The research-based approach of Fundations® and its extensive program materials allow K-3 teachers to confidently present a carefully structured reading and spelling curriculum using engaging, multisensory techniques.

Fundations presents all skills in a systematic and sequential manner in four Levels: Level K, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Each Level provides a year-long curriculum. The Pre-K Activity Set offers age-appropriate instruction in letter-sound associations and letter formation.

The four Levels of Fundations will most often correspond to the students’ grade level. However, the program can also be used sequentially with struggling students in other grades.

Fundations systematically and comprehensively instructs students in phonemic awareness and word study (both phonetic and high frequency/sight words) and contributes greatly to fluency, vocabulary development, and the applications of strategies for understanding text. Additionally, Fundations sets the foundation for writing by directly teaching handwriting, the study of English orthography for spelling, and the basic skills for capitalization and punctuation.

Concepts and skills addressed across the four program Levels include:

  • Reading/beginning reading skills and strategies:
    • Phonological awareness and phonemic awareness skills
    • Print awareness skills
    • Phonics and decoding
    • Word attack
  • Vocabulary development
    • Introduction of new words
    • Word-learning strategies
    • Academic vocabulary
  • Fluency
    • Accurate, fluent reading
    • Appropriate phrasing and expression
    • Rate
  • Comprehension (listening and written) strategies
    • Analyzing text and drawing conclusions/making inferences
    • Connecting text to personal experience and other text
  • Writing skills and conventions:
    • Spelling skills and conventions (rules and patterns)
    • Use of writing conventions such as use of capital and lowercase letters
    • Grammatical conventions in the use of tense (present tense, past tense, etc.)
    • Use of punctuation at the end of sentences

Fundations helps English language learners by teaching the skills and strategies they need to be successful in learning to read and write in English. Teachers use modeling and scaffolded instruction to ensure that students understand the skills being taught, learn the procedures, and are able to use the skills and procedures on their own. Teachers build students’ metacognitive skills by having them think about the learning tools they have acquired and consider which they should draw on if they need help. They also connect current learning to previous skills taught and explain how the new skills will help them achieve future goals. By having an integrated assessment component, teachers are able to assess students’ areas of strength and weakness and can differentiate instruction as appropriate. As a comprehensive word study program addressing reading, spelling, and writing skills, students will be well-prepared to meet grade-level standards for college and career readiness, and will be ready for success in subsequent grades.

Fundations students who have had disrupted learning or need extra support before taking on the next grade’s curriculum may benefit from the Fundations Ready to Rise™  program, which can be done over the summer or at the beginning of the school year. Available for rising Level 1 and Level 2 students, learn more on the Fundations Ready to Rise page.