Balanced Literacy Instruction
FVSD engages in high-quality, research-based practices in TK-5th grade literacy developing strong foundational reading, writing, and communication skills for all students. Over the past few years, FVSD has committed to a balanced literacy model as its signature instructional practice in grades TK-5th. The balanced literacy approach contains multiple elements of reading, writing, and word study at various levels of scaffolding. Teachers use and model the gradual release of responsibility method, often referred to as I Do, We Do, You Do, to teach explicit skills and strategies, allow time for guided and independent practice, and provide feedback to students.
FVSD students are assessed by all teachers using Fountas and Pinnell’s leveled reading assessment multiple times a year. This one-on-one in-depth reading assessment provides information on our reader’s accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. By gathering data on our readers, teachers are able to determine independent and instructional reading levels. Fountas & Pinnell levels (also known as guided reading levels) are rated on an A to Z gradient. Each grade level has a range of levels that you would expect a reader to proceed through during the year, with A as the starting kindergarten level and Z being a middle school level. This assessment allows teachers to gather data, plan targeted instruction, and monitor student progress. Students needing additional support may receive interventions when they are not meeting grade-level standards based on state, district, and/or classroom assessments, including teacher observations and interactions.