• literacy in district 65


    Common Core State Standards

    A child reading a book.  The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were adopted by the State of Illinois in 2010. These standards for reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language attend to critical thinking through speech, reading and writing. The CCSS also addresses literacy skills as an integrated effort across the disciplines so that students develop their skills in context.

    Additional information about the Common Core State Standards as adopted in Illinois can be found via the Illinois State Board of Education website


    CCSS Grade-specific Parent Roadmaps




    Jardin de Niños / Kindergarten

    Grade 1

    1er grado

    Grade 2

    2do grado

    Grade 3

    3er grado

    Grade 4

    4to grado

    Grade 5

    5to grado

    Grade 6

    6to grado

    Grade 7 

    7mo grado

    Grade 8

    8vo grado


    These roadmaps include examples of grade-level focus in the content area, sample progressions of learning across three grade levels in the Common Core, and tips to parents on communicating with teachers about their child’s work and how to support student learning at home.


    District 65's Language Arts/Literacy Program

    A Comprehensive approach to literacy development

    District 65’s core beliefs about literacy acquisition are built on the foundation that reading, writing, speaking and listening to learn and to communicate are simultaneous and continuous processes throughout a student’s school experience.  

    Literacy, whether in English and/or Spanish is acquired through connected instruction of discrete skills that are built from  authentic, academically and culturally relevant experiences. Students develop confidence in asking questions, taking risks, and setting their own goals in  a cohesive, text-rich learning environment so that they can flourish in their journey of becoming literate, or biliterate. With these goals in mind, District 65 implements a coherent and systematic approach to literacy instruction in kindergarten through eighth grade that is grounded on the Common Core State Standards, Spanish Language Arts Standards (TWI classrooms), WIDA English Language Development Standards as well as research-based and evidence-based practices for teaching literacy.

    - Fisher, Frey, & Akhavan, 2020; August & Shanahan, 2006


    Core Literacy Components and Practices

    Teaching and learning in District 65’s literacy program revolve around a workshop approach for the distinct literacy components below:

      • Reading, Writing, and Language instruction incorporates an extended block of time when teachers implement instruction in whole and small group, guided and independent practice that allow for student self-reflection and assessment of the learning process.
      • Language Development (Phonics & Phonological Awareness) skills are taught explicitly and in the context of reading and writing as a tool readers and writers develop to communicate their thoughts effectively. 
      • Word Study / Word Solving focuses on sight words, spelling development, and word patterns throughout the developmental stages of word learning. Readers and writers learn to look for context clues and analyze them for their usefulness making meaning of the texts they read and write. Developing word solving skills helps students learn that many words in English and Spanish contain affixes, bases, or roots, are part of word families, or cognates. 
      • Reading Fluency involves the ability to read smoothly and with accuracy and it is an essential foundational skill that students acquire by using various reading strategies, or techniques. Students build reading fluency through shared reading, repeated readings and independent reading practices.  
      • Comprehension is the ability to use cognitive routines and strategies to make meaning of texts.  Students learn to use a range of comprehension strategies, such as predicting, visualizing, monitoring, making connections, inference, and summarizing to make meaning of texts. These strategies are taught and practiced throughout the school year and across grade levels through interactive read alouds, shared readings, and close readings of complex texts that align with the students’ thinking and knowledge base.


    Instructional Frameworks


    Instructional and Curricular Guides by Grade

    District 65 has refined it’s literacy program incorporating proven research-based methods and materials from Teachers College Units of Study for Reading, Writing, and Language Development (Phonics), Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum, D65 Units of Study, and StudySync ELA/Literacy Curriculum for grades 6-8. Below are detailed curricular guides used by teachers for each grade to guide their instruction and inform student learning expectations. 


    First Grade

    Second Grade

    Third Grade

    Fourth Grade

    Fifth Grade

    Sixth Grade

    Seventh Grade

    Eigth Grade 


    Intervention Supports

    To accelerate the literacy development of students who experience reading difficulties, the District provides literacy supports through research-based and evidence-based, targeted small group reading, and strategy groups, among others. Reading specialists and classroom teachers use running records, diagnostic assessments well as benchmark and formative assessments to help identify and understand the conditions whereby these students can develop their ability to read fluently as they create meaning from and with print. 

    Students who need supplemental academic support, reading teachers, speech pathologists, special education teachers, and social workers, among others work with classroom teachers to make sure that each child is supported to be ready and available to learn.


    2020-2021 D65 Literacy Interventions at a Glance



    Reading Intervention Practices:  Benchmarks, Interventions, Curricula

    Overview of all current literacy interventions, listing assessments, descriptors, and universally available resources.  Includes co-teaching descriptors, special education literacy intervention descriptors, and community volunteer supports

    D65 Reading Interventions for MTSS:  Indicators of Need and Success

    Overview of interventions listing criteria for decision making:  which intervention is appropriate for particular needs, who delivers it, and how effectiveness is assessed. 

    Remote Reading Intervention Models

    Overview of a variety of models of support that D65 reading interventionists will use to provide intervention in remote learning situations to students requiring MTSS Tier 2 and 3 instruction.  

    Literacy Interventions through Paraprofessionals

    A menu and links to resources for literacy intervention routines that could be facilitated by paraprofessionals in the classroom and/or remotely.