Fusion Reading is a supplemental reading course designed to meet daily for one class period. Classes consist of 12-15 adolescent struggling readers in grades 6-12 who are generally reading two or more years below grade level. Fusion Reading is a highly structured course designed to teach high-leverage reading strategies to increase student motivation, engagement, and reading achievement. The program can be taught in one or two years. The curriculum includes seven units, each taught using explicit instruction. Bundled into the program are four major components:
- Word Level Instruction
Word Level Instruction is taught through The Bridging Strategy (TBS). Bridging consists of four core units: phonics, decoding, word identification, and reading fluency. When students apply TBS, they use multiple skills and strategies to help them quickly and accurately recognize words in connected text. When students encounter an unfamiliar multisyllabic word, they learn to apply a four-step strategy in which they break unrecognized multiple syllabic words into pronounceable word parts. These word level skills are taught to a level of automaticity and practiced with expository and narrative text.
The Comprehension Component of Fusion Reading consists of four key strategies. With the Summarization Strategy, students learn to identify important clues in the text, link the material to prior knowledge, read short chunks of information, find main ideas, and summarize major sections of text. In the Prediction Strategy, students learn how to make predictions and draw inferences with their reading. With the Vocabulary Strategy, students learn a seven-step process that allows them to determine the meaning of unknown vocabulary through the analysis of affixes and context clues and extensive classroom discussion of multiple word meanings, word usage in different contexts, and similarities of the target word to other words. Finally, and most importantly, through Strategy Integration, students learn how to apply and adapt all of the reading strategies they’ve learned to their core class reading material. They practice application of strategies in the FR class using core class text materials and receive feedback from their teacher. Core class teachers also cue students to use the strategies during class activities.
The Motivation Component is based on the use of highly engaging teen literature, lessons designed for success, goal setting and performance tracking, and Possible Selves for Readers (PSR). PSR is used to focus students’ attention on the importance of becoming expert readers and how the benefits of being expert readers can help them reach their hopes and dreams as learners, persons, and in a career area. From this examination of what is possible for each individual, an action plan is developed that clearly shows the linkage between reading and the attainment of the desired goals identified by the student.
The Assessment Component is designed to provide individualized data that informs and personalizes instruction. Student progress is carefully documented in each instructional unit for individual students within a class. Formative data are also gathered daily for each strategy’s instructional session and during the various practice activities. This information is used to help assess individual student progress and provide immediate, individualized, positive, and corrective feedback to students. Overall achievement gains are usually documented by district end of grade assessments, and/or standardized reading measures. These data are used to assess the overall impact of the FR.