Reading

Contact Us

Marn Frank

Literacy & STAR 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.

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.

Contact Us

Marn Frank

Literacy & STAR Coordinator

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

Reading Practitioner Group - Schoology

Join this online networking community of practice on the Schoology platform! The group is open to all MN ABE program managers, teachers, and support staff who want to expand their knowledge and use of Evidence-Based Reading Instruction (or EBRI).

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.

New Reading Resources

New General Service List Finder and Sorter

EAPFoundation.com offers a free electronic tool for finding, highlighting, and sorting high-frequency words (of general service or everyday use) in texts. It includes 2801 words used frequently in both spoken and written English and serves as a foundational word list for deciding which highly used words are most important to teach.

Minnesota STAR Project: Meeting the Needs of Struggling Adult Readers

This paper reports on findings and implications from a two-year evaluation of the Minnesota STudent Achievement in Reading (STAR) Project. A combined qualitative and quantitative approach to data collection and analysis confirms that 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.

New Academic Word List (NAWL) Finder and Sorter

EAPFoundation.com offers a free electronic tool for finding, highlighting, and sorting academic words within texts. Their word source is the New Academic Word List or NAWL, a recent update of the Academic Word List or AWL. There is also the option of creating a simple, head word, or word family gapfill, where the found academic words become blanks in the text. 
Reading

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Latest Reading Articles

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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

High-Frequency Word Lists and Links

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Upcoming ABE Events

June 2, 2020 10:00 am–11:30 am
Literacy Minnesota
Online

Please Say That Again: Virtual Pronunciation Instruction for Adult ESL Learners

Online

Registration Deadline: TUES. 6/2/20 It can be challenging to make yourself understood over the phone, even for native English speakers! In this webinar, learn about three different pronunciation features that can be taught and practiced during virtual video instruction. Participants will learn how the three features impact… Learn More

Online
June 4, 2020 6:30 pm–7:30 pm
Literacy Minnesota
Online

Using Zoom to Practice Reading Fluency

Online

Registration Deadline: THU. 6/4/20 Come explore ways to use Zoom to help students practice their reading fluency. We will provide an overview of the features of Zoom and discuss how you can use them to maximize instruction. We will also review the role of fluency in reading… Learn More

Online
June 9, 2020 6:30 pm–7:30 pm
Literacy Minnesota
Online

Remote Tutoring 101

Online

Registration Deadline: TUES. 6/9/20 Join Literacy Minnesota ABE 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 learners on the phone or online, get suggestions for correcting errors and giving feedback… Learn More

Online