Adopt A 3-6 Program






Why choose a 3rd-6th grade literacy program?

Because teaching in the intermediate grades is very different from teaching in primary grades; the foundational reading skills of primary do not guarantee comprehension and motivation to read at intermediate.

While educators have made good progress in teaching children to decode, it’s disheartening that we still have not overcome the ‘fourth grade slump’ in reading comprehension. We’re finding that even though the vast majority of our youngest readers can manage simple texts, many students – particularly those from low-income families – struggle when it comes time in grade four to tackle more advanced academic texts.

~ E.D. Hirsch, Jr., 2003

Most recent literacy initiatives target younger readers and attempt to instill basic decoding and comprehension skills.  But struggling adolescent readers in our schools face more complex and pervasive challenges.

~ Lee & Sprately, 2010

The ability to read and understand a passage of text depends upon two equally important skills: the ability to decode the words in the text, the ability to understand the language the text is written in.  Children who have problems with reading comprehension always have problems with either the ability to understand language or the ability to decode words (or both).

~ Hoover & Gough, 2001


How do you ensure that students at intermediate can comprehend increasingly complex text?


Explicit and systematic scaffolds to support comprehension-based instruction

Consider a model of explicit comprehension instruction…teach students how, why, and when to employ strategies independently as well as how to ‘self-regulate’ comprehension processes as they read.

~ Hollenbeck & Saternus, 2013

The idea behind explicit instruction of text comprehension is that comprehension can be improved by teaching students to use specific cognitive strategies or to reason strategically when they encounter barriers to comprehension when reading…The cumulative result of nearly 3 decades of research is that ‘there is ample extant research supporting the efficacy of cognitive strategy training during reading as a means to enhance student’ comprehension’.

~ National Reading Panel Report, 2000

The evidence supports the use of combinations of reading strategies in natural learning situations.

~ National Reading Panel Report, 2000

Materials that are highly motivating to the age group

The influence of motivation on comprehension is profound.  Both ‘skill and will’, knowledge and motivation, are required to employ [comprehension] strategies.

~ Hollenbeck & Saternus, 2013

 To comprehend, a reader must have a wide range of capacities and abilities.  These include…motivation (a purpose for reading, an interest in the content being read, self-efficacy as a reader).

~ RAND Reading Study Group, 2002

Reading experiences that are integrated with language: listening, speaking, and writing.

scaffoldCurrent research confirms that oral language interactions and the chance to produce the language in meaningful ways for both social and academic purposes will provide the necessary practice that is critical to internalize a new language. Student must be assigned robust and rigorous tasks to foster the kind of language and knowledge we want to internalize.

~ Williams & Roberts, 2011

Acquisition of any language, including academic English, requires that users speak, listen, read, and write using the vocabulary of the discipline.

~ Fisher & Frey, 2011

Conventions, knowledge of language, and vocabulary extend across reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

~ Common Core State Standards Appendix A, 2010

Extensive and engaging complex-text

Degree of text complexity differentiates student performance better than either the comprehension level or the kind of textural element tested…Performance on complex text is the clearest differentiator in reading between students who are likely to be ready for collage and those who are not. And this is true for both genders, all racial/ethnic groups, and all family income levels.

~ Reading Between the Lines, 2006

Schools can no longer track students so that only those with highly developed reading skills take the more reading-intensive courses. All students now need to read high-level texts with comprehension to pass high-stakes exams and to make themselves employable.

~RAND Reading Study Group, 2002

Content area connections that build background knowledge and vocabulary around academic topics and texts

Reading comprehension places significant demands on language comprehension and general verbal abilities.  Constraints on these areas will typically limit comprehension.

~ Reading Between the Lines, 2006 

Increased domain knowledge…both eases and deepens comprehension.

~ E.D. Hirsch, Jr., 2003 

Beyond general strategies, disciplinary literacy also requires knowledge of topics in a particular field.

~ Lee & Sprately, 2010 

There is truly a mountain of data that students must have content knowledge to read effectively.  

~ Willingham, 2006

A strong focus on developing independence

With the guidance and support of an expert, children are able to perform tasks that are slightly higher beyond their own independent knowledge and capability.  As they become more knowledgeable and experienced with the task, support is withdrawn, and the children internalize the new knowledge and experiences they have acquired, which results in learning.

~ RAND Reading Study Group,

 Students will not come to thrive as independent and capable readers unless they get a chance to practice…That is important to accomplish because these opportunities are where stamina, efficacy and persistence develop, where vocabularies and knowledge bases can be rapidly expanded through contextualized exposure to a lot of words, and where students learn the sheer pleasure of becoming lost in the printed world of ideas.

~ Liben & Liben, 2011


The response from educators around the nation is unanimous: C.I.A. is the only reading program created exclusively to the needs of 3rd-6th grade students.  It closes the gap in reading deficits!


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