Reading Philosophy*

The beliefs and practices underlying the teaching of reading in the KRSD are guided by educational research on current best practices in literacy. Reading is the active and cognitive process of making meaning from print. The goal of reading is to comprehend and apply what is read to real-world experiences. The acquisition of reading skills and strategies is developmental and influenced by students' individual experiences and their motivation.

Reading instruction is multi-dimensional and must include the five pillars of reading: Phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Quality reading instruction provides the foundation skills and strategies necessary to attain reading competence and extend students' learning in order to meet the New Hampshire Grade Level Expectations in Reading. Finally, quality-reading instruction encourages students to develop an appreciation of reading that will last throughout their lives. This is best achieved through a balanced literacy program that supports the development of students' oral language and communication skills through reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing.

Effective reading instruction is differentiated based on the needs and skill levels of each student. It incorporates a combination of whole class and small group instruction at each student's appropriate level. Effective reading instruction is connected to written and oral language and, when possible, should be integrated into other content areas. A good reading program incorporates a variety of instructional approaches: Modeling strategies through thinking or reading aloud, shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, and listening to stories read aloud. Effective reading instruction in all five pillars is sequential, systematic, and explicit. On-going assessments should be used to inform classroom-reading instruction and to monitor student progress.

Reading is a process that includes relevant literacy experiences before, during, and after reading. Experiences with rich vocabulary and language promote reading comprehension. Therefore, opportunities for discussing, reflecting, listening, and questioning in conjunction with reading and writing are fundamental.In order to read effectively, children must develop the understanding that text takes varied forms for different purposes. This is achieved through a combination of exposure to and direct instruction in a wide variety of text forms in a print-rich environment. Nonfiction-reading materials are integrated throughout the content areas. The materials must meet the range of reading levels and student diversity always present in any classroom.


New Hampshire Department of Education (2007). New Hampshire PreK - 16 Literacy Action Plan for the 21st Century. Concord, NH

Rhode Island Department of Education (2005). Rhode Island PreK - 12 Literacy Policy. Providence:RIDE.

Shoreline School District Reading and Language Arts Committee (2000). Shoreline School District Reading Philosophy Statement. Website information*

(Note scroll down to the Resources, then click on District Reading Philosophy.)

US Department of Education (2001).Put Reading First:The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read. National Institute for Literacy and Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement.