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Welcome to the Istation Blog

Big Five Building Blocks for Early Literacy

by Photo of Andi Diaz Andi Diaz on January 16, 2020

Foundations for reading begin in the early grades. The trajectory shifts in the later grades when a large developmental leap occurs and students move from learning to read to reading to learn.

“Instruction should follow the movement of this shift,” said Toni Montgomery, a strategic professional development specialist for Istation.

“Based on current research of how the brain acquires language, it is imperative that instructional practices parallel the Big Five that provide the building blocks for the foundations of early literacy,” Montgomery said. “Each piece or pillar of the model is essential to each student’s academic development.”

Students who receive effective instruction during the early grades gain skills and improve readily. By 3rd grade, the goal is for students to be proficient at reading and performing at or above grade level.

“Research shows that reading skills at 3rd grade predict how well they will do in 8th grade, which is also a predictor for high school success,” said Dr. Victoria Locke, Research Director at Istation. “Students who are not reading well in 3rd grade are more likely to drop out of high school, while students reading above grade level in 3rd grade are more likely to enroll in college.”

Other research shows even more dire consequences of falling behind, Locke notes.

“About two-thirds of students who are not reading proficiently by 4th grade end up either on welfare or in jail in their adult years,” she said. “Therefore, changing the trajectory of reading instruction can help students have better outcomes across [their] life span.”

Montgomery concurs. Honing reading skills helps students build confidence and embrace the challenge and success of learning.

“If you do something well, you normally repeat it over and over. When the reading process becomes fluid or effortless, the student experiences success in reading and therefore enjoys the process,” Montgomery said.

Want to learn more about how to boost reading comprehension and growth?

Download the white paper “Boost Outcomes with the Big Five” below, covering what students need for current learning demands and lifelong personal growth.

Plus, join part 2 of Istation’s Science of Reading: The Conversation, a dynamic three-part web series, on Friday, February 7, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. CT. Register today!

Download the Whitepaper