needs and levels. You can use data from screeners (See Progress Monitoring), assessments, and observations to form flexible groups and target specific skills. You can use decodable texts, leveled texts, or trade books to provide students with opportunities to apply their word recognition and comprehension skills in authentic contexts. You can also use this time to provide feedback, scaffolding, and intervention as needed.
- Whole group language comprehension instruction (20 minutes): This is where you teach vocabulary and comprehension strategies to all students using rich and complex texts that expose them to diverse topics, genres, and perspectives. You can use a variety of activities such as read alouds, shared reading, interactive reading, close reading, discussions, and writing to build students’ background knowledge, oral language, critical thinking, and communication skills.
By following this sample literacy block schedule, you can ensure that you are providing your students with comprehensive and balanced reading instruction that aligns with SoR and supports their development as proficient and motivated readers.