BOSTON — Aug. 13, 2013 — Lexia Learning®, a Rosetta Stone® (NYSE:RST) company, has won a $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Literacy Courseware Challenge to support the creation and testing of a writing component that will be added to the newly released Lexia Reading Core5™ program. Scheduled for Beta release in the fall of 2014, the proposed Lexia Reading Core5 Writing Solution™ will address the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for writing and support writing instruction for students in grades four and five who are performing on or below their grade level as well as remedial students in grades six through eight performing below a fifth-grade level.
“The Gates Foundation’s inspiring commitment to improving educational tools and technology has become one of the industry’s key catalysts for innovation,” said Lexia President Nick Gaehde. “With this grant, Lexia can accelerate the development of our new solution to help students strengthen their literacy and writing skills needed for success in the 21st century.”
Through the courseware content, students will learn how to write narrative passages as well as expository texts to develop skills such as comparison and contrasting, summarizing and paraphrasing, and analyzing an author’s viewpoint or opinion. As in the Core5 reading program, the Writing Solution’s online activities will adapt to student performance in real time, allowing all students to progress along an individualized path, moving ahead as they successfully master skills, and branching automatically when they need additional practice. The combination of this personalized approach and the program’s explicit instruction is designed to enable at-risk students to close the gap faster and on-level or advanced students to continue to progress with limited support from their teacher.
The new writing component will contain a series of online activities that allow students to develop the critical connection between deep reading and writing. Each unit includes three tasks focused on distinct components of the writing process:
• Answering targeted questions in order to identify and highlight key text structure elements and applying note-taking strategies.
• Organizing the key elements into a framework that will serve as a scaffold for writing.
• Drafting, editing, revising and publishing using different tools in a multi-step, scaffolded process.
The program’s activity design helps students understand that writing is an iterative process that involves feedback, reflection and revision. Digital checklists will support students’ self-evaluation and self-editing as well as teacher corrections and peer review. Teachers will also have access to digital scoring rubrics and will be able to provide feedback via audio recordings or written notes. Students’ work will be stored in digital portfolios as a record of their progress over time.
The written pieces can be used in digital or print form for editing and small group instruction. Students will also publish their work to an online newsstand that can be shared with classmates, parents and teachers. Students will reinforce and extend their learning via small-group or independent work using aligned Lexia Skill Builders®, including additional online activities such as writing prompts and Internet links for research.
Gaehde concluded, “Since its founding in 1984, Lexia has based our product development on scientific research and firsthand experience in the classroom. This perspective has informed our approach for the Lexia Reading Core5 Writing Solution product design, providing a unique, technology-based writing solution that will expand upon our research-proven methodology, serving millions of students across the country.”
About Lexia Reading
Established with a promise to improve student literacy through the use of technology, today more than one million students are currently improving their reading proficiency with Lexia. A Rosetta Stone company, Lexia has been nationally recognized and proven effective in six peer-reviewed, research-based outcome studies published in scientific journals such as The Journal of Reading Research and the Bilingual Research Journal. For more information, visit www.lexialearning.com or call 1-800-435-3942.
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