The Chelmsford Reading Department provides reading support for struggling readers, K-12, and by providing quality professional development for teachers across the content areas. Our certified reading specialists are experts in the field who design curriculum, administer performance assessments, and work in partnership with both classroom teachers and special educators to improve instruction for all students . Please read below for more detailed descriptions about our secondary reading courses.
Literacy Support 5-6
Literacy Support 5-6 is a course for fifth and sixth grade students who have been identified as struggling readers and writers. The focus of the course is to provide students with integrated reading and writing strategies across a developmental continuum. Students in Grade 5 and 6 receive core instruction in Language Arts from the Language Arts teacher on their grade level team and in addition to Literacy Support. Emphasis is placed on content area reading strategies including understanding the text structure of textbooks, using literature to make relevant connections to content instruction, concept mapping of content area vocabulary, analysis and synthesis of ideas through discussion, written summaries, and test taking strategies. Material selection is focused on strategies that develop vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and content area background knowledge to support students in content area classes.
Literacy Support 7-8
Literacy Support 7-8 classes are designed for students who could benefit from additional literacy support in order to read and write at grade level. Students in grade 7 and 8 receive core instruction in Language Arts from the Language Arts teacher on their grade level team and in addition, may take Literacy Support in place of Foreign Language. The focus of this course is to provide students with explicit, direct instruction in reading fluency, vocabulary development and comprehension strategies. Direct instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics is provided as needed. Students’ strengths and weaknesses are addressed through whole group and small group guided reading instruction. Emphasis is placed on understanding text structure, building background knowledge, making relevant connections to text, asking questions, inferring, summarizing, and synthesizing through independent reading, reflective journaling, written summaries and open response questions. Materials include high interest, leveled fiction and non-fiction text from the Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention System as well as content based, high interest magazines.
Reading for High School
Reading for High School acts as an intervention designed to support freshman who may struggle with reading in the content areas of Social Studies, Science, and English at the high school due to below average reading skills. The course will focus instruction on effective strategies such as identifying text structure and will aid in comprehension of the content area reading. Freshman History and Science textbooks, along with study guides, and primary and secondary sources will be utilized throughout the semester. Comprehension in support of Freshman English classes will focus on poetry, short stories, myths, and novels and provide another level of support to students at risk of performing below the level of “Proficient” on the 10th grade MCAS exam required for graduation. Students take part in pre and post assessment of their reading level as a part of this course. A small amount of outside-of-class reading is required for the course.
Reading Skills and Strategies (9-12)
Reading Skills and Strategies is a course that explicitly teaches reading strategies that improve fluency and comprehension of fiction and non-fiction to struggling readers. Award winning novels and short reading selections are the focus of the curriculum. The course will focus instruction on effective strategies such as identifying text structure and reading strategies that improve fluency and comprehension of fiction and non-fiction. Reading Skills and Strategies is intended for students who have previously taken Reading for High School, or who struggle with comprehension. Students who have not yet met proficiency levels on the MCAS are also recommended.