Alaska State Literacy Blueprint

Delivery of Instruction

Designated Literacy Instruction Time

  • Adults assist children throughout the day to develop early literacy skills through intentional, developmentally appropriate interactions that draw attention to literacy and the purposes it serves.
  • Adults provide one on one or small group instruction to children who need extra time or attention to practice or understand a new concept.

Modeling and Scaffolding Instruction

  • Adults intentionally model early literacy skills through interactions that draw attention to literacy and the purposes it serves, including oral language and vocabulary development, phonological awareness, print awareness, phonics, comprehension, and writing.
  • Adults provide children with developmentally appropriate literacy experiences that support and build on past experiences in order to facilitate new learning in any of the five areas of reading.
    • Comprehension.
    • Phonological Awareness.
    • Phonics.
    • Oral Language and Vocabulary.
    • Fluency.
  • Adults explicitly model and explain developmentally appropriate targeted literacy skills to a child, then provide guided practice and assistance, and ultimately opportunities for independent practice in any of the five areas of reading.

Differentiation and Grouping

  • Adults recognize the ranges of development and appropriate interactions for each stage of literacy development and plan an array of activities based on the ranges.
  • Adults provide a variety of literacy opportunities for individual children including one on one, small group, and large group settings to optimize learning.

Participation, Motivation and Engagements

  • Adults deliberately structure the literacy environment and activities to offer a wide range of developmentally appropriate activities that provide children with choices and hands-on activities.
  • Adults provide developmentally appropriate literacy activities with a multitude of opportunities for participation throughout the child’s day in order for the child to view him or herself as a successful emergent reader.
  • For ELLs, adults ensure that even beginning English speakers have safe, structured opportunities to participate in and contribute to the class.

Instructional Materials

  • The Alaska State Early Learning Guidelines are the main guide, along with program-specific guidelines for Head Start, Infant Learning Program etc., used to guide instructional decisions.
  • Adults provide a wide-range of materials inclusive of children’s interests and connecting to real-life experiences.

Use of Technology

  • Adults introduce and expose children to the many uses of technology in a developmentally appropriate manner.
  • Adults are purposeful with the use of technology, using it for an appropriate amount of time, as an interactive tool between the adult and children and peers, to promote literacy.

Incorporation of Primary Language Other than English

  • Adults promote and encourage the use of primary language as a support to the child’s learning.
  • Adults encourage children who speak the same primary language to use their language to collaborate with and support one another.

Designated Literacy Instruction Time

  • In grades K-3, teachers provide a minimum of 90 minutes of explicit reading instruction daily and include additional reading, writing, and oral language instruction within all content areas.
  • In grades 4-5, teachers provide a minimum of 60 minutes of explicit reading instruction daily and include additional reading, writing, and oral language instruction within all content areas.
  • Based on identified need, educators provide a minimum of 30 minutes of targeted intervention 3-5 times per week in addition to core literacy instruction.
  • Schools designate and protect time in the master schedule to provide intensive reading interventions to students who need them, generally an additional 60 minutes per day of supplementary instruction. Alternatively, schools may provide 90 minutes of explicit instruction using a program that supplants the core grade-level reading program.

Modeling and Scaffolding Instruction

  • Teachers of all content areas first explicitly model (e.g. through think-alouds) and explain reading and writing strategies then provide guided assistance as students practice applying strategies.
  • Teachers employ scaffolding to meet the needs of diverse learners.
  • For ELLs, teachers provide more scaffolding than for native speakers to support the use of new vocabulary and language structures if needed.

Differentiation and Grouping

  • Teachers differentiate instruction providing whole group as well as instruction within flexible small groups.
  • Teachers provide intervention in groups of five or fewer for students with more intense reading needs.
  • For ELLs, teachers ensure students have many opportunities for structured interactions (peer-assisted learning, instructional conversations, and inquiry-based methods).

Participation, Motivation and Engagement

  • Teachers structure classroom discussions and dialogues to ensure the participation of all students
  • Teachers establish an engaging and motivating context in which to teach literacy by helping students learn the purpose and benefits of reading and writing.
  • Teachers create opportunities for students to see themselves as successful readers and writers, giving students reading and writing choices, and providing students the opportunity to collaborate with their peers.
  • Teachers provide students access to a wide variety of relevant and motivating reading materials on a broad range of topics that fit the diverse reading needs and interests of learners.
  • For ELLs, teachers ensure that even beginning English speakers have safe, structured opportunities to participate in and contribute to the class.
  • Teachers use strong classroom management techniques to maximize opportunities for learning.

Instructional Materials

  • Districts adopt and teachers use instructional materials and approaches that are research-based and aligned with Alaska Standards and Grade Level Expectations and include materials relevant to various Alaska Native cultures.
  • Teachers make content area texts accessible to students so they can accurately read and comprehend information.
  • Teachers purposefully select texts to support students’ understanding of what they read.
  • Teachers provide a wide range of materials that address a variety of genres of fiction and nonfiction, demonstrate a value of all cultures, and cover a wide range of interests and reading levels.
  • Teachers routinely provide ELLs, multiple representations of objects and concepts (such as real life objects, models, photos, graphic organizers, and manipulatives) to enhance language-based instruction.

Use of Technology

  • Teachers approach technology as an instructional tool and an instructional topic.
  • As a tool, teachers use literacy software to reinforce instruction and provide opportunities for guided practice in reading and writing skills.
  • As an instructional topic, teachers integrate new technologies (e.g. search engines, Web pages, e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, podcasts, and e-books) into the curriculum to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in a global community.

Incorporation of Primary Language Other than English

  • Teachers promote and encourage the use of primary language as a support to learning.
    • Pre-teach vocabulary and background knowledge in students’ primary language when feasible.
    • Allow students who speak the same native language to use that language during collaborative work.
    • Make bilingual dictionaries available in the classroom and encourage students to use them.
    • Encourage beginning English language learners who are literate in another language to write their responses in their primary language and then discuss them with the teacher or other students.

Designated Literacy Instruction Time

  • Teachers across the content areas allocate time to teach the reading and writing of texts and materials specific to the discipline.
  • Teachers maximize time for high-utility literacy instruction.
  • Schools designate and protect time in the master schedule to provide literacy interventions to students who need them.
  • Teachers of all subjects create time and opportunities for deep and extended discussion of texts, their meaning and interpretation including providing a task or discussion format that students can follow when they discuss text in small groups.

Modeling and Scaffolding Instruction

  • Teachers of all content areas first explicitly model (e.g. through think-alouds) and explain reading and writing strategies then provide guided assistance as students practice applying strategies.
  • Teachers employ scaffolding to meet the needs of diverse learners.
  • For ELLs, teachers provide more scaffolding than for native speakers to support the use of new vocabulary and language structures if needed.

Differentiation and Grouping

  • Teachers of all subjects differentiate instruction providing whole group as well as instruction within flexible small groups.
  • Schools ensure that class or group sizes are appropriate for the selected interventions.
  • For ELLs, teachers ensure students have many opportunities for structured interactions (peer-assisted learning, instructional conversations, and inquiry-based methods).
  • Schools that serve adolescent new immigrant ELLs provide programs that are designed to meet the specific needs of newcomers, helping students acquire beginning English skills, providing instruction in core academic content areas and orienting students to the U.S. school system.

Participation, Motivation and Engagement

  • Teachers of all subjects establish meaningful and engaging content-area learning goals around the essential ideas of a discipline.
  • Teachers structure the classroom environment to promote higher reading engagement using strategies such as goal setting, self-directed learning, opportunities for student choice of material and collaborative learning.
  • Teachers provide a positive learning environment that promotes student autonomy in learning.
  • Teachers make literacy experiences relevant to student interests, cultures, everyday life and/or important current events.
  • Teachers use strong classroom management techniques to maximize opportunities for learning.
  • For ELLs, teachers ensure that even beginning English speakers have safe, structured opportunities to participate in and contribute to the class.

Instructional Materials

  • Districts adopt and teachers use instructional materials and approaches that are research-based and aligned with Alaska Standards and Grade Level Expectations and include materials relevant to various Alaska Native cultures.
  • Teachers make content area texts accessible to students so they can accurately read and comprehend information.
  • Teachers purposefully select texts to support students’ understanding of what they read.
  • Teachers provide a wide range of materials that address a variety of genres of fiction and nonfiction, demonstrate a value of all cultures, and cover a wide range of interest and reading levels.
  • For ELLs, teachers routinely provide multiple representations of objects and concepts (such as real life objects, models, photos, graphic organizers, and manipulatives) to enhance language-based instruction.

Use of Technology

  • Teachers approach technology as an instructional tool and an instructional topic.
    • As a tool, teachers use literacy software to reinforce instruction and provide opportunities for guided practice in reading and writing skills.
    • As an instructional topic, teachers integrate new technologies (e.g. search engines, Web pages, e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, podcasts, and e-books) into the curriculum to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in a global community.

Incorporation of Primary Language Other than English

  • Teachers promote and encourage the use of primary language as a support to learning.
    • Pre-teach vocabulary and background knowledge in students’ primary language when feasible.
    • Allow students who speak the same native language to use that language during collaborative work.
    • Make bilingual dictionaries available in the classroom and encourage students to use them.
    • Encourage beginning English language learners who are literate in another language to write their responses in their primary language and then discuss them with the teacher or other students.