As a teacher, I loved teaching and I also loved summertime. During the summer, I was fortunate to be able to travel all over the world. My trips were usually hiking trips. While hiking I would think about what I was going to do once school started. What fun activities would I do for the first week back? How would I structure my reading and writing programs? Reading and writing were my favorite subjects to teach. My methods were based on Orton Gillingham principles.
My company, Fisher Hill has a Structured Literacy program to teach Spanish speakers how to read and spell based on Orton Gillingham principles. The program uses systematic and explicit methods to teach decoding and word identification skills. Structured literacy is beneficial to all students but especially to students who have had or may have difficulty learning to read and spell.
The program is geared toward Spanish speakers, but students of all languages can very much benefit from this program. The literacy program has six levels: Each level consists of four workbooks to help students learn to read and write in English. The four workbooks for each level are:
Reading and Spelling
The first book to use at each level is the Reading and Spelling workbook. The program uses a very systematic, explicit approach in teaching the English speech sounds. After completing the Reading and Spelling workbook, students are ready to practice reading by using the Reading Comprehesnion workbook. They can also practice writing by using the Writing Composition workbook. The Vocabulary workbook reviews the vocabulary at each level. In the Reading and Spelling workbooks, there is a short diagnostic test in each lesson to monitor progress. After completing the six levels, students will have an excellent foundation in English literacy.
Fisher Hill’s Structured Literacy Program has Placement Tests to determine on which level a student should begin the program. The Placement Tests can be found under Teacher Resources on our webpage at www.Fisher-Hill.com. Click on Teacher Resources from the top tool bar. Then click on Reading and Spelling. Next scroll down to the Placement Tests. Students need to score 80% on a placement test to go to the next level.
The Placement Tests assess the sounds taught at each level of the program. Placement Test Level 1 evaluates the sounds taught in Level 1. If a student cannot perform at 80% on the Placement Test for Level 1 then he/she needs to begin with Reading and Spelling for the Spanish Speaker Book 1. This is the first book to be used for Level 1. After completing Reading and Spelling for the Spanish Speaker Book 1, the student can then use English Reading Comprehension for the Spanish Speaker Book 1 and English Writing Composition for the Spanish Speaker Book 1. The level finishes with English Vocabulary for the Spanish Speaker Book 1. After completing all four workbooks, the student then again takes Placement Test Level 1. If he/she performs at 80% then he/she can go on to Level 2. If a student does not perform at 80%, then the student needs more practice with the sounds he/she has not yet mastered.
Each Placement Test consists of 30 words a student must spell. This will determine if the student has learned the sounds presented at each level. he teacher or volunteer dictates the words and the students write them. Students who perform 80% on the test, can go on to the next level. Below the tests, is a student’s test form that can be used for all levels.
Visit our website at www.Fisher-Hill.com to view our Structured Literacy program and the Placement Tests that go with each level.