WSD - Windham School District

New Reading Horizons curriculum to help develop fluency, comprehension

Literacy teachers from Windham School District are training in a new reading curriculum, Reading Horizons, to assist students develop reading fluency and comprehension.

Literacy teachers from Windham School District are training in a new reading curriculum, Reading Horizons, to assist students develop reading fluency and comprehension.

"This program was chosen by WSD after being peer reviewed by the UT Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk," said Amy Lopez, WSD Division of Instruction director.

WSD's first training with Reading Horizons was called "Discover Intensive Phonetics for Yourself." Twelve campuses across the district were represented at the training in Huntsville, bringing together Literacy I Reading teachers, ESL teachers and Literacy I/II instructors, an academic specialist from each region and one regional administrator. Matt Crismon with Reading Horizons led the training.

"The program is designed around a multi-century explicit systematic approach that appeals to the way older learners process a word. We are taking teachers through a process whereby they are learning the essential structure in patterns of the English language. They can then teach students how to effectively analyze language. When they complete this process, students will effectively be able to code up words 85-90 percent of the commonly used language," Crismon said.

The goal of the curriculum is to take students from phonetic awareness into decoding. Students will learn to decode automatically and develop their vocabulary, which leads to fluency. This ultimately gives teachers the ability to focus on comprehension.

Matt Crismon with Reading Horizons led the training.

"The implementation of Reading Horizons will begin with Literacy I Reading classes to help non-reading students become emergent readers. Reading Horizons will also be the cornerstone of our reading curriculum in Literacy I/II classes and will be the reading curriculum for ESL students," Lopez said.

The first Reading Horizons training focused on the direct-teach portion of the curriculum. Another training session emphasizing software is scheduled for April 27, followed by implementation of Reading Horizons with students at WSD campuses.