At Assumption-St. Bridget School, we believe in fostering success for all of our students. Our teachers utilize curriculum and instructional approaches that maximize student potential for all learners and are considered best practice in education. This is especially true in the areas of reading and writing, which are considered to be core life skills, facilitating deep and genuine learning, engagement and connection with others, creativity and curiosity, civic participation, and achievement of all future goals.
To cultivate a love of reading and writing from a young age, we want all of our students to experience the best in curriculum and instructional approaches in the area of literacy, and to feel and experience success in their early attempts at reading and writing. To accomplish these goals and best serve all our students, our staff have collaborated to provide a progression of instruction using the Slingerland® Approach in grades kindergarten through fourth grades. The Slingerland® Approach is a structured, sequential, and multisensory teaching approach that addresses foundational skills and knowledge in speaking, reading, writing, and spelling. The approach is described as
“… a supportive instructional program that encourages academic competence, effective work habits, and self-discipline. Students gain self-confidence and enthusiasm for learning as they experience success in school.” 1
Although the Slingerland® Approach is often used in providing intervention and support for students who struggle with reading and writing, using Slingerland® in the general education classroom provides an elevated educational experience for all of our students, in addition to providing the very best in instruction for students with language-based disabilities.
The Slingerland® Approach at Assumption-St. Bridget School begins in kindergarten. Here the students experience the foundational skills necessary for reading and writing: oral language, phonemic awareness, phonemic segmentation, sound/ symbol relations of the alphabetic principles. This explicit instruction guides the students towards handwriting and reading as their kindergarten year unfolds.
Students in first through third grades engage heavily in Slingerland®-based activities in the areas of handwriting, encoding/spelling, decoding, preparation for reading, and structured reading across content areas. In third grade, students are also instructed in both print and cursive handwriting, which continues to be an enriching and exciting experience for all our students.
The use of the Slingerland® Approach continues in fourth grade as reading comprehension strategies are incorporated into diverse subject areas, including Science and Social Studies. Using students’ foundation in Slingerland® skills and knowledge in writing, fourth grade students continue to develop their capacity as independent writers, honing their writing skills through the review of past concepts and the learning of new, advanced language skills.
Our students utilize this quality foundation of knowledge and skills in language to continue to grow their oral and written communication skills and reading comprehension in fifth through eighth grades, and graduate exceptionally prepared for the reading and writing demands of high school and beyond.
In addition, Slingerland® is used as a Tier 2, small-group intervention with students who demonstrate a need for additional support in the areas of literacy in grades K-5th. This intervention is provided by the Assumption-St. Bridget School Learning Specialist, who is available to pull students out of their general education classes to receive additional instruction, feedback, and skill practice in a small-group setting. Students who receive these services are progress monitored, using an assessment and reporting tool known as DIBELS. When students demonstrate grade-level knowledge, skills, and abilities, they graduate from this support resource. Have additional questions? See below.
- The student scores below benchmark on the DIBELS/Acadience Reading assessment;
- The student’s classroom performance is reflective of those scores; and
- The classroom teacher and Learning Specialist believe the student will benefit from additional reading intervention.
- Your child meets or exceeds the DIBELS/Acadience Reading assessment benchmarks for three progress monitoring assessments in a row;
- Your child’s classroom performance consistently reflects those improved scores; and
- Your child’s team believes he or she will continue to make progress when the support has been removed.
For more information on the Slingerland® Approach, please check out the The Slingerland® Institute for Literacy, which provides more detailed descriptions of Slingerland®, its use in the classroom, and its effectiveness as supported by research.
If you feel that you need more information regarding our use of the Slingerland® Approach or would like additional Slingerland® resources for your child, please contact the Assumption-St. Bridget School Learning Specialist, Christina Dougherty, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Assumption-St. Bridget School Principal, Kathleen Conklin, at email@example.com