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English Language Arts (ELA) Reading

The Science of Reading and Structured Literacy



Science of Reading

The Science of Reading is a body of evidence that encompasses multi-disciplinary knowledge from education, linguistics, cognitive psychology, special education, and neuroscience1. It looks at the essential cognitive processes for competent reading and describes how reading develops in both typical and atypical readers1. The Science of Reading is based on decades of research and evidence234. It includes teaching based on the 5 Big Ideas: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension2. It’s important to note that the Science of Reading is not a specific program or product that you can buy2.




Structured Literacy

Structured Literacy is an approach to teaching reading that is based on the science of reading and years of research into how a child’s brain acquires and processes information5. It prepares students to decode words in an explicit and systematic manner6. This approach not only helps students with dyslexia, but there is substantial evidence that it is effective for all readers6. Structured Literacy covers the following concepts: Phonology, Sound-symbol (orthography), Syllables, Morphology, Syntax, and Semantics6. It’s important to note that Structured Literacy is not a specific program or product that you can buy6.


Both the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy are based on research and evidence, and they aim to improve the way students learn to read. They are not specific programs or products, but rather approaches to teaching reading that are based on understanding how children best learn to read26.


The Science of Writing
As parents, understanding the **science of writing** can empower you to support your elementary school children effectively. Let's delve into some key points:
1. Reading and Writingt Connection:
    • Reading and writing are closely intertwined. When children learn to read, they also develop foundational skills for writing.
    • Encourage your child to read widely. Exposure to different texts enhances vocabulary, comprehension, and creativity—essential for writing.

2. Explicit Instruction:
    • Writing instruction should be explicit and systematic. Teachers follow a well-defined scope and sequence to teach writing skills.
    • The Science of Reading principles, based on brain research, emphasize explicit teaching of fundamental skills. These approaches are gaining prominence.
3. Integrated Approach:
    • Rather than treating reading and writing as separate subjects, consider integrating them.
    • Encourage your child to write about what they read. Summarizing, retelling, or creating their own stories reinforces comprehension and expression.
4. Writing Practice at Home:
    • Provide opportunities for writing at home. Here are some ideas:
      • Journaling: Encourage your child to keep a journal. They can write about their day, feelings, or experiences.
      • Letters and Emails: Write letters or emails together. Send messages to family members or pen pals.
      • Creative Writing: Encourage imaginative stories, poems, or even short plays.
      • Recipe Writing: Involve your child in writing down simple recipes.
      • Thank-You Notes: Teach gratitude by writing thank-you notes.
5. Modeling and Feedback:
    • Be a writing role model. Let your child see you write—whether it's a shopping list, a note, or an email.
    • Provide constructive feedback. Praise effort and creativity. Focus on improvement rather than perfection.
Remember, writing is a skill that improves with practice. By fostering a positive attitude toward writing and integrating it with reading, you'll help your child become a confident communicator!
For more resources and engaging writing activities, explore [Writing https://www.learninga-z.com/site/resources/breakroom-blog/the-science-of-writing ¹.
Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/24/2024
(1) The Science of Writing: Integrating Reading and Writing - Learning A-Z. https://www.learninga-z.com/site/resources/breakroom-blog/the-science-of-writing.
(2) How to start writing about science for kids - NASW. https://www.nasw.org/article/how-start-writing-about-science-kids.
(3) Science of Reading Information for Parents - Mrs. Winter's Bliss. https://mrswintersbliss.com/the-science-of-reading-information-for-parents/.
(4) How Parents Can Help with Writing at Home — TeachWriting.org. https://www.teachwriting.org/blog/2020/3/22/how-parents-can-help-with-writing-at-home.
District Adopted Curriculum
for this school year



What is Benchmark Advance?

Benchmark Advance is a comprehensive English Language Arts program designed for today’s culturally diverse classrooms1


How does Benchmark Advance work?

Benchmark Advance provides systematic and explicit instruction where students are directly taught letter-sound connections (e.g., introduction, modeling, blending) and guided to apply those skills in reading and writing (word building, dictation, reading and writing about decodable text) using common structured literacy2.


What makes Benchmark Advance unique?

Benchmark Advance is designed to reflect current and confirmed research on learning to read and teaching reading3. It’s built on the B.E.S.T. Standards with print and digital standards-based resources3.


What are the components of Benchmark Advance?

Benchmark Advance includes a variety of print and digital resources, such as:


Why is Benchmark Advance beneficial?

Benchmark Advance equips students with rich knowledge that intentionally builds to inspire curiosity and drive results1. It’s recognized by the Knowledge Matters Campaign for its excellence in intentionally building knowledge and rated all-green on EdReports, earning green scores across all gateways1.


District Adopted Curriculum
starting School Year 2024-2025



What is CKLA? CKLA stands for Core Knowledge Language Arts. It’s a leading early literacy curriculum grounded in the Science of Reading. By combining knowledge-building and research-based foundational skills, CKLA guides educators in developing strong readers, writers, and thinkers.


How does CKLA work? CKLA’s research-based scope and sequence progresses from simple to more complex skill development, starting with phonological and phonemic awareness. The curriculum guides educators in explicitly teaching the 150 spellings for the 44 sounds of English, with an intentional progression and review of skills.


What makes CKLA unique? CKLA follows the Core Knowledge Sequence, a content-specific, cumulative, and coherent approach to building knowledge. This means students dig deeper and make connections across content areas to build a robust knowledge base for comprehending complex texts.


What are the components of CKLA? CKLA includes a variety of print and digital resources, such as:

  • Original decodables and read-aloud Big Books for Grades K–2
  • Student Readers for Grades 3–5
  • Trade books for Grades K–5
  • Student Activity Books with embedded assessments for Grades K–5
  • Research units for independent research built around a trade book for Grades K–5


Why is CKLA beneficial? CKLA equips students with rich knowledge that intentionally builds to inspire curiosity and drive results. It’s recognized by the Knowledge Matters Campaign for its excellence in intentionally building knowledge and rated all-green on EdReports, earning green scores across all gateways.


How can I help my child with the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy at home?

Science of Reading

  1. Read Aloud: Reading to your child is one of the best ways to help them develop literacy skills1. This can increase the amount of language your child hears and can also improve their interest in reading2.
  2. Discuss the Story: Ask questions before, during, and after reading aloud. This can help your child focus attention on the ideas in the story2.
  3. Play Word Games: For older children, play word games, talk about word meanings, and point out interesting or new words when reading together2.
  4. Model Good Literacy Behavior: Show your child that reading is a regular part of your life by reading regularly yourself2.

Structured Literacy

  1. Phonology Practice: Practice rhymes and songs to help your child understand the sound structure of spoken words3.
  2. Sound-Symbol Association: Play games that help your child map phonemes to symbols or printed letters3.
  3. Syllable Instruction: Teach your child about the six basic syllable types in the English language: closed, vowel-consonant-e, open, consonant-le, r-controlled, and vowel pair3.
  4. Hang Print Around Your House: Label objects in your home. This can show the importance of language, reading, and writing2.

Remember, every child learns at their own pace, so it’s important to be patient and supportive during this process.