Early Reading Accelerators Series

Authors: Student Achievement Partners, Council of the Great City Schools

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Join the Council of the Great City Schools and Student Achievement Partners for a 3-part Webinar Series on the Early Reading Accelerators.

About the Webinar Series: There is a need for support, guidance, and sharing of best practices in order to meet the needs of all readers when it comes to early reading instruction, and these needs have been exacerbated by school closures and distance or hybrid learning over the past six months. In this 3-part series, hosted by the Council of the Great City Schools and Students Achievement Partners, experts and urban school district practitioners will present and discuss (1) the latest findings about teaching foundational skills and making use of complex text as part of a comprehensive literacy approach and (2) the pedagogy related to teaching foundational skills, including phonemic awareness, to monolingual students and English Learners (ELs).

Part 1: Key Content Considerations for Monolingual Students and English Learners

During the first session of this series, guest presenters, Lily Wong Fillmore and Meredith Liben, discuss key considerations, research, and pedagogy that address the following guiding questions:

  • What is the role of phonemic awareness for young English proficient students and ELs?
  • When and how are children ready to associate symbols (letters) to the sounds they know?
  • What do educators need to know to support learning to read complex text? How can complex read aloud play a role in building knowledge and vocabulary for young English proficient students and ELs?
  • How can districts, school leaders, and teachers prioritize key areas of instruction to accelerate student reading and respond to unfinished learning?

Part 2: Sharing District Perspectives on Equitable Reading Instruction

During the second session of this series, guest presenters from the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District and San Antonio Independent School District will address the following guiding questions:

  • How are districts complementing, amplifying, modifying their instructional frameworks, curriculum, and approach to attend to best practices in early reading?
  • How are districts specifically supporting English Learners in these practices?
  • What do teachers need to know about English and ELs’ home language in order to teach foundational skills in meaningful ways?
  • How are districts attending to equitable instructional practice and the student experience?

Part 3: Considerations for Equitable Instruction from Educator Voices

During the third session of this series, guest presenters from the various Member Districts share their experience from the educator perspective. Viewers will hear from teachers about their experience teaching with a focus on the Early Reading Accelerators, and how teachers focused on teaching with complex, knowledge-rich texts and teaching the skills of early reading in both monolingual and dual language early childhood classrooms. Next, teacher presenters journey up the grades to get a sense of strategies and content addressed in upper elementary and middle school classrooms, with an emphasis on how educators used the 3Ls (Language, Literacy, and Learning) to address vocabulary and language work in the classroom while exploring compelling issues in grade-level content. All presenters address the following guiding questions:

  • What are examples of innovative practice that teachers are using in hybrid, remote, and face to face early literacy instruction?
  • What benefits are educators seeing on the students they work with?
  • Are there students where this work has had more or less impact, and can educators trace why?
  • What things have educators learned that haven't worked for the students in their class?