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language arts

Today’s most progressive language instruction covers more than speech. Educators now work to build students’ fluency in the culture behind the words.

Without the right intervention tools, it is nearly impossible to turn a struggling reader into a successful reader. But with the right program, combined with effective teaching strategies, extensive gains for struggling readers in comprehension, fluency, and spelling are attainable in any district.

When it comes to professional development, Regina Teat believes building the instructional capacity of every instructor and classroom teacher is the most effective use of time and money of any program, especially using grant funding.

“When the money goes away, the capacity and knowledge through good professional development for the teacher remains,” says Teat, Director of Elementary Education and Title I & II for Dorchester County Public Schools, a rural district located on Maryland’s eastern shore.

What is the most effective way to teach educators effective literacy instruction? 

We define effective professional development as that which leads to changes in teaching behavior that in turn lead to optimizing student outcomes. Most teachers are not taught any of the finer points of language structure that have to be taught explicitly to students learning how to read. Teachers also need to be introduced to credible scientific guidance about teaching activities, methods and approaches that are going to work best for certain kinds of students. 

North Hills School District in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, wanted to better engage students in grades 6-12 across its English Language Arts curriculum through a commitment to education technology. 

With the move toward more rigorous digital learning, North Hills piloted StudySync, McGraw-Hill Education’s digital English Language Arts curriculum for grades 6-12, during the 2015-16 school year in two sixth-grade classrooms.

Connecticut elementary schools see boost in books read and Lexile scores after implementing myON

The push toward digital learning in Meriden Public Schools in Connecticut started about six years ago with a simple premise: Learning doesn’t stop when school ends. Superintendent Mark D. Benigni understood that advancing off-campus education would require a strong and engaging digital reading program. Soon he knew he had a winner with myON, which provides anytime, anywhere access to more than 10,000 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, real-time reporting and assessments, and embedded close reading tools.

Curriculum Associates

Improving the writing skills of all 6,500 students emerged as a top priority for the administrators of Mississippi’s Gulfport School District beginning in fall 2014. “We needed a resource that addressed the rigorous writing requirements of the Common Core, as well as one that would allow educators to teach writing in a systematic way,” says Patty Cooper, ELA Curriculum Specialist for Gulfport.

The Champaign (Ill.) Community Unit School District #4 serves more than 9,600 students at 18 school sites, and includes more than 1,400 staff members. Trevor Nadrozny has been the director of curriculum for the last three years and was an elementary school principal in the district for 11 years. When Nadrozny first came to the position, of primary concern was the district’s K5 English language arts curriculum. “We had struggled with reading, where we are dealing with a significant achievement gap,” says Nadrozny.

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