Every teacher faces the difficult task of catering to a range of abilities. A whole-class program such as MultiLit’s InitiaLit ensures that any gaps in a child’s knowledge are addressed, while providing opportunities to differentiate instruction for more advanced students.
Maximise learning for all students
InitiaLit provides explicit, systematic and evidence-based whole-class instruction, leaving nothing to chance so all children are instructed in the essential components of reading literacy – phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
The goal of differentiation is to maximise learning for all students at every level by providing them with tasks that challenge or support them appropriately. This can be difficult for teachers with students with a range of skills in one class.
With InitiaLit, there are many differentiation options available. In Foundation and Year 1, teachers can utilise embedded extension options in the scripted lessons and reduce scaffolding and modelling for regular tasks where appropriate. Complexity can then be added to lesson tasks by including harder words and sentences as well as additional writing and vocabulary tasks.
In Year 2, Comprehension and Fluency lessons are more loosely scripted, allowing for greater flexibility in student participation. Complexity can be added through additional writing and discussion or by tailoring optional activities to accommodate student interests.
Whole-class scripted lessons are supported by a range of teacher-led small group activities where students can work at their own level. This is where the new InitiaLit Extension resources come in.
Answering the call to extend InitiaLit students
Created in response to enquiries from teachers about the best ways to challenge their most capable readers, InitiaLit Extension is a series of supplementary resources developed for using during InitiaLit reading groups by children with above average reading skills.
“Our teachers described the difficulties in finding age-appropriate, engaging material for younger readers,” says Barbara Healy, a Senior Product Developer on the MultiLit team. “In the InitiaLit Extension resources, we have endeavoured to provide well-designed, high-interest and challenging material for capable readers in teacher-led reading groups, while still ensuring that students are secure in their word attack strategies, particularly in Foundation and Year 1.”
InitiaLit Extension comprises sets of more complex Sounds and Words Books for Foundation and Year 1, and Read and Discuss (RAD) Reading Books for Year 2, available in packs of six.
Reaching their full potential
“MultiLit is committed to supporting students of all abilities to achieve their full potential,” says Product Development Manager Alison McMurtrie. “We recognise that capable readers demonstrate more advanced comprehension and oral and written language skills and require less practice to master the alphabetic code.”
This understanding is reflected in the InitiaLit Extension resources, which allow capable readers to explore more complex words, sentences and passage reading, as well as more challenging comprehension and writing activities. These resources help more advanced readers reach their potential, offering greater depth and breadth of ideas and an introduction to higher-order thinking skills, all within the benefits of a whole-class program.
Identifying the need for extension
The use of InitiaLit Extension resources alongside InitiaLit offers flexibility so children can take part in extension activities at any time throughout the year. As teachers perform their regular InitiaLit assessments – and other reading assessments such as standardised tests and tracking tools – they can identify when students are ready for more advanced content.
When forming reading groups for extension, MultiLit recommends that teachers are informed by quantitative data from these assessments as well as observation of reading and writing activities across the curriculum, to recognise students with high scores who have a very good grasp of the content.
InitiaLit Extension will be released in August.