As educators have been forced to move their instruction online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this article shares “trending” ideas, platforms, and resources for distance reading instruction collected recently from Minnesota Adult Education reading teachers. Read More
- Key Activities
ATLAS offers various professional development (PD) activities focused on reading instruction for adults. Our professional development offerings are based on Evidence-Based Reading Instruction (EBRI), described in more detail below.
Language & Literacy Institute
One of our primary activities for improving reading instruction is hosting the Language & Literacy Institute, a two-day, intensive training that takes place in late January each year. The large event brings together reading, writing, and ESL educators in ABE to collaborate with and learn from one another. The Language & Literacy Institute is organized by the Language & Literacy Advisory Team, and we offer an array of workshops on reading and literacy instruction topics that have emerged as priorities in the state. In addition, we offer the CCR (College & Career Readiness) English Language Arts (ELA) Foundation workshop in conjunction with this event each year.
Are you looking for more information about the College & Career Readiness (CCR) reading standards?
- Visit the CCR Standards page to find out about professional development around the CCR Standards
- Visit the CCR Standards library to find resources for implementing the ELA (English Language Arts) Standards, including reading
STAR (STudent Achievement in Reading)
STAR is a national project from the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) that provides research- and expert-proven practices for teaching adults the four major components of reading instruction: alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. STAR specifically targets adult students reading at grade level equivalents (GLE) 4.0-8.9 – Low/High Intermediate Basic Education (and in Minnesota ABE, Advanced ESL) – which are large and complex populations across the nation.
It is not a reading curriculum, but rather a program-wide reading reform initiative that includes professional development, tools, and resources that expand participants’ knowledge of effective reading instruction. STAR improves the ability of participating practitioners to build local and state systems that support reading improvement.
In fact, according to the report Minnesota STAR Project: Meeting the Needs of Struggling Adult Readers (published in the COABE Journal in 2012), participation in STAR positively influences:
- teacher knowledge and confidence about teaching reading,
- student confidence in reading skills,
- student level completion as measured by the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) Reading, and
- student persistence with classes and instruction.
The goal of the STAR Cohort is to implement organized reading routines addressing the needs and priorities of NRS ABE levels 2-4 (Beginning Basic ABE, Low-Intermediate, High-Intermediate) and/or NRS ESL 6 (Advanced). ATLAS conducts a STAR Cohort every other year, beginning in odd-numbered years and finishing in even-numbered years. Participation in STAR is done at the program level; individuals do not apply, but rather their programs do.
Evidence-Based Reading Instruction (EBRI)
Evidence-Based Reading Instruction or EBRI is a set of practices proven to increase the reading achievement of a particular student population (including children, adolescents, and adults).
STAR has been very successful across Minnesota, but not all programs are able to implement the reforms necessary – for example, programs serving numerous Beginning level (or pre-STAR) students, the Department of Corrections, and less-populated rural areas.
In an effort to find alternative ways of promoting the integration of EBRI more broadly across the state, in 2012 the Minnesota STAR Leadership Team studied the similarities and differences between STAR and EBRI. They concluded that EBRI practices are broader than STAR and relevant for (most) “EBRIbody” in MN ABE. This means that these practices are appropriate for all program managers and reading teachers committed to increasing the reading achievement of Beginning ABE and ESL Literacy, Beginning Basic Education, Low/High Intermediate Basic Education, Low/High Intermediate ESL, and Advanced ESL students.
STAR and EBRI Practices
- Conduct diagnostic reading assessments and use results to plan reading instruction.
- Provide direct and explicit instruction in the reading components of need.
- Maximize learner (or student) engagement in reading instruction.
- Select relevant reading materials and teaching activities.
- Organize reading routines based on need(s), monitor their effectiveness, and adjust as needed.
ATLAS developed EBRI Study Circles (along with companion training material and resources) for Minnesota ABE programs to improve reading instruction.. They are intended to expand implementation of EBRI practices one step at a time – beginning with one reading group, component, diagnostic assessment, and instructional plan.
The Language & Literacy Advisory Team (LLATé) is an ATLAS-sponsored team designed to strengthen language, reading, and writing instruction in Minnesota through relevant, meaningful, and effective professional development for practitioners.
The Advisory Team is responsible for visioning and the creating a long-term strategic plan for language & literacy PD in Minnesota, as well as specific tasks yearly to support established PD efforts, such as the January Language & Literacy Institute.
New Reading Resources
Registration Deadline: TUES. 7/7/20 Whether you are teaching one learner on WhatsApp or large group on Zoom, lesson planning is a critical part of ensuring learner success with virtual instruction. During this webinar, you will learn how to design lessons so that both the teacher and the… Learn More
Registration Deadline: THU. 7/9/20 Join Literacy Minnesota Adult Basic Education and ESL trainers for a virtual workshop on how to be an effective tutor from a distance! Learn best practices for connecting and communicating one-on-one with adult learners on the phone or online, get suggestions for correcting… Learn More
Registration Deadline: THU. 7/9/20 At the last COVID-19 and ABE Updates webinar on June 25, participants expressed interest in an opportunity to connect and brainstorm more about planning for ABE programming in the fall. You are invited to join in this follow-up discussion on Thursday, July 9. This… Learn More