Schools have struggled to add learning time after COVID–here’s how one district did it

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It was just after 2:30 p.m. on a recent Wednesday, and the school stage hadn’t yet transformed into a reading room.

Christopher VanderKuyl, an assistant principal in Chicago’s west suburbs, hurriedly dragged brown folding chairs across the wood floor. He made a mental note to figure out who’d rearranged the furniture.…Read More

Ello, World’s Most Advanced AI Reading Coach Recognized by Common Sense Media as Top AI Tool

SAN FRANCISCO (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ello, developer of the world’s most advanced AI reading coach, announced today that Common Sense Media rated the Ello app as one of its top 10 AI products for ethical use, transparency, safety and impact.

Ello received an overall ranking of 4 out of 5 and 5 out of 5 for privacy and kids’ safety in Common Sense Media’s first-ever AI-ratings system. Common Sense Media recognized Ello as a company that displayed Responsible AI practices, especially its machine learning fairness that contributed to the app’s high rating. Ello was also recognized for the unique design of its AI reading tutor, the selection of diverse and engaging books that it offers, and the positive ways the AI tutor motivates young, struggling readers. Ello’s detailed Participatory Disclosures provided a strong basis for its positive evaluation against the “ Common Sense AI Principles,” the AI ratings system, developed with input from a range of AI experts. To read more about Common Sense’s AI rating and review of Ello, please visit

“Ello worked directly with parents, children and educators to build our AI reading tutor to ensure the experience is educational and safe while also addressing diversity and representation in children’s reading,” said Dr. Elizabeth Adams, co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of Ello. “Nearly 70% of American children read behind grade level, and the latest AI technology can help address this issue by providing 1:1 reading support while still putting privacy and safety of kids first. We are honored that Common Sense Media recognized Ello as a responsible AI application.”…Read More

Using tech to teach emerging readers high frequency words

Key points:

If you were to poll an audience of educators–classroom teachers, literacy specialists, reading researchers, and university professors–about whether high frequency words should be taught in early elementary, the resounding answer would be YES. These words, after all, are important to students’ ultimate reading success.

The nuances of teaching high frequency words in early elementary would only arise around how these words should be taught.…Read More

Fall River Announces Partnership With Ignite Reading’s Virtual, One-To-One Tutoring Program That’s Doubled Reading Growth For Students Nationwide

FALL RIVER – Fall River Public Schools announced an innovative new partnership with Ignite Reading to deliver virtual, one-to-one literacy tutoring for 300 first grade students in six schools this fall. Nationally, Ignite Reading’s students have recorded an average of over two weeks of reading progress per week, with no achievement gap for students of color, students with IEPs, multilingual learners, or students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. 

Ignite Reading officials joined Fall River leaders and students at Mary L. Fonseca Elementary today to showcase the nationally recognized program. The demonstration was followed by a Q&A session. Ignite Reading is now serving students in 60 schools across the commonwealth. 

“We’re thrilled to announce a new innovative collaboration with Ignite Reading. Given how participating students have bolstered their foundational reading skills in Massachusetts and nationally with Ignite Reading, we are optimistic that this program will supercharge literacy progress in Fall River,” said Stephanie Kennedy, Director of English Language Arts K-12 of Fall River Public Schools.…Read More

Schoolwork shouldn’t double as screentime

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Children get one childhood, and time is one of the most precious resources we have in schools. For these reasons, I am increasingly frustrated that I have next to no power to stop my own children from wasting their time in front of a computer screen.

That’s because screens are where they are expected to access and complete their schoolwork and homework. My children are assigned to watch online videos and answer questions about them in an online form. Their grades reflect their responses.  …Read More

Cumberland County Schools Recognized in 2023 K-12 Hero Awards for Implementation of S.P.I.R.E. Reading Program

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ —  EPS  School Specialty, the leading provider of Pre K–12 supplemental literacy solutions, is pleased to announce that Catherine LeCleir-Salas, K–5 Instructional Specialist at Cumberland County Public Schools, was named a  finalist in the  2023 eSchool K–12 Hero Awards for her outstanding implementation of S.P.I.R.E., an EPS reading intervention program based in the Science of Reading.

“As staff and students at Cumberland County Schools look to the future, Catherine DeCleir-Salas’ dynamic legacy as a trailblazing educator will undoubtedly continue to shape their progress and ensure their success,” said Janine Walker-Caffrey, the Chief Product Officer at EPS. “LeCleir-Salas’ remarkable ability to turn challenges into opportunities, unite educators, and equip students with the tools they need makes her more than deserving of this award.”

The K–12 Hero Awards is a platform dedicated to recognizing and celebrating exceptional educators nationwide, and LeCleir-Salas’ approach is representative of the exceptional educators honored within the program. Rooted in the Orton-Gillingham methodology, S.P.I.R.E. aligns with the North Carolina Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021 and supports beginning readers, striving readers, and students with dyslexia. As the district transitioned to S.P.I.R.E., DeCleir-Salas was a constant source of support and encouragement for educators, caregivers, and students—dedicated to creating a holistic environment where every learner can thrive. As a result of DeCleir-Salas’ efforts, S.P.I.R.E. achieved tremendous success, boasting a teacher participation rate of 85 to 90 percent.…Read More

Teacher helps implement the science of reading ‘one bite at a time’

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Indiana is in the midst of an enormous undertaking to improve literacy rates. The approach: Align state standards, curriculum, and teacher training programs with practices rooted in the science of reading, which emphasizes phonics to help students decode words.

Literacy coach Mika Frame has a memorable mantra for accomplishing big goals. …Read More

5 strategies to ignite student engagement

Key points:

When you think of education, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For some, it might be a pile of homework or a stack of books that need reading. Others may recall the flashcards they used to memorize specific formulas or expand their vocabulary. All these examples have a place in the learning ecosystem, but true education should be about so much more. Student learning should involve curiosity, discovery, and the opportunity to experiment with a variety of different solutions. To put it more simply: true education requires student engagement.

Every teacher hopes to ignite, empower, and engage the students who walk through their classroom door. Ample research has shown that student engagement is crucial to overall learning and long-term success. However, implementing this is easier said than done. To better ignite student curiosity and interest, teachers should consider trying one of these strategies that help make student engagement second nature:…Read More

What students are reading

Key points:

About five years ago, my New Year’s resolution was to read all the books on my bookshelf I’d never managed to crack. While that resolution was a complete failure (I still have unread books on my shelf), it reignited my love of reading.

Each year, I document my #BritReads reading journey on my social media channels. This year, I decided to bring #BritReads to life with my close family and friends. In lieu of a Christmas present, I’m buying each of them four books a year – books I’ve read or those that are at the top of my list to read. Rather than a one-size-fits-all #BritReads Book Club, I’m curating books just for each of them. For example, my Christmas movie-loving, hopeless-romantic childhood friend will not get my favorite thriller or whodunit!…Read More

5 steps to help students with reading-based learning differences

Key points:

Reading-based learning differences such as dyslexia can pose unique challenges for students in school. These challenges, however, aren’t indicative of a student’s intelligence or potential. With understanding and tailored approaches, educators can create a supportive environment for these learners.

Here are five critical steps to support students with reading-based learning differences:…Read More