Understanding the Foundations of Reading

The 'Big 5' Pillars of Literacy

Understanding the foundations of early literacy help us to quickly target precise areas where students are proficient or deficient.  These pillars are: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Oral Reading Fluency, Comprehension and Vocabulary.

Understanding the 'Big 5'

  • Phonemic Awareness-
  • Phonics-
  • Oral Reading Fluency-
  • Reading Comprehension-
  • Vocabulary-

Developmental Milestones

Typically developing peers should meet the following milestones for each of the pillars:

  • Phonemic Awareness-
  • Phonics-
  • Oral Reading Fluency-
  • Reading Comprehension-
  • Vocabulary-

If a student is not making progress in one or more of these areas, we utilize timely interventions that are targeted specifically to whichever area the student struggles.

Every Child Deserves to Read

According to DIBELS (an assessment used to benchmark and progress monitor students not on grade level), 80% of students should be reaching grade level proficiency on Essential Standards from initial Tier 1 classroom instruction.  Teachers use common assessments they have developed together in teams to ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum.

(Info Coming Soon)

(Info Coming Soon)

Northridge Elementary school follows the core standards as outlined by the USOE.  We strive to analyze and target the most critical elements in the core standards (essential elements), and our teachers work together to ensure each classroom gets access to, and demonstrates understanding of, these critical elements.

Core Standards

In order for students to demonstrate their understanding of essential elements in the Utah core curriculum, students must be assessed in a timely manner. Assessment is useful when it allows teachers to target exactly which area of deficit the student may fall, and enables collaborative teams to make informed decisions about grade-level teaching strategies.


Based on assessment data, interventions are targeted and specific to each students’ needs.  Targeted, timely, and intensive interventions have been shown to close the gap in student learning.


Watch instructional videos on how to do interventions at home! Learn How

Hear what success our students are having-

"I am glad I get to work with the reading people. Now I know all my sounds and am starting to read!"

Anonymous Student

"After struggling to read all through 3rd grade, I finally feel like there is hope. I want to work hard to get caught up now. I am finally getting it."

Anonymous Student 2

"Where was this program years ago?"

Anonymous Student #3

Animated Milestone Counters

# Students Reading on Grade Level
#Below Benchmark
# Well-Below Benchmark
% Proficiency for School

% Proficiency by Grade Level

DIBELS benchmark testing is done three times a year: beginning of the year, middle of the year, and end of the year.  Each grade level has the total percentage proficient in green, approaching proficient in yellow, and below proficient in red.



Grade 1


Grade 2


Grade 3


Grade 4


Grade 5


Grade 6


Team Members