Foundations & Frameworks is an instructional reading program that uses a collection of best instructional practices for equipping students to fully understand ideas conveyed in text.

Thinking skills are explicitly taught and modeled. Because comprehension results from the thoughtful interaction between reader and text, improving student thinking positively impacts student comprehension. When a student fails to think while he is reading, he is not truly reading. By breaking thinking down into its component steps, teaching these steps explicitly, and extensively modeling the use of these steps, teachers can equip students with the cognitive abilities needed to fully understand a text.

Time is dedicated to skill mastery. Learning to use a skill requires extensive guided and independent practice. Insufficient time devoted to learning results in insufficient learning; students must understand the structures of text and the accompanying thinking skills so that independent application and transfer of thinking skills to other areas of learning can occur. Developing such understanding, such automaticity, requires time. Foundations & Frameworks units devote adequate time and provide adequate practice for students to truly master each comprehension skill.

High quality literature is used as a natural conduit for skill instruction. Great literature captures a reader’s imagination and motivates further reading. Foundations & Frameworks uses real, complete works of children’s literature to engage students and provide adequate material for in-depth comprehension. The literature is clustered according to readability and is used for comprehension skill instruction. For example, a book with cliff-hanging events may be used to teach and practice understanding plot, whereas a book with great character development may be used to study and practice character or comparison/contrast. Fifteen years of researching quality literature preceded the selection of Foundations & Frameworks titles.

Small group interaction is a daily practice. Small groups enable teachers to know their students and adjust instruction to meet the needs of individuals. Small groups also provide an opportunity for students to further develop their understanding of text through thoughtful discussion with the teacher and with others reading the same text. The small group structure also gives teachers the flexibility to group students for re-teaching, reviewing, or for providing additional, individualized, guided practice. While small group sessions take place, other students in the classroom prepare for their small group session by reading, adding entries to SPECS Logs, and completing practice with vocabulary words.