8 predictions about literacy learning in 2023

In the coming year and beyond, educators and students will continue to deal with fallout from the pandemic, but as they look for effective ways to help students become proficient readers, instructional practices based in the science of reading will become more widely used.

At the same time, teachers will focus on assessing individual students to understand their unique learning needs. Here are eight predictions about changes coming to the reading classroom in the coming months.

1. Students who were in grades K-3 during pandemic shutdowns may be most affected.…Read More

Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education Announce New Resources Addressing Counterfeit Drug Crisis

Charlotte, NC — Discovery Education and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are now offering educators new digital resources to address the dangers of counterfeit drugs. The new array of science-based lesson plan and videos equip students in grades 9–12 with an understanding of what counterfeit drugs are and why they are so harmful to individuals and communities.  

The resources join other powerful anti-drug resources available through Operation Prevention, a collaboration between DEA and Discovery Education. Designed to help prevent substance misuse in schools nationwide, Operation Prevention educates students about the science behind addiction, and its impact on the brain and body. The latest content also supports the One Pill Can Kill initiative from DEA, which raises awareness about fake pills that are falsely marketed as legitimate prescription pills. 

Research by UCLA Health shows that in 2020, the teen death rate due to drug overdose doubled and grew by another 20% in 2021. The sharp increase is, in part, attributed to teens purchasing via distributors on social media platforms what they believe to be prescription drugs but instead are counterfeit drugs laced with fentanyl. DEA reports that in 2022 more than 9.5 million fake pills were seized, more than the previous two years combined.  …Read More

6 tips for tech-enabled instruction in the early literacy classroom

There are plenty of reasons that K–3 teachers tend to be less likely than their middle and high school peers to use technology in the classroom. From their focus on hands-on learning to a lack of district-provided devices in the lower grades, the reasons are both pedagogical and budgetary. However, by incorporating technology into their classrooms, K–3 teachers can add flexibility and personalization to their instruction—and even get some of their own time back.

That said, not all technology is created equal, and even well-made tools can be counterproductive when used improperly. Here are a few tips and tricks for integrating technology into your reading lessons.

1. Get to know the tech you already have.…Read More

Curriculum Associates Names 31 Exemplar Teachers to Its 2023 Class of Extraordinary Educators™

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass.—Curriculum Associates recently named its 2023 class of Extraordinary Educators, an annual program that celebrates and connects exemplar teachers in Grades K–8 from around the country. Representing 25 different states, this year’s 31 selected teachers all exhibit best-in-class use of i-Ready, i-Ready Classroom Mathematics, and/or Ready, illustrate growth and achievement via formal assessments, demonstrate innovation and engagement practices for students, are evangelists for high expectations and student achievement, are champions of equity, and have been teaching for at least two years.

“Teachers are true rockstars,” said Emily McCann, vice president of educator community at Curriculum Associates. “This year’s Extraordinary Educators are no exception – they were chosen from hundreds of nominations and represent the best of the best. We are happy to recognize and celebrate these educators’ amazing work and achievements, as well as provide them with ongoing professional learning and networking opportunities to help them continue to grow their craft.”

With nearly 340 years of combined teaching experience, this year’s class of Extraordinary Educators includes classroom teachers, special education teachers, and instructional specialists. All of the educators were ultimately selected by an advisory board featuring leaders from Curriculum Associates, previously inducted Extraordinary Educators, and a college student pursuing a degree in urban education.…Read More

New school year shows continued signs of academic rebounding

Post-pandemic academic achievement is showing encouraging signs of improvement, although not evenly across school years, according to NWEA, a nonprofit, research and educational services organization serving K-12 students.

The new research findings are based on fall 2022 assessment data from nearly 7 million US students in grades 3-8.

The new report is part of NWEA’s ongoing research effort to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted student achievement in reading and math. …Read More

Foundational literacy is key to reversing post-COVID reading declines

Our first look at long-term trends in reading and math assessments since the pandemic began affirm what many education professionals were anticipating. 

The National Association for Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” recently issued its signature report, which revealed that students assessed during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced significant declines in both mathematics and reading. NAEP’s 2022 data shows that “average scores at both grades [eighth and fourth] were not significantly different in comparison to the first reading assessment [20 years prior] in 1992.”

And while reading score declines as measured by various student assessments during COVID-19 are alarming, they are not unexpected given the profound obstacles students have faced.…Read More

5 science lessons that foster students’ social-emotional growth

It’s been said, “If a child can do advanced math, speak three languages, or receive top grades, but can’t manage their emotions, practice conflict resolution, or handle stress, none of that other stuff is really going to matter.

As an educator, I’ve witnessed the truth of this statement firsthand. Whether they’re pursuing a future career or simply playing on a school sports team, it’s imperative that students know how to work together with the people around them. But lessons on social-emotional learning aren’t typically found in a classroom syllabus. So, how do we as educators actively foster these qualities in our students?   

SEL skills can be implemented into any content area; it just takes a little intentionality and planning. By including aspects of SEL in hands-on, inquiry-based activities, we can help students develop these skills organically. Here are just a few science lessons where we intentionally taught social-emotional skills:          …Read More

Curriculum Associates Launches Magnetic Reading™ Foundations for K–2, Expanding the Magnetic Reading Program to Support Grade-Level Success for K–5 Students

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass.—Curriculum Associates recently expanded Magnetic Reading K–5 with the launch of Magnetic Reading Foundations for Grades K–2. This new program, along with the recently released Magnetic Reading for Grades 3–5, form an intuitive, systematic approach to instruction with rich, engaging texts that draw students to the center of learning.

Magnetic Reading is built specifically and intentionally for the ages and stages of all students to ensure they get the right support succeeding as a grade-level reader: a focus on the building blocks of reading for the youngest learners and an emphasis on comprehension and gaining insight into the world for older students.

Magnetic Reading Foundations provides teachers with the resources needed to deliver explicit, systematic foundational skills instruction. Rooted in the Science of Reading, the program uses research-based routines and engaging decodable texts to support students’ reading development.…Read More

Minnesota’s South Washington County Schools Selects the Discovery Education’s Suite of Digital Services to Support Science Instruction in Grades K-8

Charlotte, NC —Minnesota’s South Washington County (SoWashCo) Schools today announced a new partnership with Discovery Education supporting science education in K-8 classrooms across the district. Through this multi-year collaboration, educators and students in the district’s elementary and middle schools will return to the classroom this fall with access to award-winning digital resources supporting science instruction. These new resources will drive the development of students’ critical thinking skills and create opportunities for the study of scientific mysteries and the development of design solutions. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place.

SoWashCo Schools is a suburban district located southeast of St. Paul and serves students across 16 elementary schools, 4 middle schools and three traditional high schools. The district spans 84 square miles and is located near 3M Global Headquarters, a long-time partner of Discovery Education.

Seeking a digital solution that would meet both the district’s goals for K-8 science education and align to the new Minnesota Science and Native American standards, SoWashCo Schools reviewed several viable options. Following careful review, SoWashCo Schools selected the following Discovery Education services for use across its elementary and middle schools:…Read More

New Research from Curriculum Associates: Student Achievement Shows Concerns and Bright Spots in Recovery—More Students Are Behind in Phonics but Some Schools Are Exceeding Expectations

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. — While more students are falling behind in foundational reading skills, some schools buck the trend with positive practice in the pandemic’s wake, according to new research released by Curriculum Associates today. 

The first report, The State of Student Learning in  2022, analyzes reading and mathematics data gathered from nearly two million Grades 1–8 students during the 2021–2022 school year via the edtech company’s i-Ready Assessment tool. In a second report, Keys to Unlocking Success, Curriculum Associates identified 301 schools across the country at which students are exceeding learning expectations and conducted research to understand how school leaders are ushering their students and schools toward recovery.  

“We’re beginning the third full academic year since the pandemic began, and many school communities are still grappling with the impact of the massive 2020 disruptions,” said Dr. Kristen Huff, vice president of assessment and research at Curriculum Associates. “The question is no longer if or howthe pandemic affected student learning, it is if and how it can recover. It is critical to grow our understanding of what measurable shifts have occurred in student learning as we have more distance from 2020 and more investment in recovery efforts.” …Read More