George Lucas Educational Foundation

Welcome to the literacy group!!!!

Welcome to the literacy group!!!!

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Comprehension...Technology...Fluency...Reading Across Content Areas...Reading Programs...Great Novels...Research...Dyslexia...Best Practices...Resources...... Welcome to this group! We will get into great discussions about the topics noted above and many more issues that are essential to student learning. Please take a minute to introduce yourself, include your background and areas of interest related to literacy! Thanks Ray

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Susan Graham's picture
Susan Graham
educational researcher, curriculum developer, and all around education gal

Hi, there!

I'm a former elementary school teacher, a long-time K-12 humanities curriculum developer, and formerly ran the English Language Arts product development for a very small publishing company in Maine. I ran professional development sessions for middle and high school English Language Arts teachers in South Carolina, Georgia, and Maryland (most notably Baltimore City Public Schools).

I've looked at MANY supplemental instructional tools for adolescent literacy-- both print and online. Am happy to weigh in on what I've seen. I am a freelancer with no vested interest in any particular company or product.

I am DELIGHTED by the Common Core Standards. I am a fan of blended instruction-- that is, direct instruction of skills as well as literary analysis and creative writing, as well as traditional print and eLearning.

My favorite web resource for middle-high school literacy these days is one that was founded by a friend/colleague of mine who is a former high school English teacher.

Check out Literary Companion, a suite of formative assessments and tools tied specifically to literature and aligned to the Common Core Standards.

I have mixed feelings about READ 180. I think it is a comprehensive tool for struggling learners. However, I've seen it implemented really poorly in schools where teachers don't really understand how to use it as it was designed. It takes quite a lot of training and buy-in by all parties.

Anyway-- glad to be here!!!

Carrie's picture
Administrative Assistant at Tri-State Literacy Council

Hi, I've been a public school teacher off and on for 15 years, presently working for an adult literacy organization. I'm certified in Secondary English and Spanish, and have taught a few years of print journalism also. I love working with adults, although I still long for the challenge of working with 160 or more teens a day. I'm trying to keep up with what is going on in the world of secondary education and perhaps pick up a pointer or two in working in the adult ed world.

Rebecca Alber's picture
Rebecca Alber
Edutopia Consulting Editor

Hi Carrie,

I also enjoy working with adult learners, but miss teaching teens. I have found in my work with adults, understanding the difference between how children learn and adults learn, has helped me tremendously when planning learning experiences for adult students.

Here's an interesting chart I found recently that may give you some insights and ideas.

Good luck!

Wuzzy's picture
7th Grade Civics Teacher

Hi all! I am a Secondary Social Studies Ed. major who is graduating in December of 2012 but I hope to continue on with my M.Ed in Reading Education!

Can't wait to chat and learn from you all!

Karen Tankersley's picture

I have had 30+ years in education as a teacher, Reading Specialist, principal, university professor, author and District Office Administrator. I have loved working with students and staff especially in the area of teaching reading and writing over the years. I also love integrating literacy instruction with technology and seeing children develop not only a deep understanding of how to use the resources available to them but how reading is linked to everything we do on a day to day basis.

Karen Tankersley's picture

When I was principal, my school implemented the Language! program. While we really liked it and had great success with it, it does require training to implement effectively. It is better with older students from grade 4 on and not effective with primary students. If your school has the budget for training and personnel who are committed to learning to work the many components of this program it will be a great plus. It is not an easy program to pick up and do without adequate training.

We use Read 180 in my current district as an additional support for at-risk middle school students. When done with program fidelity it works very well. It is not a replacement for solid and effective teaching however, so in my opinion, Read 180 should not be used as a replacement for good reading instruction. It does work well as a supplement for those students who need more practice and work to close the gap between themselves and their peers. It is a fairly costly program as well since you need the materials as well as the online instruction. In my district, teachers work with small groups on targeted areas of need and rotate the other students to the online work. We have had significant gains with these students in reading proficiency.

Stephanie Mercer's picture
Stephanie Mercer
High School Reading from Franklin Kentucky

I am in my 3rd year teaching but first year teaching read 180 in the high school. It is a great program, but my creative juices are limited due to the strict structure and validity of the program.

Michael Castro's picture

Hi, everyone! Several years ago, after being away from the field of education for some time, I began to teach in my hometown high school/ middle school in New Jersey. In the intervening years, the school's population had come to include a large number of immigrant students: in particular, half of the students now came from Spanish-speaking backgrounds. As described in a separate posting -- ESL / ELL Reading and Tutoring Project -- with the Literacy group, I started a supplemental program (after school, free periods, and during the summer, when possible) to help students with reading, English, and other subjects.

The write-up might be worth checking out. The project probably wouldn't replace a regular, in-class program, but, as supplemental help, it did seem to meet a need: students read or did other work with me and peer tutors on more than 1,200 occasions, on their own time. (And, I later realized that, through my own search for appropriate books, I inadvertently re-created much of the reading list for Read 180.)

Monica Burns's picture
Monica Burns
Author & Speaker, ADE , Founder of

I'm extremely interested in Literacy education! Check out my blog where I share experiences using technology to create lessons that are aligned to the Common Core (especially in ELA):

Looking forward to reading more comments!

Joey Sagel's picture
Joey Sagel
Principal AFC Elementary School Franklin Grove, IL

I am a pre-k -4th principal. I am interested in all aspects of sharing my love of reading and helping students come to their full potential. I can be found on twitter @principaljoey

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