Category Archives: Literacy

Literacy Leadership Symposium is here in Grand Rapids!

Attention School Administrators: The Fall Literacy Leadership Symposium is here in Grand Rapids!

In March, Reading Now Network (RNN) hosted the West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership Symposium at Western Michigan University. More than 600 educators from 26 counties gathered to focus on literacy. Participants learned how to implement the RNN Five Key Findings and explored the Instructional and School-Wide Essential Practices. The urgency and excitement surrounding the RNN Five Key Findings has resulted in a fall Literacy Leadership Symposium aimed to energize and inspire building and district administrators. Continue reading Literacy Leadership Symposium is here in Grand Rapids!

Strategies to Encourage Summer Reading

Summer. The word alone conjures images of the pool, beach, sand, sun, relaxing with a good book…

Unfortunately, summer break often means a vacation from reading for many students.

Summer Reading Loss Research

The importance of summer reading is well documented in educational research. Studies confirm that summer reading loss perpetuates the achievement gap between low-socioeconomic communities and more advantaged communities. However, Jimmy Kim (2004) found Continue reading Strategies to Encourage Summer Reading

Tackling Text Structures: A Nontraditional Approach

Few could argue the importance of understanding text structure. When it comes to reading, having a grasp of structure will help a reader’s brain focus in on the important aspects of a text, helping to connect points and enhancing comprehension. For writing, being able to effectively choose and apply the appropriate text structure for the purpose of an individual piece is key for expressing a big idea or opinion.

While text structure is important, teaching text structure can sometimes be…well…dry as toast. Simply serving up pre-planned graphic organizers and lists of transitional words for individual structures, while important, may not capture students’ attention, at least not to the degree intended to have young readers and writers truly internalize text structures in order to make the best use of them in their reading and writing work. We need to find a way to have students experience text structures where they will actually be able to remember them and distinguish one structure from another. Continue reading Tackling Text Structures: A Nontraditional Approach

The Xtreme Librarian Spreads the Love of Reading!

“School libraries are where it all begins. They are the opportunity to know yourself and to develop the great habit of reading. No matter what you are interested in there’s a book waiting for you and it starts in that place.” John Schumacher (http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/)

We all know reading is important.  In fact, students who don’t read proficiently by the 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of school. For this reason, as well as many others, school districts place a lot of emphasis on literacy. Continue reading The Xtreme Librarian Spreads the Love of Reading!

Don’t Miss: West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership Symposium

On Thursday October 6, 2016, Gov. Snyder signed the Third Grade Reading Bill which is aimed at improving early literacy.  This new legislation renews an energy and sense of urgency around literacy in Michigan.  

The Reading Now Network (RNN), a collaborative partnership formed by ISD’s in West Michigan counties, has a mission to improve early literacy and student achievement.  Continue reading Don’t Miss: West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership Symposium

10 Instructional Literacy Practices for K-3

Time is of the essence!  In education, your daily schedule is filled to the brim.   You’re planning your next meeting or instructional focus on the drive between sports practice, dinner, and the parent-teacher organization meeting.  Sometimes, a few professional “grab and go” options would assist in focusing energy and solidifying next steps.  Often times in education, we ask “What are the Essentials?” Continue reading 10 Instructional Literacy Practices for K-3

Closed Captioning to Improve Literacy

Captioning, or Closed Captioning, has a proven track record of improving literacy for learners of all ages. In one randomized study, students who engaged daily in content with “Same Language Subtitling” (SLS) scored significantly higher than students in the comparison condition on the reading comprehension achievement post tests.

Data from PlanetRead has shown that even 30 minutes of weekly exposure to SLS or captioning over 3-5 years enables adults and children with basic familiarity of the alphabet to become functionally literate.  The science underlying SLS and captioning is strong. Continue reading Closed Captioning to Improve Literacy

Opportunity for Curriculum Networking and Resources

There are nearly 15,000 English Learners in Kent County schools.  Nationally, 1 in 4 students is an English Learner.

How are you supporting English Learners (EL) at your school in Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts?

EL Coaching Network (ELCN)

Last year participants from 20 districts came together to learn, discuss, and devise action plans to increase the achievement of their EL students. The 2016/2017 EL Coaching Network will focus on support for ELs in the K-12 content areas. EL teachers, EL staff, and content teachers are welcome to join.

Did you know that Kent ISD has other Curriculum focused networks?

Not only can your district participate in our EL Coaching Network, the Teaching and Learning department at Kent ISD has created the opportunity for all Kent County districts to network and obtain resources related to each specific content area. Continue reading Opportunity for Curriculum Networking and Resources

Kids Who Read Beat the Summer Slide

In 2009, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described summer learning loss as “devastating”. Educators often refer to summer loss as “summer slide”.

It is estimated that the amount of loss a child might experience could equal one month of instruction, and the effect has a greater impact on disadvantaged children (Cooper, 1996). Researchers conclude that two-thirds of 9th grade reading achievement gaps can be explained by the accumulated summer loss they have experienced since early elementary, with nearly one-third of the gap already present when children enter Kindergarten (Alexander, Entwistle & Olsen, 2007). Continue reading Kids Who Read Beat the Summer Slide

We have a winner…

Or should I say we have 10 winners! Due to an overwhelming response to our Want to Enhance Your Classroom Library- For the Love of Reading” blog post on May 19th, we decided to increase the number of winners to 10 schools with $400 in books to enhance their classroom library. 

We had almost 500 responses to our post! We were very impressed with all of the entries. It was very clear that the teachers in Kent County have a love of reading and a love for their students.  We wish we could have helped everyone.

Thank you to everyone that entered.

And the winners are… Continue reading We have a winner…