Kindle Farm promotes literacy school-wide by implementing evidence-based strategies and structures throughout the day, including during academic class time and afternoon activities. With the support of the academic teachers and Literacy Specialist, we train staff in these approaches to become a literacy-based school. Students are exposed to vocabulary terms across content areas, which supports the integration of these words and ideas into the student’s broader conceptual maps. Throughout the day students read aloud to each other and staff to promote fluency and to provide opportunities for support in decoding as necessary. In Language Arts classes students are taught specific comprehension strategies which facilitate a deeper understanding of narrative, informational and argumentative texts across subject areas and genres.
The Kindle Farm and IEP teams determine if a student needs extra support in reading based on previous testing, in-house assessment, and close observation by their teachers. Because the literacy program throughout the academic day at Kindle Farm is so robust, extra support can often happen without removing students from the general classroom setting. If a need is determined, the Kindle Farm Literacy Specialist comes into the classroom to provide extra support for students who struggle with the more basic decoding skills. The Literacy Specialist also implements small group and one-on-one programming using an adapted version of the Orton-Gillingham curriculum combined with Kindle Farm instructional techniques to provide greater individualized support where necessary.