Foundations and Frameworks
At Kingsway Christian School we are committed to establishing a strong foundation for reading. We do this through the ABeka Reading Program which emphasizes the skills of phonemic awareness, phonics, and word fluency in the early elementary grades.
As students develop their reading skills fluency, comprehension and vocabulary play a larger role in reading. For this reason, our desire is to teach students to read with understanding so that they comprehend the author’s intended message and thus apply that knowledge to God’s word.
To aid in this process, we have selected the Foundations & Frameworks program, which was developed at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, Alabama.
Here are a few highlights of the program:
- Each classroom teacher participates in 2 week training and is certified to use Foundations & Frameworks (F&F) in his or her classroom.
- Each unit focuses on one main reading comprehension skill (i.e. Sequence of Events) and takes approximately 3 weeks to complete.
- Each unit uses three books with differing levels of difficulty so each child is learning to use the same skill at a level that meets their needs.
- Each child has some choice in the book chosen as they get to “vote” for their favorite book to read for each instructional unit. These books are from among the best in children's literature and are specifically chosen to target a specific reading comprehension skill.
- One of the most important parts of the program is that teacher’s model and constantly teach that skill. The teacher and students use a visual tool to help the students demonstrate their “thinking” as they work through their books. “When a student fails to think while he is reading, he is not truly reading.” (F&F creators)
- Children read a section of their book for their daily reading assignment. It is here that they interact with the books in a reading log as they use a visual tool to show their understanding of what they are reading.
- Children come daily to discussion groups where they interact with the teacher and other children about their books. Teachers are able to evaluate their understanding in a personal and hands-on way helping each student best reach their potential.
- At the end of the unit, students synthesize the content of the book in a group project and present their understanding to the rest of the class. (Intellectual Art)
- Finally students are tested on material not merely focusing on the content of their book, but on their use of the thinking skill for comprehension they have been developing.
It is our desire for our students to become critical, Biblically focused thinkers. For this reason we believe Foundations & Frameworks will be one of our greatest tools for teaching comprehension. As the writers of the program state best, “Teaching children to read is a serious responsibility.” May the Lord bless Kingsway’s desire for equipping students through the F&F program.