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Mondo reading system a success

Have you heard about Mondo yet? You may think it is a new dance workout related to Zumba, but it really is an excellent reading curriculum that Sumner Elementary School implemented this year. It’s so good all the district’s elementary schools will implement the program next fall.

The Mondo curriculum focuses on five areas of language arts development: oral language, phonics, shared reading, guided instructional reading, and writing. This curriculum offers teachers the tools they need to offer students precise, personalized and professional instruction for each student.

Oral Language instruction is a new component of language arts at the elementary level. With the emphasis on technology in our world, instructors are finding students lagging behind in the level of their vocabulary. This portion of reading instruction has students engaged in “Let’s Talk About It” sessions in which students view a poster chart and share their thoughts about what is happening in the photo. Through the four-day lesson, eventually students move from orally sharing their thoughts to recording them on paper.

Phonics instruction is aimed to assist beginning readers, but also provides a safety net for struggling readers. Many times students that are not fluent readers need a strategic piece of instruction so that the sounds and letters come together for them. Phonics instruction is a brief daily focus lasting about 10 to 15 minutes. Students are monitored for progress and upon demonstration of the necessary skills are exited from the intervention.

Shared Reading consists of a daily focus on an excerpt of literature at grade level. All students discuss the shared reading as a large group. Explicit reading skills are taught and then reinforced in their independent reading materials.

Guided Instructional Reading groups allow the student to receive instruction that is matched to their individual and independent reading level. Student reading levels are determined by benchmark assessments given in the fall, winter and spring. Independent reading time is critical so that students can practice their newly acquired reading skills in text that is comfortable for the student to read.

Writing is directly related to the reading experience of the students. It is woven into the language arts block and seen as a necessary relative of reading. Students participate in numerous reading response activities based on their independent reading material.

Mid-year results show students at Sumner making strong gains in their benchmark assessments. The assessment information gives the student feedback on each component of the reading process. Professional development has been an on-going part of this process, with Mondo staff visiting at Sumner to observe and give further guidance during the implementation process.

Sheila Berger

Sumner Elementary Principal