The purpose of this course is to provide instruction that enables students to accelerate the development of reading and writing skills and to strengthen those skills so they are able to successfully read and write middle grade level text independently. Instruction emphasizes reading comprehension, writing fluency, and vocabulary study through the use of a variety of literary and informational texts encompassing a broad range of text structures, genres, and levels of complexity. Texts used for instruction focus on a wide range of topics, including content-area information, in order to support students in meeting the knowledge demands of increasingly complex text. Students enrolled in the course will engage in interactive text-based discussion, question generation, and research opportunities. They will write in response to reading and cite evidence when answering text dependent questions orally and in writing. The course provides extensive opportunities for students to collaborate with their peers. Scaffolding is provided as necessary as students engage in reading and writing with increasingly complex text and is decreased as the reading and writing abilities of students improve over time.
Important Note: Reading and writing courses should not be used in place of English language arts courses; reading and writing courses are intended to be used to supplement further study in English language arts.
The Intensive courses have been designed for the teacher to select and teach only the appropriate standards corresponding to a student's grade level and/or instructional needs. The courses should not be used in place of grade level English/Language Arts courses and are intended to provide intervention for students who have reading deficiencies.
The course includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- determining central ideas or themes of a text and analyzing their development as well as summarizing the key supporting details and ideas;
- interpreting words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyzing how specific word choices shape meaning or tone;
- analyzing the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole;
- integrating and evaluating content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words;
- delineating and evaluating the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the source, relevance and sufficiency of the evidence;
- analyzing how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take;
- writing in response to reading, emulating authors' structures, word choices, styles, etc.
Additional Notes: Students entering the upper grades, who are not reading and writing on grade level, have a variety of intervention needs. No single program or strategy can be successful in remediating the needs of all students. The intervention course should require that students increase the amount and complexity of text they read and write independently throughout the school year to ensure students have enough exposure to various text structures and academic vocabulary to develop skills necessary for college and career readiness.
It is necessary to implement a combination of research-based programs and strategies that have been proven successful in accelerating the development of literacy skills in older readers.
The following practices should be incorporated in the course:
- Scaffolding of close reading is provided but does not preempt or replace text.
- Systematic instruction in vocabulary is provided.
- Explicit instruction in applying grammatical structures and conventions is provided.
- Student independence is cultivated.
Instructional Practices: Teaching from well-written, grade-level instructional materials enhances students' content area knowledge and also strengthens their ability to comprehend longer, complex reading passages on any topic for any purpose. Using the following instructional practices also helps student learning.
- Reading assignments from longer text passages, as well as shorter ones when text is extremely complex.
- Making close reading and rereading of texts central to lessons.
- Asking high-level, text-specific questions and requiring high-level, complex tasks and assignments.
- Requiring students to support answers with evidence from the text.
- Providing extensive text-based research and writing opportunities (claims and evidence).
Achievement on standardized tests assessing reading and writing skills is a reflection of students' confidence and competence in reading. Therefore, instruction throughout the school year should ensure students possess the ability to read and comprehend difficult texts and perform challenging tasks associated with those texts. Time spent engaging students in practice tests should be limited, given most students' vast experiences with standardized tests and the relatively small role that knowledge of test format plays in student test performance.
In those instances when this course is repeated, the content should be differentiated based on reliable and valid assessment data. If repeated, the required level of student proficiency should increase. If students are making adequate progress (accelerated growth) in a given intervention, that intervention should be continued. If students are not making adequate progress, a new intervention should be implemented.
English Language Development ELD Standards Special Notes Section:
Teachers are required to provide listening, speaking, reading and writing instruction that allows English language learners (ELL) to communicate information, ideas and concepts for academic success in the content area of Language Arts. For the given level of English language proficiency and with visual, graphic, or interactive support, students will interact with grade level words, expressions, sentences and discourse to process or produce language necessary for academic success. The ELD standard should specify a relevant content area concept or topic of study chosen by curriculum developers and teachers which maximizes an ELL's need for communication and social skills. To access an ELL supporting document which delineates performance definitions and descriptors, please click on the following link: http://www.cpalms.org/uploads/docs/standards/eld/la.pdf.
For additional information on the development and implementation of the ELD standards, please contact the Bureau of Student Achievement through Language Acquisition at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Instructional Resources:
A.V.E. for Success Collection is provided by the Florida Association of School Administrators: http://www.fasa.net/4DCGI/cms/review.html?Action=CMS_Document&DocID=139. Please be aware that these resources have not been reviewed by CPALMS and there may be a charge for the use of some of them in this collection.
As well as any certification requirements listed on the course description, the following qualifications may also be acceptable for the course:
Any field when certification reflects a bachelor or higher degree plus Reading Endorsement.