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Massachusetts Literacy First. Managing the Literacy Block for Student Success Massachusetts Reading First July 16, 2008. Create Success . New teacher induction Mid-course correction Whole school reflection. What does the Research Say?. Reid Lyon Video.

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massachusetts literacy first

Massachusetts Literacy First

Managing the Literacy Block for Student Success

Massachusetts Reading First

July 16, 2008

create success
Create Success
  • New teacher induction
  • Mid-course correction
  • Whole school reflection

From the “science of reading”

From effective schools

Information about the individual components of instruction and assessment that are most effective in raising literacy levels

Information about leadership, organizational, and classroom practices that are most effective in raising literacy levels

In order to effectively prevent early reading difficulties, we need to apply two kinds of knowledge

Understanding, and Motivation to Apply

Torgesen, 2008

  • Perfect your practice with purpose,preparation, and pace
  • Differentiate instruction
  • Efficiently manage all aspects of the classroom
  • Optimize learning of all components
  • Optimize time and talent
  • Perfect your practice with purpose, preparation, and pace
  • Optimize time and talent
  • Differentiate instruction
  • Efficiently manage all aspects of the classroom
  • Optimize learning of all components
720 or bust

720 or bust!

Good is the enemy of great!

J. Collins

good teachers matter
Good Teachers Matter

“By our estimates from Texas schools, having an above average teacher for five years running can completely close

the average gap between low-income students and others.”John Kain & Eric Hanushek

Schmoker, 2006. (p 9)


Impact of Teacher Effectiveness on Student AchievementKati Haycock (2005) uses the findings of this study and others by Sanders and Horn (1994).

Students in the classes of teachers classified as most effective can be expected to gain about 52%ile points in their achievement over a year. Classroom Management That Works, Robert J. Marzano. Adapted from J. Robinson.

professional development
Professional Development

Teachers, like other professionals, can get more and more effective:

  • Participate in school/district workshops/grade level meetings
  • Work with school-based coaches
  • Take charge of your own learning
    • Read – professional books, journals
    • Help create a professional learning community
    • Take courses

Schmoker, 2006

outstanding teachers
Outstanding Teachers
  • Create a literate environment
  • Present intentional instruction and provide practice
  • Choose texts from a variety of materials
  • Link reading and writing activities
outstanding teachers cont
Outstanding Teachers cont…
  • Create many opportunities for reading
  • Adjust instruction to meet students’ needs
  • Encourage children’s monitoring of understanding
  • Completely manage activities, behaviors, and classroom resources
examine your groove monitor your groove
Examine your “groove”Monitor your “groove”

Are you in the groove?

  • Stay curious
  • Keep learning
  • Perfect your practice with purpose,preparation, and pace
  • Differentiate instruction
  • Efficiently manage all aspects of the classroom
  • Optimize learning of all components
  • Optimize time and talent

Differentiation Scheme:



Independent worksheets or small group activities-PA, Phonics

Independent reading, small group activities, vocabulary, comprehension


Instruction Managed by:

Small group or whole class instruction in PA, Phonics

Teacher led discussion, question asking, vocabulary


Torgesen, 2008


Basic Findings:

Children who began first grade with below-average letter-word reading skills demonstrated greater improvement with greater amounts of time in explicit, teacher managed, code-focused instruction.

Children with above-average vocabulary and word-reading scores at the start of the school year made greater gains in reading skill when they spent more time throughout the year in child-managed meaning-focused instruction (such as independent reading).

Torgesen, 2008

differentiation matters
Differentiation Matters

Classrooms that differentiated instruction appropriately produced higher overall reading growth.

Torgesen, 2008

differentiated instruction

Using assessment data to plan instruction

Teaching targeted small groups

Using flexible grouping patterns

Matching text level to student ability

Tailoring independent projects to student ability

Differentiated Instruction
differentiated instruction19
Differentiated Instruction
  • Non-Examples
    • Using only whole class instruction
    • Using small groups that never change
    • Using the same reading text with all students
    • Using the same independent seatwork assignments for the entire class
students reading at grade level
Students Reading at Grade Level

Researched-Based Comprehensive Reading Program for All Students

Research-Based, In-Class Interventions

Research-Based, School-Designed Interventions

System for Individual Solutions

adapted from J. Robinson

tiered model of reading instruction
Tiered Model of Reading Instruction
  • Who: ALL students
  • What: Prevention/problem-solving model of reading instruction
  • When: 90-minute literacy block & (in some cases) additional 30 minutes of targeted reading intervention instruction
  • Where: All K-3 classrooms & other school-designated learning spaces
tiered model continued
Tiered Model continued…
  • Why: Differentiated instruction: early identification and intervention for students at-risk for reading difficulties; challenging work for all students
  • How: Tiers of scientifically-based reading instruction, professional development, assessment, grade-level data meetings, teacher & administrator collaboration

Assessment informs your instruction.

organizing and managing learning centers small groups
Organizing and Managing Learning Centers/Small Groups
  • Group children for specific purposes, using formal and informal assessment data.
  • Plan daily lessons and select curriculum materials and learning activities that reinforce instruction.
  • Develop a daily schedule.
  • Create a management system to establish easy to follow routines.
  • Monitor the activities of all the children.
  • Continually evaluate children’s progress and regularly regroup children to address their instructional needs.
centers interventions

Match reading lesson and student needs

Extra needed practice on taught skills (engaging, fun)

Skills and strategies from this week’s lesson

Centers & Interventions
centers interventions25
Centers & Interventions


  • 3-5 students in group
  • Systematic & explicit
  • Paced to match student’s skill level
  • Provide multiple opportunities to respond
  • Provide immediate corrective feedback
  • Perfect your practice with purpose,preparation, and pace
  • Differentiate instruction
  • Efficiently manage all aspects of the classroom
  • Optimize learning of all components
  • Optimize time and talent
excellent classroom management begin with the end in mind
Excellent Classroom Management – Begin with the End in Mind
  • Effective and consistent routines/signals
  • Bell to bell instruction
  • Entry and exit procedures
  • Transition procedures
  • Independent work, small group, & materials procedures
  • Efficient traffic routes/scanning ease
magic in 90 minutes
Magic in 90 Minutes


You add the rest

Place, group, teach, and assess each lesson from the Teacher’s Guide

Excellent Classroom Management



100% Engagement

Enough added practice for mastery

Timely Error Correction



excellent classroom management
Excellent Classroom Management
  • Effective and consistent routines :
    • Consistent signal for attention
    • Entry procedure and task that uses lesson reading skills
    • Transition procedures/routines
    • Independent work procedures
    • Materials procedures
    • Small group procedures
    • Exit procedures from today’s lesson
upon entering
Write 6 words from the selection on oceans.

Tell what they mean in sentences and pictures

Write 3 questions about yesterday’s work.

Be prepared to ask them of your partner



Upon Entering

Optimize Your View/Traffic Patterns adapted from J. Robinson








  • Perfect your practice with purpose,preparation, and pace
  • Differentiate instruction
  • Efficiently manage all aspects of the classroom
  • Optimize learning of all components
  • Optimize time and talent
what can fluent readers do
What Can Fluent Readers Do?
  • Read every letter in every word
  • Read text with 96% accuracy (independent)
  • Apply syllabication strategies to divide lengthy words with little conscious analysis.
  • Read fluently with adequate speed, phrasing, intonation; their reading sounds like they’re speaking.
  • Rely little on contextual information because word recognition is rapid, automatic and efficient.
  • Construct meaning as they read/make connections.
the four part processor

Context Processor

Meaning Processor

letter memory

speechsound system

Phonological Processor

Orthographic Processor


The Four Part Processor

background information

sentence context



speech output

reading input

writing output

brain functional neuroanatomy
Brain: Functional Neuroanatomy
  • Each processing system operates in a distinct region of the left brain.
  • Rapid communication among regions is essential.
  • Reading problems can originate in one or several systems.
  • All systems must be educated

Moats, 2005

the phonological processor
The Phonological Processor

Processes the speech sound system.

We must teach:

  • Identification, comparison, and manipulation of sounds
  • Pronunciation of sounds and words
  • Memory for sounds and words
  • Links between sounds, spellings, and meanings

Moats, 2005

the orthographic processor
The Orthographic Processor

Processes letters, letter patterns, and whole words.

We must teach:

  • Recognition and formation of letters
  • Association of letters with sounds
  • Attention to letter sequences and patterns
  • Fluent recognition of whole words
  • Recall of letters for spelling

Moats, 2005

the meaning processor
The Meaning Processor

We store word meanings in relation to:

  • Other words
  • Categories and concepts
  • Examples of word use in context
  • The sounds, spelling, and syllables
  • Meaningful parts

We must teach vocabulary with attention to all these areas.

Moats, 2005

the context processor self correction device
The Context Processor(self-correction device)

Interprets words we have heard, named, or partially identified, with reference to:

  • Language
  • Experience
  • Knowledge of the concepts

We teach the background that children need to interpret what they read.

Moats, 2005

reading comprehension requires more than knowledge of words
Reading Comprehension REQUIRES More than Knowledge of Words

“By age three, children from privileged families have heard 30 million more words than children from poor families. By kindergarten the gap is even greater. The consequences are catastrophic. Among all children, comprehension scores are stagnant. Convincing research tells us that key to both problems is to systematically build children’s vocabulary, fluency and domain knowledge.”

-E.D. Hirsch

  • Perfect your practice with purpose,preparation, and pace
  • Differentiate instruction
  • Efficiently manage all aspects of the classroom
  • Optimize learning of all components
  • Optimize time and talent
the first 6 weeks of school adapted from responsive classroom
The First 6 Weeks of Schooladapted from Responsive Classroom
  • Investment in time, energy, and efficiency
  • Payoff in freedom to optimize learning, talent, and time
  • A slow and purposeful beginning results in a competent, successful, cohesive classroom culture – one that supports success for all
  • DIBELS – Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (3X for benchmarks)
  • GRADE – Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (2X for outcomes/3X for monitoring progress)
  • Other – district/school/program benchmarks
  • Progress monitoring as needed
  • Other diagnostics as needed
the barriers
The Barriers



All that we know

and all that we







Much of what enters our Sensory Memory results in no permanent record. Too many things to attend to and encode

Background knowledge, academic and nonacademic

The quality and type of processing that occurs in working memory that dictates whether that information makes it to permanent memory

Marzano, 2004

three interacting dynamics of working memory
Three Interacting Dynamics of Working Memory
  • Strength of Memory Trace: The more times we meaningfully engage information in working memory, the higher the probability that it will be embedded in permanent memory.
  • Depth of Processing: Thinking deeper about a concept adds detail to our understanding of information.
  • Elaboration: The variety of associations we make with information.

Marzano, 2004

classroom instruction
Classroom Instruction
  • Think about the BIG IDEA (concept).
  • Make connections to what they know, what they’ll learn and how it affects their lives.
  • Create opportunities for students to maintain the understanding of the BIG IDEA.
  • Words on the wall connected to BIG IDEA (remember purpose).
  • PROTOCOL for discussions (subskills).
classroom ideals
Classroom Ideals
  • Teach the academic routines with the academic curriculum.
  • Pay attention to how students learn as well as what they learn.
  • Students working together learn more – more student talk/less teacher talk.
  • The skills you teach through routines are necessary for learning.
  • Know your students as well as your content.
  • Make every effort to connect with students’ families.
  • Model behaviors – social and academic every day.
  • Respect your profession and your place as a professional.
a call to action
A Call to Action

“Our understanding of ‘what works’ in reading is dynamic and fluid, subject to ongoing review and assessment through quality research. . . . We encourage all teachers to explore the research, open their minds to changes in their instructional practice, and take up the challenge of helping all children become successful readers.”

- National Institute for Literacy, 2001, p. iii, cited in J. Robinson, 2004.

  • GRADE Resource Library

Denton, P. & Kriete, R. (2000). The first six weeks of school. Greenfield, MA: The Northeast Foundation for Children.

Gamse, B. C, Bloom, H. S., Kemple, J. J., Jacob, R. T. (2008). Reading First Impact Study: Interim Report (NCEE 2008-4016). Washington, DC:National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U S department of Education.

Hirsch, E.D. (2003). Reading comprehension requires knowledge – of words and the world. American Educator, Spring, 10 – 29.

Marzano, R. (2004). Building background knowledge for academic achievement: Research on what works in schools. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Moats, L. (2005). Language essentials for teachers of reading and spelling. Boston, MA: Sopris West.

Robinson, J. (2004). Getting more out of your core reading program. Presentation at the 3rd Annual National Reading First Conference: Reno, NV.

Schmoker, Mike. (2006). Results now: How we can achieve unprecedented improvements in teaching and learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Torgesen, J. (2008). Reading First: Celebrating and looking forward. Presentation at

Year End Massachusetts Reading First Conference: Marlborough, MA.