Don’t wait: The importance of early dyslexia intervention

A learning disorder that can impact a child’s ability to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols—but that doesn’t affect general intelligence—dyslexia often goes unnoticed until a student displays significant struggles with reading and/or writing. The most common of all neuro-cognitive disorders, dyslexia impacts about 20 percent of the US population and represents 80-90 percent percent of all individuals who have learning disabilities.

In some cases, a dyslexia diagnosis doesn’t happen until a student is in second grade, with some cases going unnoticed until the learner is already in high school. With research showing that interventions are the most effective when they are done in kindergarten and first grade, the earlier the intervention the better.

To avoid an even bigger learning gap, we need to take a closer look at early identification, the early warning signs to look for, and what steps to take if you suspect dyslexia. …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

South Carolina Adds Classworks® Universal Screener to State-approved Literacy Screener List

Duluth, GA – Classworks Universal Screener for Reading, an NCII-validated formal assessment used to measure grade-level readiness, is approved by South Carolina as a high-quality Literacy Screener. The best-in-class academic screener is on the  approved list for the 2022-23 school year.

In 2019, South Carolina implemented Act 213, requiring all districts to implement Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). When implemented effectively, an MTSS framework addresses the whole child, including students’ academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs. To support school districts in choosing high-quality resources to support MTSS, the state provided a list of approved screeners. 

“Classworks is a perfect fit for the South Carolina Literacy List list due to the validity and reliability of our widely-adopted screening assessment,” notes Melissa Sinunu, Classworks President and Chief Operating Officer. “As an all-in-one MTSS solution, we share South Carolina’s vision to address the needs of the whole child. We look forward to working closely with South Carolina districts to achieve that goal using Classworks. Our platform makes it simple for teachers and effective for students.”…Read More

Winsor Learning Releases Free Professional Development Resource in Response to Steep Declines in National Reading Scores

MINNEAPOLIS (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In the wake of devastating recent news about the nation’s reading test scores, Minnesota-based Winsor Learning, the nation’s leading expert and provider of science-based reading instruction and teacher training, announced the release of a new and entirely free professional development resource for administrators and teachers. The 90-minute Science of Reading-based training is now available for download at no cost to teachers, administrators, tutors, and other teachers of reading.

To download the resource, go to: https://members.winsorlearning.com/5-strategies-for-teachers/

The most recent results of National Association of Education Progress (NAEP) testing indicate performance levels of 9-year-olds in math and reading dropping to levels not seen in more than two decades. The declines include nearly all races and income levels and are the most steep for at-risk and already lower-performing students.…Read More

Arizona Department of Education Names 95 Percent Group an Approved K-3 Reading Improvement Program

Lincolnshire, Ill. – 95 Percent Group LLC, a leading provider of literacy solutions and instructional strategies for K-12 schools nationwide, announced today that the Arizona Department of Education approved its 95 Phonics Core Program™ as a supplemental literacy curriculum and its Phonological Awareness Lessons, Phonics Lesson Library™ and Phonics Chip Kit as early literacy intervention resources. Schools in Arizona can now find 95 Percent Group’s evidence-based products on their state list of reading improvement programs and begin using them immediately. 

The approval was based upon new, state-reviewed efficacy research confirming that 95 Percent Group’s foundational reading products meet Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Level 1-3 evidence requirement for reading instruction. The criteria were established by the Arizona Department of Education as part of its Move On When Reading initiative, an effort to provide all readers with specific, targeted instruction and interventions so that they are reading at or above grade level by the end of the 3rd grade. 

“95 Percent Group believes that evidence-based reading instruction is essential in schools. We have long invested in research that demonstrates the efficacy of our offerings,” said Brad Lindaas, Chief Executive Officer. “The Arizona Department of Education has been a key partner for us for many years, and today’s news will only strengthen our ability to support educators state-wide in promoting the development of early reading skills for all students. With this development, we expect it will be easier for more districts in Arizona to learn about and benefit from our evidence-based products,” he added. …Read More

How to educate in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Just for a moment, think about your physical environment. Perhaps you’re taking your lunch break in your car that has satellite radio and reading this article on a mobile device. Maybe you’re at home on your computer where you’ve got another browser tab open, creating a meeting agenda in Google Drive to share with your colleagues. 

Evidence that we’re in the middle of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is all around us. From the mobile device that can connect you via FaceTime or Slack with co-workers worldwide to cloud computing, we operate in a time and space marked by its reliance on artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data, the Internet of Things, and automation.

As individuals interested in empowering the next generation of young people to succeed, it is time to ensure that the field of education is appropriately responding to the 4IR, which has impacted nearly every industry in recent years. The question, then, is how can we ensure that we educate students to succeed in a world dominated by the 4IR?…Read More

3 reasons literacy is essential in child development

Literacy is a fundamental element of a child’s development. Literacy means much more than just knowing how to read a book. It can also impact the ability for a child to learn other subjects, to understand road signs when driving or crossing the street, and can be a major contributor to a child living a fulfilling life into adulthood.

Despite its importance, two out of every 10 children enter kindergarten with skills two to three years lower than their grade level, and another two start school with a one-year disadvantage, according to the Children’s Reading Foundation. Students who are behind typically make only one year’s worth of progress at each grade level, keeping them behind their classmates throughout school and making them more likely to repeat grades, according to ProLiteracy.org.

Today, literacy is evolving into much more than the ability to read the newspaper or the latest bestseller. It is linked to things like graduation rates, socio-economic status, and even the development of social-emotional skills like empathy. …Read More

More than 200,000 Students and Educators Across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Use Lexia Learning’s Programs to Boost Literacy Rates

BOSTON – During the 2021-22 school year, Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, supported over 200,000 students and teachers throughout Massachusetts with instructional and professional learning programs. Hundreds of schools, ranging from Boston Public to the small coastal town of Ipswich and the diverse city of Brockton, used Lexia’s literacy offerings to help learners read and speak with confidence.

More than 166,600 students across 939 schools used Lexia® Core5® Reading (Core5) to drive progress in their literacy learning during the school year. Core5 provides students in prekindergarten through fifth grade with explicit, systematic instruction through personalized learning paths in six areas of reading. Progress reports revealed significant results. Among students meeting usage targets, the percentage working on skills two or more grades below their grade level was reduced from 18% to 4%. The percentage working on or above grade level increased from 48% to 87%.

Massachusetts educators also used Lexia products to expand their teaching skills. More than 1,500 teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators participated in professional learning sessions provided by the Lexia LETRS ® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) suite of programs. Lexia LETRS provides educators with deep knowledge and develops their expertise in literacy and language instruction based on the science of reading. Almost all the respondents (94%) in Lexia’s feedback survey said that the programs enhanced their ability to use research-based practices. More importantly, 95% said they’d be able to apply the skills and concepts they’d learned.…Read More

SEL is critical–but teachers rarely have time to address it

While teachers know their students need help developing social emotional skills, they rarely have time or adequate training to focus on them in the classroom, according to a new survey from ReadTheory, an edtech company that helps students build reading comprehension skills.

The survey of nearly 1,700 teachers offers insights into the challenges of implementing social emotional learning (SEL) programs in today’s tumultuous educational environment.

In the wake of the disruption of the pandemic, U.S. students are struggling. In 2021, the Center for Disease Control revealed that 37 percent of high school students reported poor mental health during the pandemic, while 44 percent said they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year. …Read More