Category Archives: Reading

The Importance of Informational Text

What were you reading before you turned your eye onto this article?  Chances are it could be categorized into informational text reading. 

With the shift to Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards also came a heightened focus on informational text reading, writing, and analysis. And, why shouldn’t it be.

Learning is a journey Continue reading The Importance of Informational Text

Improving Literacy: Essentials Documents In Action

Written by Lisa Brown, MDE

Improving literacy is part of Michigan’s strategic plan to become a top 10 in 10 State. While it will take a multi-faceted approach, beginning with quality tier one, instruction is key. The Early Literacy Task Force (ELTF), a subgroup of the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), General Education Leadership Network (GELN) set out to collect the highest quality research around literacy instruction and compile it in a way that would be easily understood by educators.

Early Literacy Task Force: glen General Education Leadership Network a MAISA collaborative. MACUL, MASSE, MDE, MRA, MAME, MAISA ELA LT, MAC, MiBLSi, MSU, ECAN, MV, MEMSPA, ISDs/k-12, GVSU, MI ASCD, U of M

The Product: The K-3 Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy.

This document is not their only document designed to support improving literacy throughout the state. In fact, the ELTF has produced a continuum of supports including the Prek- K Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy, 4-5 Essential Instructional Practices in Literacy, School-Wide and Center-Based Practices in Literacy, Essential Coaching Practices in Elementary Literacy and 6-12 Practices in Literacy in progress.  Continue reading Improving Literacy: Essentials Documents In Action

Connecting MTSS and Third Grade Reading Law

Written by: Mark Raffler, Kent ISD

The Kent ISD Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) team has been working for the past six years to develop the understanding and capacity of local districts to balance the behavior and academic demands put forward by the State of Michigan.

The latest legislation put into place, focused on academic content, is the Third Grade Reading Law (Public Act 306).  This legislation comes with many requirements and considerations for districts in order to increase the number of students reading proficiently by the end of third grade.
Continue reading Connecting MTSS and Third Grade Reading Law

Focusing on Read Alouds: K-3 Literacy Essentials

Written by: Christi Gilbert, Literacy Coach/Kent ISD

Essential #2 states: “Read Alouds of age-appropriate books and other materials, print or digital”

Why read alouds?

There is a STRONG research consensus that supports literacy development through read alouds. Children learn about reading and writing from read alouds. They also increase their vocabulary hearing new words during a read aloud.

But, our reality:

Tanya Wright, a lead researcher with the Literacy Essentials, did a study on read alouds.  She visited four classrooms  and conducted over 55 visits. Throughout those visits she noticed two important things: Continue reading Focusing on Read Alouds: K-3 Literacy Essentials

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

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

Using Arts to Improve Student Learning in Reading, Math, and Science

Imagine 2nd grade students marching, swinging, and twirling to show how movement adds fun and effect to theatre performance!

Imagine 5th graders creating stories that emerge from symbols discovered on images of ancient urns – showing understanding of visual arts!

Imagine high school students getting attention for their vocal talent when performances are recorded and assessed by both teachers and students as evidence for quality!

“When early elementary teachers integrate music and theater, student learning improves in reading, math, and science as they become better critical thinkers and problem solvers.” Edutopia, “Rainstorms and Symphonies: Performing Arts Bring Abstract Concepts to Life.” Mary Grescok, Lisette Steinwald, 10/5/2016.

The New Mexico School for Arts teaches its high school students to take risks, make mistakes and learn from critical feedback to learn and grow.  This school has outperformed the state in reading, math, and science every year since 2013. Continue reading Using Arts to Improve Student Learning in Reading, Math, and Science

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