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Glendale USD personalizes learning and sees academic improvements through the use of Ready and i-Ready by Curriculum Associates

By fall 2014, figuring out how to meet the requirements of the Common Core State Standards was critical for administrators in Glendale USD.

Close reading is a popular term today in elementary literacy classrooms and a requirement in the Common Core ELA standards in order to ensure students are college- and career- ready. It enables students to independently comprehend increasingly challenging texts. Students need to develop the habits of mind and the skills necessary to unpack the deep, embedded meanings found in complex, challenging texts on their own.

Three years ago, more than 60 percent of incoming middle school students in the Roseville Community Schools (Mich.) lagged in fluency, meaning they were not reading as quickly and as accurately as their national peers. District students were leaving kindergarten without reading independently. This year, middle school students are getting back on track, and kindergarteners were reading independently by December, due in large part to Direct Instruction solutions from McGraw-Hill, says Mark Blaszkowski, curriculum director for the district.

Last year, while administrators at Branford Public Schools in Connecticut were thinking of ways to encourage their students to read more, Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez came across the perfect solution. While attending a District Administration Leadership Institute Superintendents Summit, Hernandez watched a presentation about a reading platform called myON and its success in another district. myON is a literacy solution that provides anytime, anywhere access to thousands of award-winning digital books.

Students today are innately comfortable with digital tools, and one way to enable personalized literacy instruction is through these tools. Close-reading techniques, student-submitted writing responses to book-specific prompts and other practices are made possible through a new digital platform. This web seminar, originally broadcast on May 28, 2014, featured an innovative superintendent who implemented this platform in her district to foster a more personalized learning environment, as well as the president of myON, who described the solution in more detail.

Aligned to the Common Core, StudySync comprises web-based reading, writing and critical thinking lessons. StudySync also provides educators with teacher-created writing prompts and assessment rubrics. It includes online access to hundreds of classic and contemporary texts—both fiction and nonfiction.

Reader Testimony: 

“StudySync is professional, highly-engaging content that really connects students to text. The resources are easy to access and use, and provide support for all stages of reading. I found the resources very helpful for independent readers and for differentiating in an instructional setting.” — Mark Davis, reading specialist, Barrington Public Schools, R.I.

Year: 
2014

Built by teachers to motivate readers, this literacy software offers more than 80,000 fiction and nonfiction texts. LightSail embeds Common Core-aligned assessments in each text, allowing educators to monitor students’ daily progress. As students gain in reading level, LightSail adapts their materials, moving readers up a staircase of text complexity and ensuring they read within their zones of proximal development.

Year: 
2014

The Read 180 intervention program is a comprehensive system of curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development proven to raise reading achievement for struggling readers in grades 4–12 and beyond. Designed for any student reading two or more years below grade level, READ 180 leverages adaptive technology to individualize instruction for students.

Year: 
2014

Such a comprehensive program can serve as a school reading intervention curriculum for K5. Reading Mastery Signature Edition uses explicit instruction, modeling, guided practice, and independent practice to help students meet the rigorous Common Core standards in vocabulary, writing, and comprehension.

Year: 
2013

Designed for iPads, iPod Touches, and MP3 players, the TeacherMate program allows teachers to control all aspects of beginning reading instruction through games and interactive audiobooks. Teachers can customize each student’s learning plan and follow each student’s progress. They can also control the mobile devices when teaching in small groups.

Reader Testimony: 

“TeacherMate assists my teachers with literacy work stations and facilitates our literacy block. Kids enjoy the engaging activities and teachers love the ability to access data and students’ reading recordings. Teachers also like that they can customize learning for each student.”

—Barbara Adderley, instructional superintendent, District of Columbia Public Schools

Year: 
2013

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