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Tue, March 31

New Spalding reading and writing program implemented for GCS K-5
Program more flexible, cost effective

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The Grand Canyon School (GCS) is introducing The Spalding Method, a new reading and writing program, in the elementary school this year. Teachers and administrators at GCS have worked together in selecting this program in response to a need for a more consistent and effective approach to literacy instruction in grades kindergarten through fifth grade.

Arizona Department of Education data from schools using the Spalding method show great success with the program in teaching diverse students reading, and writing skills as measured by AIMS assessments.

"One of the reasons we picked the Spaulding Program it has a really good research-based foundation in helping struggling readers learn to be literate, and it ties in all the aspects of literacy which ties in reading and writing and spelling," said GCS PYP Coordinator Deb Goepfrich.

According to the Spalding website, instruction is explicit, systematic, interactive, diagnostic, and multi-sensory. The success of The Spalding Method with diverse students, even those who have learning disabilities or are english language learners, is in large part due to the integration of scientifically-based content and methodology."

Goepfrich said three characteristics drew the GCS curriculum review panel to select Spalding over other reading programs.

First, the Spalding Method includes explicit and systematic instruction in all areas of literacy, consistent through all grade levels, including word study, spelling, comprehension strategies, and writing skills.

"Second, is not only it's proven to be successful for kids, but also because it's a very flexible program in that it doesn't prescribe certain things for us to have kids read, it teaches teachers how to be experts in the field of literacy instruction," Goepfrich said.

The Spalding Method recommends literature at each grade level but has no required reading anthology.

"This gives our teachers the flexibility to select reading materials that are interesting to students and relevant to their PYP units of inquiry," Goepfrich said. "This also allows our school to save money by using existing text resources with a new method of instruction."

And lastly, the Spalding Method relies on creating teachers that are experts in the field of teaching reading and writing. All teachers in the elementary will participate in a two-week training in Spalding Method to help better prepare them to meet the needs of their student body.

Goepfrich said that even though this year will be challenging in light of implementing a brand-new teaching method, the GCS staff is hopeful for the opportunity to improve their students' literacy skills.

If you have further questions about the Spalding Method or would like to volunteer to help students at our school learn to read and write, please talk to your child's classroom teacher.

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