A Year in Foundational Literacy – Episode 4 - KIPP Nashville

A Year in Foundational Literacy – Episode 4

What’s the headline from the past semester?

“I think the headline is students are growing and I’m so happy about it,” says Ms. Tipton.

Mrs. Quach adds, “But then there’s a subtitle there that says, but we’re not done yet.”

Dr. Gonzalez, KIPP Nashville’s Director of Elementary Humanities, says, “The middle of year benchmark data was really exciting for kindergarten, first and second grade. We had up to 33% growth in kindergarten, and we could not be happier with the amount of growth that we saw for the three grade levels.”

“To put it into perspective, if I move from ‘well below’ to ‘approaching’ on the assessment, that means I can now say sounds, I can decode nonsense words, I may be reading some words,” explains Ms. Tipton. “These are skills they need and will need for the rest of their lives. They can see they’re moving up and getting better and better at these skills.”

“At the beginning of the year, a majority of our class was well below and now we have a lot more who are meeting the target, a couple who are above, and a lot more who are almost there, right there on the cusp. Big growth, for sure,” says Mrs. Quach.

Dr. Gonzalez says the biggest focus for Semester 2 is prioritizing data every day and using weekly progress monitoring for each student for data-driven instruction.

“This is to make sure that we’re putting the right skills and lessons in front of children in their data-driven small group instruction,” explains Dr. Gonzalez.

Mr. Jones says it’s this is part of constant reassessment and learning, because each student’s needs are different.

“It’s like playing doctor. I fixed you, I sewed you up, now I have to rearrange some things and sew you right back up.”

Now that students are in the routine of the work, Dr. Gonzalez says there is more opportunity to focus on the data every single week so teams can make any necessary tweaks to instruction.

Mrs. Quach says, “Just thinking about how can I use very precious second in the day to give them those extra practices, those extra at bats to get them where they need to be.”

“I want students to celebrate their successes, but I want them to know every day is learning,” adds Ms. Tipton. “We mastered this, now we move on to this. I want them to approach life in general that every day is learning. I just know the work is worth it. It’s worth it that my students learn to read, so I go into this work thinking it’s not easy, but it’s worth it, I love to see my kids learn and grow.”