Reading & Literacy Intervention » Reading & Literacy Intervention Program

Reading & Literacy Intervention Program

At GWCS, we strive for each student to love to read. We teach students to read and then they read to learn. We design our lessons based on a Balanced Literacy approach.


In grades 3 through 5, the focus shifts to more complex texts. The Next Step Benchmark Test determines the student’s instructional level. A higher level of comprehension is taught including the skills of inferencing and evaluating. In most classes, read alouds, guided reading and independent reading connect with the literary elements of fiction and nonfiction texts.

In grades 6 and up, novels are read and analyzed for  more complex comprehension. The novels read as a class, integrate multiple subjects such as history and science. The students also enjoy reading their independent reading books.


In K-5, students are assessed for reading three times a year using The Next Step Reading Assessment. This  test is used to determine a student’s instructional level.

Students read part of a text aloud to determine fluency and accuracy. In grades 1 to 5, the students read the rest of the text silently; then, the student is asked to retell the story. Lastly, comprehension questions are asked and the answers analyzed. In grades K-2, teachers also administer the Dibels Test three times a year. Students are tested for several phonological skills as well as fluency and accuracy. In addition, sight words are assessed.  This assessment is important because 60 percent of words students will read during activities will contain non decodable or sight words.

RTI or Response to Intervention

Here at GWCS we have intervention teachers for reading and math in grades K-5. Data is taken and then is determined if a student need some extra reading reinforcement. In math, the intervention section of the math program, Go Math, is utilized. In reading, The Leveled Literacy Intervention System by researchers, Fountus and Pinnell , is used and helps the RTI Specialists foster reading improvement. The Reading Specialist instructs students that are close to reading on level but need extra support.


Special Programs

Literacy Night for K-2

This special night was on Oct 18th. Thirty three families enjoyed the evening. The students were treated  to meeting with Anna Forrester, author of the book, Bat Counts. Then students were able to make and take home reading games and activities designed to reinforce reading skills. Lastly, the parents learned all about the K-2 reading program from Reading Specialist, Elisabeth Horry. Each student who attended received a copy of a book.

Literacy Night for 3-5

Author, C. Alexander London, had students enthralled with his novel, The Wild Ones. They loved asking him questions about the writing process. While the students listened to the author, Mrs. Horry explained reading comprehension strategies to the adults. Then, like at the K-2 Literacy Night, students had the opportunity to make some comprehension games to take home. The parents and students were also shown several activities to help reinforce reading at home with the anagram contest being a big hit. Students liked taking the cool reading pencils home.

Of course, tomato pie, water and vegetables were served. A highlight for both nights was the Bring One, Take One Table.  Each student brought a book from home and then placed it on the table. Then the student selected one of the books other students brought in.

Reading Olympics

GWCS participates in Reading Olympics, part of the Philadelphia Reads Program. This program is designed to motivate students to read for pleasure and learn the value of teamwork at the same time.   Each team has 12 students that together read 20 books. At the competition they are asked factual questions about the books they read. Although it is a competition, the process of reading and talking about the books during our weekly meeting time is  very valuable. Last year, all four teams, grades 4-8th were very successful in the competition that is held each May.

Read Across America Week

A whole week dedicated to Dr. Seuss and his books is always fun and educational at GWCS. We celebrate in many ways. The Cat in the Hat visits the k-2 classrooms to read his favorite book to the students. We also have our “buddy classes” come together for reading time. Wacky Wednesday is always fun with crazy socks and crazy hats worn by all. Some of our students and staff were very creative wearing the favorite Dr. Seuss’ character costume. This year, look out for more cross  curricular activities during this week.

In k-2 reading there is an emphasis on phonological awareness, phonics, read aloud, guided reading, reading conferences , shared reading and independent reading. Weekly assessments, The Next Step Benchmark Test and the Dibels Reading Skill Test are given. In these grades, learning to read nonfiction and fiction texts with fluency and accuracy is stressed. Comprehension of the the five w’s ( who, what,when,why and where) is taught at this level.