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Reading Philosophy

KMS Philosophy Statement for Reading

The teachers of Keene Middle School view literacy as dynamic and ever-changing. Traditionally, reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing, have been identified as the critical skills in literacy development. However, as information and technology shape our society, the definition of literacy and its relationship to education also must change. The goal of literacy instruction at KMS is to support students by teaching them the tools to construct and share meaning in a variety of contexts in today’s world. This development extends beyond the school and impacts all aspects of the student's life.

Reading is an integral part of lifelong literacy and therefore must be formally taught.  It is a cornerstone of learning throughout all subjects and is a part of all instruction.  The International Reading Association's position statement on adolescent literacy states that the reading, writing, and language development of adolescents is just as important and requires just as much attention as that of beginning readers. 


Reading instruction at Keene Middle School in all grades levels will provide:

  • an opportunity to foster a love of lifelong reading and a mastery of reading skills.
  • a culture that strongly supports reading, and expands literacy experiences and resources through the integration of readers and writers from our community.
  • an environment that supports critical learners, who are prepared for lifelong learning, and who read and write for a variety of purposes.
  • the opportunity for direct instruction regarding all aspects of reading: informational texts, literary texts, comprehension strategies, and word identification skills.
  • practice, remediation and extension of the skills used in reading.
  • integrated and interdisciplinary literacy instruction in conjunction with English and content area teachers who support comprehension skills through teaching paraphrasing, summarizing, identifying main idea, vocabulary, and the application of reading strategies.
  • daily access to technology supporting readers for future literacy needs.
  • data-driven instruction.

Components of School Wide Reading

6th, 7th and 8th Grade Programming

This year long reading course is a developmental program which takes place every day and will be heterogeneously mixed. KMS has adopted the three tier concept when addressing reading instruction:

Tier One  includes all students

Tier Two includes students who are two or three grades below grade level.

Tier Three includes students who are significantly below grade level.


Teachers will work closely with the special education teachers to develop a team teaching approach for tier two and three students.  Teachers will also work closely with the English teachers to scaffold their instruction to jointly address all language arts GLE's and ELA standards.  The reading teachers will communicate with other core teachers to employ meaningful strategies and activities for the students.


Reading in the Content Classes

In 2003-2004 Keene Middle School adopted the Landmark Master Notebook System.  This is a school wide initiative supporting students in the organization of content material:  note taking, summarizing, main idea development, and study methods.  It is expected that all teachers throughout all subject areas incorporate these practices when feasible.  The most widely used practices include the notebook system, two column note taking and vocabulary cards referred to as Smart Cards. Training in the KEY3 method expands and supports instruction in the above.



Formal reading intervention is prescribed by special education services and addresses the needs primarily of Tier 3 readers:  students who are significantly behind their peers who need very intensive instruction that addresses specifically determined needs in order for them to learn. The level of support is often small group instruction in a pullout classroom taught by the team’s special educator. KMS had adopted Language! as a comprehensive program focusing on all aspects of language arts.  This program is directed towards Tier Three  readers with special educators responsible for instruction.

Students who qualify for special education services but not identified as needing small group instruction receive support within the regular reading classroom by a tutor who is shared by other special education students.



Recreational reading opportunities vary from year to year.  In the past, sixth grade students have been invited to participate in selecting Great Stone Face winners as well as similar opportunities for 7th and 8th graders.  A reading incentive program, Accelerated Reader, has been used to encourage recreational reading.  Periodically after school groups meet to discuss current popular series. 

Recreational reading varies within clusters with some teachers requiring students to complete a specific number of books outside of class and others requiring students to read a specific amount of time each night. Recreational reading may or may not be tied to an additional written assignment.