How is SLANT® aligned with the Science of Reading?
The SLANT System® is an Orton-Gillingham based structured literacy professional development program based on scientific research in the field of reading instruction. The program is supported by systematic, explicit, and cumulative teaching materials that incorporate multisensory instructional techniques and emphasize the structure of the English language.
For whom is SLANT instruction appropriate?
Students of any age or grade can work within the SLANT® System program. After an initial assessment, teachers learn where to appropriately start instruction within the teaching sequence.
How long is a SLANT lesson?
Lessons are designed to be 30-50 minutes.
How many students can I have in my grouping?
SLANT® lessons are designed for whole class, individual instruction, or instruction in small groups. The more significant the reading difficulty, the smaller the group. We recommend individual instruction whenever SLANT® is used as the primary reading program, replacing what the school would typically use. Teachers learn how to evaluate each student not only in each lesson, but through a variety of progress monitoring tools which ensure that the student’s individual needs will be met. We pride ourselves on flexibility within the constraints of the teaching sequence, to allow teachers to target specific student needs.
Where do I begin a student in the SLANT® program and progress monitor?
Diagnostic teaching is used throughout the program. Teachers are taught how to evaluate each student’s performance on a daily lesson and to determine what needs to be taught in the next lesson. SLANT® is not a scripted program, therefore teachers must learn how to analyze student performance and use that information for future lesson planning, within the structure of the overall SLANT® Teaching Sequence. Using data in instructional decision making is an important and integral part of our training program. We stress that the importance of data collection is to provide insight into instruction: not only what type of instruction is appropriate, but also to determine if the instruction is having an impact. We discuss progress monitoring from a variety of perspectives: standardized as well as informal. We use specific examples of students’ data to discuss best ways to modify instruction based on the assessments. We also discuss how data teams may use data in the RTI process, always keeping in mind that the purpose of data collection is to guide instruction.
Who can teach the SLANT System® for Structured Language Training?
The primary teachers of SLANT System® are already certified teachers. A prerequisite for beginning training is a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field. We have trained classroom teachers, special education teachers, speech and language pathologists, reading specialists, psychologists, and more!
What does a typical lesson look like?
One of SLANT®’s guiding principles is “tell, don’t ask”. This reminds teachers to provide instruction explicitly and to never assume a student has knowledge of skills until you have directly instructed. We use a “model, lead, test” approach to instruction. Our content is systematic, sequential, and cumulative. For example, we start by teaching only a single short vowel along with 5 common consonants and work with these grapheme/phoneme relationships to build words for reading and spelling. The program gradually introduces the different syllable types so that by the end of the teaching sequence students are familiar with the 7 syllables, the syllable division rules, the identification of prefixes, bases, & suffixes and the spelling rules regarding the addition of suffixes to base words.
Every lesson includes contextual reading as well as spelling dictations. The SLANT® student materials all include passages with decodable text. Comprehension is stressed along with decoding accuracy. As students progress through the program they read text appropriate to their level, again with an emphasis on comprehension and decoding accuracy. A variety of graphic organizers for reading comprehension are presented throughout the teaching sequence and teachers learn how to use these with the reading passages within the program or with any appropriate text. Written expression strategies, ranging from writing a complete simple sentence, to sentence expansion, to paragraph writing, to report writing are also taught during the teachers’ training year.
Multi-sensory instruction is integral to SLANT® teaching. We follow the classic “multi-sensory triangle” using visual, auditory, and tactile-kinesthetic pathways for instruction and retrieval. New grapheme/phoneme relationships are taught through a “write & say” process where students write in a sand tray, white board, gel bag, etc., and say the sound of the grapheme(s) as they are written. Teachers model correct letter formation during the teaching process and learn how to use a variety of sensory strategies for retrieval. For example, if a student errs in saying the phoneme for a particular grapheme, the student is encouraged to trace the grapheme as an aid to retrieval of its sound.
What is the scope and sequence of SLANT System®?
How do I become a certified SLANT® instructor?
Is SLANT® aligned with the Common Core Standards?
How are the 5 components of effective reading instruction, as described by the National Reading Panel addressed?
1. Phonemic Awareness: This is addressed as a core principle to instruction. A sequence for the presentation of both phonological and phonemic awareness skills is presented. The importance of advanced phonological awareness skills (substituting, deleting, and manipulation phonemes) is stressed along with the importance of developing automaticity in these advanced skills in order to facilitate orthographic mapping and reading fluency. Every lesson begins with a PA activity.
2. Phonics: This is the core of the SLANT® teaching sequence. Individual grapheme-phoneme correspondences are presented systematically, explicitly and in a multi-sensory fashion. The sequence is carefully constructed to move from simple to complex concepts through a series of 7 sets of student materials. All materials contain word lists (real & nonsense), sentences for reading and spelling dictation, and decodable reading passages (both informational and narrative).
Teachers learn how to teach the alphabet sequence in multi-sensory ways and to move from letter names to letter sounds. Blending phonemes for reading and segmenting phonemes for spelling is integral to every SLANT® lesson. Teachers learn how to teach blending and segmenting using multi-sensory techniques.
As soon as students learn a few grapheme-phoneme relationships they are taught how to blend graphemes into words. As mentioned previously, each lesson is built around a specific grapheme-phoneme pattern. Students learn to read isolated real and nonsense words emphasizing that pattern along with sentences and decodable text. The sequence of the program provides instruction in syllable identification and syllable division rules as well. Morphology is also integrated into instruction and specific prefixes and suffixes are taught throughout the teaching sequence.
Encoding is addressed in every lesson. Whatever grapheme the student is learning is immediately put into both spelling of single words and sentence dictations. Orthographic mapping activities are used during the spelling portion of the lesson to further develop knowledge of letter strings.
3. Fluency: One of the steps in a lesson include applying the decoding skills through reading both real and nonsense words, as well as text containing new and previously taught elements. Text is repeated as needed. Each lesson has multiple decodable texts in word, sentence and story form for students to practice. When an error is made, the student is corrected immediately by the teacher. The teacher models and gives opportunity for the student to practice their accuracy, speed and prosody. Students can create personal goals and chart their fluency progress on daily lessons.
4. Vocabulary: Teachers preview all text prior to a lesson and explicitly teach vocabulary words in the text that may be unknown to the student. Students are given strategies to understand the meaning of prefixes, base words and suffixes. In later stages, students are taught the morphology of words to give a deeper understanding of how word elements come together to create meaning.
5. Comprehension: Comprehension is emphasized as a critical component of the reading process. In Stage 1, students begin with short decodable passages that allow for questioning, visualizing, retelling. As the students progress, a hierarchy of questioning is embedded in the lessons and students are continuing to create those visual images, while also learning how to make inferences, predictions, identify the main idea, and understand figurative language. A variety of graphic organizers for reading comprehension are presented throughout the teaching sequence and teachers learn how to use these with the reading passages within the program or with any appropriate text.