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Schoolwide Model: Instruction

In the Schoolwide Model, the Instruction component consists of three critical elements:

These three elements can be modified to meet the needs of each student:


Instructional Programs

The first part of the Instruction component is "Programs", specifically, the adoption and implementation of research-based reading programs that support the full range of learners. The critical elements related to Instructional Programs are:

  • A core instructional program of validated efficacy adopted and implemented schoolwide
  • Supplemental and intervention programs to support core program
  • Programs and materials emphasize big ideas
  • Programs implemented with high fidelity

A core instructional program of validated efficacy adopted and implemented schoolwide

A core program is the "base" reading program designed to provide instruction on the essential areas of reading for the majority of students schoolwide. In general, the core program should enable 80% or more of students to attain schoolwide reading goals.

An effective, scientifically-based core program is essential. Without an effective core program implemented consistently across classrooms and grades, a school's ability to teach all students to read is seriously diminished.

Supplemental and intervention programs to support core program

Core Program: Programs and materials designed to enable 80% or more of students to attain schoolwide reading goals.

Supplemental Program: Programs and materials designed to support the core program by addressing specific skill areas such as phonemic awareness or reading fluency.

Intervention Program: Programs and materials designed to provide intensive support for students performing below grade level.

One size does not fit all. It is important to have a continuum of instructional programs that can meet the needs of each student.

Understanding the Purpose of Different Programs

The core reading program is a school's primary reading program and is designed to meet the needs of most students. Supplemental programs support the core program. Intervention programs are intensive programs designed to meet the needs of "each" or individuals who need additional intensive reading instruction.

The core, supplemental, and intervention programs have to work together to support each other and student learning.

Programs are tools that are implemented by teachers to ensure that children learn enough on time.

Vaughn, et. al. 2001

Programs implemented with high fidelity

To optimize program effectiveness:

  • Implement the program everyday with fidelity
    • (i.e., the way it was written)
  • Deliver the instruction clearly, consistently, and explicitly
    • (e.g., model skills and strategies)
  • Provide scaffolded support to students
    • (e.g., give extra support to students who need it)
  • Provide opportunities for practice with corrective feedback
    • (e.g., maximize engagement and individualize feedback)


Instructional Time

The second element of the Instruction component is "Time". It is critical that schools ensure adequate, prioritized, and protected time for reading instruction and practice.

  • Schoolwide plan established to allocate sufficient reading time and coordinate resources
  • Additional time allocated for students not making adequate progress (supplemental & intervention programs)
  • Reading time prioritized and protected from interruption

In the Schoolwide Model, instructional time is referred to as "Triple A" (AAA) time.

  • Allocated Time: Time allocated to reading instruction
  • Actual Time: Time actually spent in reading instruction and practice
  • Academic Learning Time: Time children are engaged in tasks in which they can be highly successful

Triple A time is best conceptualized as three concentric circles. A large, outer circle would represent the total amount of time allocated to reading instruction. For example, if your school uses a 90-minute reading block, 90 minutes is the allocated time for reading instruction. Next, a school must consider how much of that allocated time is actually spent in reading instruction and practice (middle circle). Sometimes the actual time does not match the allocated time, but our goal should always be to maximize the actual amount of time spent in reading instruction and practice. The most important element of instructional time is what is referred to as academic learning time (inner circle), which is the amount of time children are engaged in tasks in which they can be highly successful. These are times in which children are being taught at their instructional level, are being provided many opportunities to respond and practice, and are getting many opportunities to receive corrective feedback. In the best of worlds, academic learning time would equal allocated time.

The table below shows an example of how instructional time could be allocated across second grade classrooms. This example is just one possibility of many effective solutions, but this table illustrates:

  • sufficient protected time for reading instruction
  • consistent scheduling coordinated across classrooms
  • alignment and integration of core, supplemental, and intervention programs
  • additional time allocated for students not making adequate progress (supplemental & intervention programs)
Program Time Allocation
Core Program 90 minutes, five days per week for all students
Supplemental fluency program 15 minutes, three days per week for all students
Intervention phonics program 1 30 minutes, three days per week for students needing some extra support
Intervention phonics program 2 30 minutes, five days per week for students needing intensive support


Instructional Grouping

The third part of the Instruction component is "Grouping". Effective, thoughtful, and creative use of grouping practices increases the effectiveness of reading instruction. The critical elements related to Instructional Grouping are:

  • Differentiated instruction aligned with student needs
  • Creative and flexible grouping used to maximize performance

Differentiated instruction aligned with student needs

Examples:

  • Students are grouped based on assessment results
  • Specified supplemental and intervention programs are implemented depending on student needs and profiles

Creative and flexible grouping used to maximize performance

Grouping Options

  • Students: Within class, across class, across grade
  • Size: Whole class, small group, one-on-one
  • Organization: Teacher led, peer tutoring, cooperative learning
  • Location: In classroom, outside of classroom
  • Groups are constantly reorganized based on progress monitoring data


Instructional Adjustments

A key component of providing differentiated and individualized reading instruction that meets the needs of each student is making ongoing instructional adjustments based on assessment data.

  • Instructional programs, grouping, and time are adjusted and intensified according to learner performance and needs, making instruction more responsive to learner performance.

There are many types of instructional adjustments that can be made along a number of dimensions. The chart below lists some options for instructional components than be adjusted in response to instruction.

Alterable Components Specific Adjustments/Enhancements
Options 1 2 3 4 5
Program Emphasis Use core program & explicitly teach priority skills. Use extensions of the core program (e.g., add examples) Supplement core with reteaching or intervention components of core. Replace current core program with intervention program. Implement specially designed program
Time (Opportunities to Learn) Increase attendance Provide instruction daily Increase opportunities to respond Vary schedule of easy/hard tasks/skills Add another instructional period (double dose)
Grouping for Instruction Check group placement & provide combination of whole & small group instruction. Reduce group size Increase teacher-led instruction Provide individual instruction Change instructors
Program Implementation Model lesson delivery Monitor implementation frequently Provide coaching and ongoing support Provide additional staff development Vary program/ lesson schedule
Coordination of Instruction Clarify instructional priorities Establish concurrent reading periods Provide complementary reading instruction across periods Establish communication across instructors Meet frequently to examine progress

Download a PDF version of the Alterable Variables for Instruction Chart


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The Schoolwide Model

Download a PDF version of the Introduction to the Schoolwide Model