Teachers had a chance to share successes, challenges, tips and resources for teaching reading during a Networking Coffee Break at the Language & Literacy Institute on January 29, 2021. Check out the summary of the discussion at this informal networking event, and get some ideas for your own class! 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
Winter is here in Minnesota, but you don’t have to brave the snow and cold to participate in training webinars from Literacy Minnesota! Join volunteers and teachers from all around Minnesota for free professional development webinars on a wide variety of topics including low literacy, reading fluency, pronunciation, and remote instruction. Read More
Registration Deadline: THU. 2/25/21 Learners with limited English and literacy skills are proving that they are successful remote learners. In this webinar, learn creative approaches that tutors are taking to support literacy level learners through remote one-on-one tutoring using video calls. Participants will learn best practices, try… Learn More
This series of six meetings, facilitated by Marn Frank, ATLAS, from early February through early May will introduce the foundations of and best practices for evidence-based reading instruction (or EBRI). The content will include: the four reading components and their interrelationships, diagnostic reading assessment purposes and processes, explicit instruction for… Learn More
Registration Deadline: FRI. 2/26/21 The last year has shown just how vital digital literacy skills are in society. Northstar Digital Literacy provides a wide-range of tools and resources to help learners develop their digital literacy skills. In the webinar, participants will learn: The features of Northstar Digital… Learn More