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Articles: Language Arts

Six Springfield, Massachusetts, middle schools, flagged as close to failing by the state two years ago, seized an unusual opportunity to run themselves.

Mark Seidenberg is trained in psychology, linguistics and neuroscience, and has used his education to study reading—language—as part of human behavior. He's also a researcher, who studies reading, and a professor.

In his new book Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, and What Can Be Done About It (Basic Books, 2017), Seidenberg says the answer to the question “Why can’t Johnny read?” stems from how reading is taught.

Today’s educators need versatile products that can be used to teach more than one aspect of STEAM. Schools want to engage students with hands-on activities that, for example, blend art and reading with core science and math instruction.

ACTION—Students at New Rochelle High School in Westchester County, New York, write and shoot their interpretations of classic literature as part of English curriculum.

At New Rochelle High School, about 20 miles north of New York City, students use smartphones and tablets to create short movies based on classic works of literature.

The issue of fake news drew national attention during the 2016 presidential campaign, when fabricated stories were widely accepted as genuine. According to recent research, the problem extends to K12 classrooms, where students have trouble judging the credibility of online information.

Is it possible to help low-performing high school students avoid remedial classes in college reading and writing? Leaders in many states believe it is indeed possible and are now offering or requiring “college prep” or “college transition” courses in high school. These courses are designed to ensure that low-performing students will have the reading and writing skills they need when they graduate from high school.

myON helps Tennessee district measure  reading by reading, leading to measured growth

When Christopher Marczak joined Maury County Public Schools in Tennessee as superintendent in fall 2015, he quickly realized that while every school in his district of 12,000 students was doing the best job possible, each had a vastly different approach to teaching literacy.

Bill Siegel is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy winning documentary filmmaker and vice president of School Programs for the Great Books Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit educational organization.

Inquiry-based learning means asking questions that demand students use evidence from the text to support their thinking. It means challenging students to respond to the differing ideas of their classmates. And it means pushing students to further their own thinking.

Students in California district read 1 million books and improve literacy skills using myON

Many students at Oxnard Elementary School District in Southern California have a dual challenge in gaining reading proficiency. Not only do they struggle with developing literacy skills, but over 56 percent of Oxnard’s 17,000 pre-k through 8 students are learning English as a second language.

To help these students overcome their literacy deficiency, in 2014 leaders at Oxnard turned to the 1-to-1 devices purchased the year prior.

Many districts teach formal keyboarding instruction as early as second grade—a shift that requires new approaches to a skill that was once taught only in high school. Today's software feature gamification, captivating graphics and extensive reporting components.

Schools nationwide are under pressure from new state standards to increase students’ writing proficiency. Here's a look at some of the strategies and tools innovative districts have deployed.

At Napa Valley USD in northern California, classroom technology integration has been a priority since 1997, when the district opened the country’s first New Technology High School. So bringing in digital books in order to provide easily accessible content to the 18,000 students and faculty in 34 schools was a natural—and important—step.

More relevant library: Students from Vista USD in southern California work on a project in their school makerspace.

Future Ready Librarians expands concepts of literacy—from books to tech to STEM. The initiative also drives the nationwide transformation of libraries, as librarians take the lead in creating makerspaces in their districts.

Literacy changes taking hold in schools recognize the subject’s expansion from traditional textbooks to online readings, images and audio. New learning standards ask students to read more closely and write more analytically, meaning teachers must adapt curriculum to get students reading earlier.

High achievers did significantly better in reading while staying stagnant in math, according to the Nation’s Report Card. (Click to enlarge)

From 2013 to 2015, reading scores dipped from 288 to 287, out of 500 total. Math scores also went down a point, from 153 to 152, out of 300. The lowest-performing students showed the biggest drop.

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