Tag Archive for 'Reading First'

Go for DI and SFA

Robert Slavin and colleagues reported that reading programs that provide extensive professional development on instructional strategies which promote student participation, strengthen phonics competence, and explicitly teach comprehension strategies are the best bets for improving reading achievement. The clearest examples of the programs that led to the highest achievement were Direct Instruction and Success for All.

Writing in the December 2009 issue of the Review of Educational Research, Professor Slavin and colleagues reported the results of their examination of 142 studies. They wanted to determine whether curricula, technology, instructional processes, or combinations of curricula and processes produce greater reading achievement. The curriculum group included core reading programs, such as Reading Street and Open Court Reading. The technology group included programs that employ computers or similar methods such as computer-assisted instruction, multimedia (e.g., Reading Reels, or Writing to Read). The instructional process group included approaches that provide teachers effective strategies for teaching reading, such as Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) and Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition (CIRC). The combined curriculum-and-instructional-process group included programs that function as core curricula and also provide detailed professional development about using instructional strategies, such as Direct Instruction and Success for All. The researchers separated the studies into two groups: those with outcomes at the (a) beginning reading level vs. upper elementary level.
Continue reading ‘Go for DI and SFA’

Reading First advocates

I noticed with interest that there is a Web site entitled “The National Association for Reading First.” What’s it about? Here’s the text from the front page:

HomeMembershipState DataUpcoming EventsUSDOEShare Your VoiceContact UsAbout Us

Our Purpose

To promote the implementation of effective, scientifically-based K-3 reading instructional models related to addressing the literacy crisis in our nation

To promote and disseminate applied scientific research-to-practice information to guide effective reading instructional practices and interventions for all students

To foster a mutually informative relationship between scientific researchers and members of the professional educational community

Our Vision

All educational professionals will provide research-based instruction ensuring literacy success for all students.

Our Mission

Bridge scientific research and classroom practice to increase literacy achievement for all students.

Link to the Web site and explore on your own.

Reminder: I am a member of the Reading First Advisory Committee. I am not, however, speaking for the committee, my fellow panelists, nor the US Department of Education here. This entry simply reports the existence of the identified Web site so that others may know about it and make their own evaluations of it.

RFAC response to RFIIS

The Reading First Advisory Committee’s response to the Reading First Interim Impact Study has been posted on the US Department of Education Web site. The report, which the committee endorsed 20 August 2008, explains the reasons that the committee considers the impact study incapable of guiding Reading First policy. It is available from the Reading First Web site; because it is possible that the location will change, I am making it available here, too.

Reminder: I am a member of the Reading First Advisory Committee. I am not, however, speaking for the committee, my fellow panelists, nor the US Department of Education here. Note, however, that the committee endorsed this document in a public meeting.

Critique of RF impact study

The Reading First Federal Advisory Committee has prepared a document entitled “Response to the Reading First Impact Study Interim Report” and has sent it to US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. It should be appearing in the next few days for public download on the Web page that reports the committee’s actions.

This is the report that I described in a post last May and about which I had another post 5 May.

Reminder: I am a member of the Reading First federal advisory committee. I am not, however, speaking for the committee, my fellow panelists, nor the US Department of Education here. Note, however, that the committee publicly endorsed this document in a meeting held last week.

Reading First national conference

People at RF '08
Wrapping up ’08 RF conference

As reported previously, I had the pleasure of attending the Fifth Annual Reading First National Conference. I found it a very impressive event. Although I really am flattered to be among the folks shown in the accompanying photo (l-f: Donna Scanlon, Joe Conaty, Frank Vellutino, and Katherine Mitchell), I think my favorite part of the event was hearing what the teachers, coaches, and administrators had to say.

When I hear most other folks talk about reading, they use a very different language; they talk about book tubs, word walls, high-interest books, round-robin reading, and such. When I talk with a select few colleagues about reading instruction, I am accustomed to talking about students’ performance on specific measures of component skills, altering teaching demonstrations (e.g., pacing), features of instructional presentations, scaffolding instruction systematically, and etc. For the first time in my life, I was in a place where literally 1000s of people were talking the way I am accustomed to being able to talk with only a few colleagues.

The teachers, coaches, principals, and others whom I met in Nashville know their stuff! Not only that, they know that they can help each other by collaborating using their shared language. There are powerful teams capable of excellent reading instruction scattered around the US now. They know they can teach kids to read. They have done it.

As Joe Conaty pointed out in his closing remarks, no one can take away from those teams what they now know how to do. Remembering this really makes my emotional cup full to overflowing.

Previous posts about the conference: Laura Bush’s comments (29 July 2008); pin map (28 July 2008); overview (28 July 2008).

Laura Bush’s comments on RF

First Lady Laura Bush spoke to the Reading First conference attendees 29 July in Nashville (TN, US). Following introductory comments by Raymond Simon, US Deputy Secretary of Education, who called for “More Reading First, not less,” Mrs. Bush addressed about 5500 people for about 10 minutes.

After restating the importance of reading in contemporary society, the rationale for evidence-based reading instruction, and the importance of data-based education, Mrs. Bush cited examples of successes in Reading First schools (interrupted by cheers and applause from the representatives of those schools and educators affiliated with them who were in the audience). She ended her comments with a call for restoration of funding of the Reading First program:
Continue reading ‘Laura Bush’s comments on RF’

RF pin map

The pin map
The map of pins

As promised, here’s an image of the US map showing pins placed to show the locations of people attending the conference. The two unidentified pinners waited patiently for their turn to insert their pins. Just out of view to the right, there were several more attendees waiting their turns. A larger copy of the image will open if you click on this thumbnail.

Reading First national conference

Despite the distressing recent news about funding for the US Reading First program, the annual conference is in full swing and there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for the program here at the site in Nashville (TN, US). As I understand, there are >5000 educators from all around the US who have registered for the conference (there’s a map with pins for sites that I plan to photograph and publish here), and the teachers and administrators (coaches, principals, reading specialists) with whom I’ve spoken seem committed to making sure they know what to do to ensure that students learn to read.

Registration for the conference is free, and that price of admission permits one to attend sessions delivered by people such as Anita Archer, Frances Bessellieu, Nell Duke, Stu Greenberg, Annemieke Golly, Jan Hasbrouck, Roxanne Hudson, Mike McKenna, Maddie McKeown, Stan Paine, Tin Shanahan, Sharon Walpole, dozens of others. Who wouldn’t be willing to give up a few days of summer vacation to attend this conference?

Mrs. Laura Bush is slated to speak in a few minutes, so the local TV stations are here in force. There are several vans with antennae parked right outside my hotel room.

Obligatory reminder: I’m a member of the Reading First Advisory Committee, but my statements here are my own. They do not reflect the views of the committee or of other members of the committee.




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