whole-class initial instruction in literacy
InitiaLit is an evidence-based whole-class literacy program which will provide all children with the essential core knowledge and strong foundations to become successful readers and writers. InitiaLit is a three-year program, covering the first three years of school (typically Foundation to Year 2). InitiaLit–Foundation will be released in 2017, InitiaLit–1 in 2018 and InitiaLit–2 in 2019.
The release of InitiaLit marks a departure from remedial literacy education for MultiLit, instead addressing initial instruction in the hope that by providing strong foundations in reading and writing from the outset, fewer children will fall behind and require more intensive intervention.
In the context of a Response to Intervention approach, InitiaLit is a Tier 1 program, designed to be delivered to whole classes by classroom teachers.
What is InitiaLit–Foundation?
InitiaLit–Foundation (InitiaLit–F) offers an explicit and effective model for teaching reading and related skills to children in their first year of schooling in a fun and engaging way. The program incorporates daily lessons in phonemic awareness, reading and spelling as well as rich language instruction using children’s literature. A set of decodable readers, InitiaLit Readers (Levels 1-9), which are aligned to the instructional sequence, accompany the program
enabling children to generalise and consolidate their skills.
Who is it for?
- All children in their first year of school
- Schools seeking a reading program that incorporates a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics alongside a rich literature and vocabulary component
- Schools that would like to see thorough and consistent instruction across Foundation classrooms and a reduction in the number of children needing support in higher grades
- Teachers looking to provide an evidence-based approach to reading and spelling that is aligned with the Australian National Curriculum
The InitiaLit–F approach
InitiaLit–F incorporates the key components necessary for early reading instruction – phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. It is implemented across the four terms of the Foundation year.
The program is designed to be delivered in a 90-minute instruction block (ideally uninterrupted, but this can be broken up if timetabling requires). This will include:
- 20-25 minutes of whole-class teaching (ideally four times per week) using a detailed scripted lesson plan.
- 30-45 minutes of further literacy work (these are activities to consolidate the teaching, either completed independently or with a class aide/volunteer while the teacher works with groups on reading and wordbuilding).
- 15-20 minutes for a Storybook session. This literature component provides opportunities to develop oral language, vocabulary and comprehension, with one storybook used as a focus over four sessions.
- Regular progress monitoring using curriculum-based assessments (CBA) to identify needs of children.
Program content and resources
The InitiaLit–F Kit includes:
- Teacher Manual
- Nine Handbooks with 126 detailed lessons and session
- Storybook Lessons Manual, with lessons to accompany 25 popular children’s literature titles
- Sounds and Words Books (six copies, for small group
- Assessment Manual, outlining procedures for ongoing
- Flashcards, Picture Cards, Sound Prompt Cards, Tricky Word Cards
- Wall frieze and posters of InitiaLit characters, used to introduce letters and sounds
- InitiaLit Sounds and Letters posters (A3)
- PowerPoint slides to accompany lessons (downloadable from MultiLit website)
- Access to hundreds of downloadables, including:
- Consolidation worksheets to accompany each lesson
- Handwriting worksheets
- Literacy games
- Activity templates
- Letter Tiles/Cards for word-building activities
- Home Reading Diaries (one per term)
- Assessment Recording Forms
- Resources to help schools implement the program e.g., parent information sheets, certificates, planning documents, curriculum linkage information
To register your interest in InitiaLit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.