Thoughts on Fundations?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Mrs Teacher, May 5, 2017.

  1. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

    Jan 29, 2012
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    May 5, 2017

    Just looking to get general opinions on the program. If you use Fundations care to chime in?

    1) What grade do you use it with?
    2) How would you describe your population? (urban vs suburban vs rural, high needs, high poverty, middle class, etc.)
    3) Do you teach it with fidelity?
    4) How long have you been using it?
    5) What do you think about it?

  3. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

    Sep 10, 2014
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    May 8, 2017

    Fundations used to be the "go to" in my district for 1-3rd grade as whole class instruction and it was also used in small groups as an intervention. I have also used it in 4th grade for very low level readers. My school is rural, Title 1, most of my special education students are high needs and/or high poverty.

    I used it as near to fidelity as I could my first year. Schedule wise, getting enough time to implement it was challenging. As it was, my kiddos (3rd and 4th) really struggled with paying attention to the lessons. They seemed to find it extremely boring. Combined with some students who already had behavior challenges coming in, keeping them all focused was rough at times. It is, admittedly, kind of dry. I'm not a huge fan of scripted instruction in general, and Fundations is not my favorite.

    I think it had the most impact on my student who has above average intelligence but truly struggled with (specifically) decoding and phonemic awareness. He made real strides in his ability to decode words, and the fact that he was always ready to learn and on task really helped.

    For my other students, the results were more mixed. Many of them are just...low, for a lack of better way to put it. They did make progress, but not as much as I would have hoped. Perhaps with more time/repetition they would make even more progress, but we wound up switching to some other programs this past year. A coworker still uses fundations, but I get the impression her students also find it pretty boring and it has caused some behavior challenges.
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Feb 5, 2011
    Likes Received:

    May 8, 2017

    Our school started using it whole class K-2 a few years ago. I teach in a very low SES urban school. The great majority of our kids are below grade level and the biggest problem was that kids simply weren't learning to read. Fundations has made a huge difference in my building. The K-2 teachers do use it with fidelity. I'm a SPED teacher and I use the language from Fundations with "tier 3 strategies" (smaller group, bringing in more multisensory practice, etc.) I think one of the best things about it in my building is that it's given us all common language for phonics, not only across the grade levels but also between intervention classes and gen ed. I think what has really helped my kids specificaly is that they're getting it in gen ed and then they're getting another dose with me. I don't think it would be nearly as effective if I were just using it as an intervention program. Our kids tend to like it because they experience success with it. Also, in K-2 they don't think it's babyish. I can definitely see older kids feeling that way.

    Even our high level gen ed kids benefit from it because even if they don't need that much direct phonics work to learn how to read (and that is truly VERY few kids in my building), they need it for spelling. I'm sure there are a couple kids per grade level that are so high level that they don't need it at all, and it is unfortunate that they have to sit through whole group every day. Unfortunately, those kids are in the strong minority and we had to do something to get our other kids reading. Our classroom teachers were a bit overwhelmed with it at first but now everyone seems to really like it.

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