Readtopia Curriculum Aligns to Right to Read Recommendations
On February 28, 2022, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released its Right to Read Inquiry Report (RRIR) on human rights issues affecting students with reading disabilities. The RRIR recommendations include changes to:
- curriculum and instruction
- reading interventions and accommodations
- and assessment
Many of these recommendations align with the Readtopia reading program.
We believe the important recommendations from RRIR have implications for ALL students’ right to learn to read. While decades of research have shown us what we need to do to give all students equal opportunity to learn to read, this knowledge rarely translates into classroom practice.
Implementing Readtopia, the comprehensive reading program for upper elementary, middle and high school students with complex needs, can help deliver the significant and important changes to early reading education the RRIR calls for.
What does the RRIR mean for students with complex learning needs?
The Right to Read Inquiry report states that:
“A comprehensive approach to early literacy recognizes that instruction that focuses on word-reading skills, oral language development, vocabulary and knowledge development, and writing are all important components of literacy" (p. 9).
We understand that literacy is a lifelong skill that allows people to function and thrive in both school and in life. ALL students, including students with complex learning challenges, need to develop literacy skills that:
- Allow them to read a variety of texts with comprehension and
- To write for a variety of purposes to convey meaning.
Two of the key requirements identified in the report are of particular importance for students with complex learning needs and their teachers:
Curriculum and instruction that reflects the scientific research on the best approaches to teach word reading. This includes explicit and systematic instruction in:
- phonemic awareness and phonics, which teaches grapheme to phoneme (letter-sound) relationships
- and using these to decode and spell words, and word-reading accuracy and fluency.
It is critical to adequately prepare and support teachers to deliver this instruction.
Reading interventions that are
- fully implemented
- and closely monitored and available to ALL students who need them
And ongoing interventions for all readers with word reading difficulties.
Readtopia aligns with the RRIR’s recommendations:
Readtopia is a comprehensive instructional program developed for students with moderate to severe learning challenges of all ages who do not yet read and write.
Readtopia employs evidence-based approaches to teach literacy as part of integrated curriculum units that are rooted in engaging and meaningful social studies and science topics.
Delivered through an on-line subscription, Readtopia provides a comprehensive reading curriculum to develop foundational literacy skills for upper elementary, middle, and high school students with complex needs, including autism.
Students develop all the components of reading, including:
- phonological awareness
- background knowledge
- comprehension strategies
Lessons are structured to provide both whole and small group instruction. Students participate in activities involving speaking and listening to develop knowledge and acquire and use new vocabulary.
Readtopia includes the following lesson components:
- Literature Comprehension
- Shared Reading
- Interactive Picture Walk
- Leveled Graphic Novels
- Close Reading with Informational Text
- Alphabet, Phonics and Word Study
- Integrated Math
Lessons have been written to support educators. Explicit instructions, with ideas about what to say and what to do, ensure that teachers who are new to teaching early literacy feel supported.
Ensure Successful Implementation!
Bridges provides the critical support and professional development educators require for successful delivery of this instruction.
- Christy McDonald