Aspen View

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Literacy Learning in Aspen View Public Schools

Aspen View School Division promotes a Comprehensive Literacy approach. Comprehensive literacy involves the following components:

Read AloudReading aloud

Read Aloud is a strategy in which the teacher will read orally to students from texts that are above their independent reading level but at their listening level. Reading aloud exposes students to new vocabulary, builds background knowledge and provides the opportunity for the teacher to model good reading behaviours.

Shared Reading

Shared Reading is an interactive and purposeful reading experience that occurs when students participate in the reading of a book or other text as one voice while guided and supported by a teacher. This strategy gives students the opportunity to read fluently with the teacher’s voice always present.

Small Group Reading Instruction

Small Group Reading Instruction allows for students to receive explicit instruction designed to meet their needs as a learner. Ongoing assessment and observations guide instruction.

Independent Reading

Independent Reading allows students to choose reading materials and read them on their own with little to no adult support. Students should be reading books that are of interest to them and that they will enjoy. They should be self-selecting texts that they can read with at least 95%+ accuracy and also understand and make sense of. This independent time is an opportunity for students to ‘practice’ reading strategies they have learned.

Phonological Awareness

Phonological Awareness is essential in developing children’s understanding about words and sounds in words. Phonological awareness has to do with the ability to hear isolated words in a sentence, syllables in a word, and individual sounds in a word. This is essential for students to be able to begin to ‘map’ sounds to letters and begin to decode.

Word Work

Word Work involves a range of study. In the early stages, it is focussed on Phonics and then later progresses to the study of Morphemes (units of meaning within words). This work also focuses on developing fluency with high frequency words.


Writing is a fundamental skill. It is important for students to develop an early foundation in writing so they can communicate, represent and express their ideas. Instruction in writing includes the development of craft skills such as Organization, Idea Development, Language Use, Word Choice, and Voice. It must include instruction in conventions such as Printing and Keyboarding Skills, Grammar and Usage, Capitalization, Punctuation and Spelling. It also involves instruction in a variety of genres such as Functional, Narrative, Information, Persuasive, and Poetic.

(adapted from Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia Comprehensive Literacy Guides K-6)

Aspen View uses a number of assessments to screen, diagnose and monitor the progress of students. Kindergarten teachers will use the Reading Readiness Screening Tool (RRST). Grades 1-4 teachers use the Alberta Education LeNS and CC3 assessments. Phonological awareness and phonics screeners are also used and teachers monitor reading progress with the Fountas and Pinnell benchmarking, and GB+ in French Immersion. 

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