Wilson Fundations for K-3 is the phonemic/phonological awareness, spelling and phonics program for the classroom of general education. The basis of Fundations is the principles of the Wilson Reading System. It is used as a prevention program to assist to reduce spelling and reading mistakes.
Instead of fully replacing the core curriculum, Fundations offer the research-confirmed strategies that add to the already established programs to meet federal standards and serve the needs of kids.
Teachers include a 15–30-minute Fundations lesson every day into the instruction of the language arts classroom. The lessons of Fundations concentrate on carefully ordered skills that include the following:
- Alphabet awareness
- Print knowledge
- Phonological awareness
- Phonemic awareness
Fundations is recommended as part of a whole literacy solution including the Wilson Reading System interference and intensive program and literature-based language arts program. Fundations writing paper is great for young learners. The program provides a systematic and explicit approach to spelling and reading with phonics.
Wilson is an acknowledged leader in the structured and multisensory programs of language that brings explicit and systematic instruction to the K-3 classroom. Using the principles of the system of Wilson reading, the Fundations offers the materials based on research as well as strategies important to a thorough spelling, reading, and handwriting program.
The Fundations makes the learning to read a fun activity while establishing the foundation for the literacy for life. K-3 students get a methodical program in the important foundational skills.
Fundations follows the strict career- and college standards of the state. Even though Fundations includes some strategies of comprehension, it must be united with the main literature-based program of the language arts for a comprehensive and integrated approach to spelling and reading.
Those students who enter Fundations K level in kindergarten, are introduced the activities to learn alphabetical order, letter-keyword-sound, and the skills of letter formation.
The power of this program is that it applies a comprehensive approach to teaching skills making an everyday lesson to teach and then reinforce the appropriate skills. Fundations is structured, multisensory, cumulative, systematic, and explicit program that is based on a thorough and accurate documented research. The program concentrates on the development of students by distinguishing instruction and actively engaging students in their learning.
Fundations as part of the MTSS
Fundations is important to a multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) model offering scientifically-founded instruction in Tier one and an early interference program for students who may have reading problems. MTSS is the model based on prevention that acknowledges various reasons for why a child may struggle to learn when a certain learning disability is only one of a few possible reasons. Using the MTSS model allows teachers to intervene and identify early to avert students from developing worse reading deficits, and assist to more clearly determine the students who have difficulties in learning as a result of certain learning disability. Their main goal is to avert the domino effect of kids developing weaknesses in foundational skills that overtime lead to the deficits in higher level reading skills like the understanding of a difficult text.
To help implement the MTSS model, the monitoring of progress is included into Fundations allowing students, who require a more intense program, to be noticed before going through years of fight.
Implementation of Fundations
Fundations is an additional instruction for general education. It provides all students with a strong foundation in spelling and reading skills. It does the following:
- Fundations is universally created to serve all students in the regular classroom of education. The standard lesson plan is available to all students because the terms that are taught and practiced integrate many learning modalities.
- It is provided to all students in the classroom of general education for 30 minutes a day as an additional program or the block of the word study to the main literacy program.
- There are certain guidelines to address the needs of advanced students, English language learners, and students who have difficulties and need different support.
- Lessons are flexible. Teachers choose certain words to teach considering the needs of the students in their classroom. Students may be asked to produce the Fundations writing paper to demonstrate their skills.
Those students, who may need strategic interference, get Fundations in a small group setting established by the interventionalist or the teacher.
If Fundations has already been offered in Tier one, the strategic interference includes the targeted lessons in a small group for an extra 30 minutes 3–5 times per week.
Schools that use Fundations only of the Tier two have the standard Fundations lesson scheduled five days a week and lasting 30 minutes each in small groups. Additional interference lessons should be scheduled as decided by progress monitoring.
The highlights of the program
The program includes the following highlights:
- Skills taught systematically and explicitly
- Study of word structure and systematic phonetics are emphasized
- Instruction is combined
- Teachers use the model that directs students to repeat words, sounds, and sentences
- Assessments monitor students throughout the program
- Thanks to the extensive practice, there are many opportunities for skills usage
- The manual offers direction for support staff to meet individual needs of students
- There is a home support packet that encourages involvement of parents
Activities included in Fundations lessons
Students take part in Fundations lessons every day that include the following activities:
- Formation of letters using dry erase boards, sky writing, finger tracing, and notebooks.
- Sequencing the alphabet using sound cards or magnetic building board.
- Fluency drills for real words, sounds, trick words, nonsense words, etc. to develop phrasing, automaticity, and expression.
- Finding letters and words using the building boards or the magnetic letter and phoneme tiles.
- Segmenting and blending sounds with the Wilson technique of finger tapping.
- Dictation for words, sounds, and sentences applying the composition books and dry erase board.
- Using the activity of the word of the day that reviews the structure of a word and develops vocabulary with the help of index cards, sound cards, and vocabulary section of the notebook.
- Trick words using gel boards, skywriting, notebooks, flashcards, and composition books.
- Storytime includes writing and reading activities like Fundations writing paper.
- Word play, word talk, and Make It Fun art activities that use the manipulatives to reinforce the concepts or go through the ones that were previously taught.
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