The Foundations and Frameworks reading program begins in kindergarten and continues through fifth grade. This method, intentionally teaches reading skills students need to develop deep reading comprehension. With each unit, an explanation will be provided for the parents explaining the process questions and/or questions the child should ask as s/he reads, the visual tool that will be learned, and the rubric that will help assess their work.

Each unit begins with a fun, hands-on experience that will be a ‘jumping-off place” and an introduction of the skill that will be taught. A book will then be read aloud to model how the skill will be represented visually. Each skill has a visual tool to help the students put their thoughts on paper.

Students then get to choose their own books to read (Teachers do have veto power!) so interest levels are high. The students will then read and do a daily assignment independently. Each book-group meets with the teacher to discuss the previous day’s assignment. After the books are finished, each group completes a cumulative project. Typically, this consists of a summary of the books and a visual tool to demonstrate the skill learned along with illustrations of the story. Only after all this is completed are assessments done by the teacher.

Student in front of library shelves

Student Sitting at a Desk

Example of a Typical Second Grade Reading Lesson:

Vocabulary – A total of nine to eleven vocabulary words are chosen by the teacher for each unit. The teacher gives a kid-friendly definition and a sentence using the word in context. The student must then write their own sentence using the word and illustrate the meaning of the word with a picture. These words are not sent home to learn. All vocabulary should be learned at school.

Process Questions – Process questions are reviewed daily to remind the students of the thought process to go through as they read.  Students will be tested on these at the end of each unit.  They will see these again as they go to higher grades as the questions build each year. 

Assignments – Students will read a chapter(s) and do a visual tool from what they have read.  They may also have to answer a reading response question using complete sentences.  All of this is done independently in an hour’s time.

Small groups – While other groups are working, the teacher meets with one group.  Students will read responses to thought-provoking questions instead of 'reading around the circle.’  The visual tool is modeled daily by the teacher.

How Students are Graded:

Vocabulary Tests – Tests may be matching, multiple-choice, fill in the blank, or writing a sentence.

Skill Tests – Tests about process questions, outlining the visual tools and explaining how it helps us to understand what we read.

Performance Assessment – Students will be given a text they have not read before and asked to read it and use the visual tool with which they have been working.

SPECS Logs – Daily work will be graded using the rubric for each unit.

Participation – A grade will be given for group participation to encourage team work and comprehension.

Phonics – On the report card, phonics assessment grades will be factored into the reading grade.

Student reading a book

How can I help my child learn to read?


  • Study the process questions.

  • Ask your child the process questions as s/he reads.

  • Ask your child to teach you how to do the visual tool for each unit. Consider if the visual tool is logical and includes all important details. Encourage neatness with the visual tool!

  • Ask your child about what s/he is reading at school.  Positive attitudes are contagious. Let him see YOU reading for pleasure.

  • Contact your child’s teacher if you have questions or concerns.