Beallsville Elementary School kindergarten teacher Kristin Holland demonstrates the “octopus” motion, which correlates to the letter “o” as part of the Really Great Reading phonics program.

New phonics program helping Beallsville students ‘attack’ words

Making progress in reading has been a priority in the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District this school year.

The district added the Lexia and Reading Plus programs this year. Both combine standard lessons with digital components helping students from kindergarten up to 12th grade improve their reading levels.

At Beallsville Elementary School, teachers are taking the improvements a step further by helping their students learn how to attack words.

Beallsville Elementary is a serving as the district’s pilot school for the Really Great Reading program.

Really Great Reading focuses on phonics to help students grasp each individual part of a word.

“If students don’t have a solid foundation in phonics, they have a hard time decoding words they don’t know,” Beallsville Title I teacher Jennifer Maas said. “Sight words they’ll know. But when they get older and are working on their science and see big words, without basic phonics they’ll have a hard time knowing what those words mean.”

In December, Maas and other teachers at Beallsville Elementary School attended a workshop where they saw the Really Great Reading program and knew it would be perfect for their students.

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