Northwest AEA/Hinton success: Walk to Read

According to Dr. Judy Sweetman, educational consultant at Northwest AEA, Hinton Community School District is finding success with their Phase I initiatives. They implemented a “Walk to Read” program last year after Christmas, worked out some bugs and got it going again  this past fall. They are implementing interventions and progress-monitoring students who were substantially deficient. They group students by area of need during “Walk to Read” with all staff members assisting. In addition, they have an additional 90 minutes of reading time with their own class.

Sweetman is on the district’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) team and provides information about interventions for different reading components. She says that the teachers on her team are “awesome,” and they help each other make the project work.

Walk to Read takes place every morning from 8:30 to 9:10. They call it “Walk to Read” as the students meet with a teacher or para-professional. They gather in small groups within their reading level. Every child in kindergarten through third grade participates. Those needing extra help get it during that time. Those who are at grade-level receive strategies to reinforce their learning. Those who are above grade-level participate in enrichment activities and strategies.

The results are really starting to show in their FAST data. From fall to winter, student scores in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten have significantly increased, and both kindergarten and first grade have over 80 percent of their students at benchmark.

Grade Fall FAST % at benchmark Winter FAST % at benchmark
Age 4 34.21 73.68
Kindergarten 62.76 88.57
First 82.00 82.00

Here’s what some of the Hinton educators have to say about the “Walk to Read” program:

“The smaller group is easier to handle.  I can see a big improvement in their reading.  They can read faster and comprehend more.”
Mr. Thompson, teacher’s assistant, works with 2nd and 3rd grade students with “Read Naturally” and “Walk to Read”

“With smaller groups the students get what they need in a short amount of time.”
Ms Farnik, first grade student teacher, works with the low performing first grade students

“We are doing a better job of meeting the needs of all of the students.  Our group gets phonics, phonemic awareness, sight words and reading fluency each day during Walk to Read.  We rotate groups of 3 or 4 students to three stations/teachers each ‘Walk to Read’ session.”
Mrs. Joanning, first grade teacher, works with the low performing first grade students

“Through Walk to Read, the teachers are collaborating regularly to evaluate student need, our teaching and programs to use.  Each child is getting daily specific lessons and practice based on what they need to progress in literacy.”
Mrs. Law, first grade teacher, works with the low performing first grade students.

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