Saint Patrick’s uses a leveled approach to reading. The focus in Grades Kindergarten to Second Grade is “learning to read” and the focus from Third Grade through Secondary is “reading to learn.”

In grades Kindergarten to Second Grade two approaches are used to teach reading: phonics and whole-word instruction. Phonics is taught as letter-sound recognition is the gateway into reading and allows students to learn and handle new and unfamiliar words. Whole-word instruction (i.e. sight words) is employed to increase fluency and reading speed. As students develop, whole-word instruction includes common English phrases (e.g. “By the…”).


From Third Grade On:

Students are expected to learn contents such as history through reading.  However, students continue to develop reading skills through novel studies.  Book reports and group novel projects take the center in these grades for reading.  The instruction is based on the DRA2 (Directed Reading Assessment).  The DRA2 identifies skills of good readers and these skills become the focus of reading instruction:

  1. Wide and appropriate reading interests.
  2. Oral reading fluency
  3. Prediction
  4. Summary
  5. Literal Comprehension
  6. Interpretation
  7. Metacognitive skills (e.g. reflection, personal connections)


Our list of books is derived from the Cardinal Newman Society list of good books for Catholic education.

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