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Nearly 10 percent of the 18,680 students in the South Bend Community School Corporation in north central Indiana are English language learners. With students of varying levels of proficiency spread across the district’s 33 schools, finding solutions to help students increase their skills, particularly in reading comprehension, proved difficult.

In spring 2014, leaders at the state’s Department of Education realized that Indiana’s high population of migrant students was not served as optimally as possible.

John M. Nelson III served as the Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services at Chula Vista Elementary School District

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John M. Nelson III served as the Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services at Chula Vista Elementary School District, located halfway between San Diego and Mexico in San Diego County. In 2010, when the Common Core State Standards were adopted by California, he knew the 30,000-student district needed to help students get comfortable reading and writing about nonfiction texts and using technology for assessments

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.

Provided by: 
McGraw-Hill Education

Learn instruction that progresses students towards independent reading, giving them skills to read with comprehension.

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

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