Reading

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Kristine Kelly

Literacy Coordinator

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.

Reading Standards

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: alphabeticsfluencyvocabulary, 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:

  1. teacher knowledge and confidence about teaching reading,
  2. student confidence in reading skills,
  3. student level completion as measured by the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) Reading, and
  4. student persistence with classes and instruction.

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

  1. Conduct diagnostic reading assessments and use results to plan reading instruction.
  2. Provide direct and explicit instruction in the reading components of need.
  3. Maximize learner (or student) engagement in reading instruction.
  4. Select relevant reading materials and teaching activities.
  5. Organize reading routines based on need(s), monitor their effectiveness, and adjust as needed.

Study Circles

EBRI Study Circle

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.

Online Groups

ELA and ESL Online Groups

Join one or both of these online networking communities of practice on the Might Networks platform! These groups serve as a forum for discussion as well as a hub for announcements, resources, and webinar and in-person event information.

Online Courses

EBRI Online Courses

ATLAS Literacy & STAR Coordinator Marn Frank facilitates three online EBRI-related courses that you can browse or take to earn CEUs:

  • Reading Assessments for ABE
  • Explicit Instruction for ABE
  • Teaching CCRS Reading Foundational Skills 1-4

Advisory Teams

Language & Literacy Advisory Team

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.

Cohorts

STAR Cohort

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.

New Reading Resources

Story by Story (2008)

Story by Story was developed for Beginning ABE students needing (and wanting) systematic and contextual phonics instruction. However, it has been successfully used with many Beginning-Intermediate ESL students as well. This website provides 12 printable Story by Story lessons that each include the story text, a word study, and sentence-writing exercises.

Sight Words

For teachers serving beginning-level adult readers and working on alphabetics, this website provides a FREE source of sight word flashcards, games, lessons, and activities. All are focused on the Dolch Sight and Fry Instant lists; two collections of words that all beginning readers (at GE K-3) should recognize without sounding out letter by letter.

Sight Words

For teachers serving beginning-level adult readers and working on vocabulary, this website provides a FREE source of sight word flashcards, games, lessons, and activities. All are focused on the Dolch Sight and Fry Instant lists; two collections of words that all beginning readers (at GE K-3) should recognize without sounding out letter by letter.
Reading

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Latest Reading Articles

Project-Based Learning in Action: How to Be a Successful Online Student – Part 2

Instructor Dan Bruski describes how he led his low-intermediate ESL students through a project-based learning activity around composing a list of rules and expectations for their online class. The culmination of the lesson was the creation of a video on "How to be a successful online student," which has an authentic use for orienting new students. Read More

Project-Based Learning in Action: How to Be a Successful Online Student – Part 1

Instructor Dan Bruski describes how he led his low-intermediate ESL students through a project-based learning activity around composing a list of rules and expectations for their online class. The culmination of the lesson was the creation of a video on "How to be a successful online student," which has an authentic use for orienting new students. Read More

Upcoming ABE Events

June 28, 2022 6:30 pm–8:30 pm
Literacy Minnesota
Online

Working with Literacy and Beginning Level ESL Learners

Online

Registration Deadline: TUE. 6/28/22 Learners with limited English and literacy skills have unique needs for in-person and remote instruction. Participants will learn best practices and tips for success at this level. They’ll also get several ideas for routines, activities and resources to use in their tutoring sessions. Learn More

Online
June 29, 2022 1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Literacy Minnesota
Online

Core Training Module 4: Instructional Best Practices: Working with Materials

Online

Registration Deadline: WED. 6/29/22 Participants learn about the types of materials that they may be working with, including prepared texts and realia. Participants also learn about the practice of explicit instruction, how to effectively give instructions, and suggestions for extending worksheets to maximize understanding and practice. Learn More

Online
June 29, 2022 3:00 pm–5:00 pm
ATLAS
Online

Antiracist Praxis Study Circle, Summer 2022

Online

Application Deadline: FRI. 5/27/22 APPLY NOW >> NOTE: Participation will be limited to keep the group a manageable size. Study Circle Meetings: ONLINE via Zoom, on Wednesdays from 3-5 pm (CDT) as follows: Wednesday, June 15 Wednesday, June 22 Wednesday June 29 Wednesday, July 13… Learn More

Online