Research shows there are five “pillars” to reading success. Those are:
- phonemic awareness
At Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation, we have adopted several programs that, when used in conjunction, create a structure for students to become successful readers.
Our K-5 adopted reading series is “Reading Street,” from Pearson. This curriculum is used as the framework for elementary reading instruction and is aligned to the Indiana State Standards. Students are exposed to a variety of genres and are instructed through samples of literature, informational text, foundational skills, language, and speaking and listening standards.
In grades K-2, we have adopted Wilson Fundations as our systematic program for foundational skills, including: phonemic awareness, phonics, word study, and fluency. This program provides our younger students the opportunity to learn the basics, which will then help them become successful readers.
In addition, we utilize Units of Study, by Lucy Calkins from Columbia University, for our K-5 writing program. This program builds writers by exposing them to scaffolded lessons in how to write for a variety of audiences in the three primary types of writing: opinion, narrative, and informational. This writing program is well-researched and uses a writing workshop structure, which provides time for individual conferring with the classroom teacher.
Our K-5 adopted mathematics program is Everyday Mathematics, developed at the University of Chicago. Everyday Mathematics not only addresses grade specific state standards, it is grounded in the research of how students learn. The program is developed in a “spiral” so that once concepts are taught, they re-occur during the year in a cycle so students continue to keep their skills sharp.
We utilize National Geographic for our elementary science curriculum. This program introduces our students to real-world science research (and scientists!) while connecting content with hands-on investigations.
Our social studies program is from Teachers Created Institute (TCI) and provides interactive lessons to engage students in an experiential way. Students not only read historical accounts and primary sources, but they spend time learning how parts of history are connected to the social world around them.