Resources to Improve Early Literacy Practices
Delivering Quality Instruction
Evidence based literacy instruction is supported by high-quality research or evaluations. The research findings suggest that the instruction is likely to improve student outcomes or other relevant outcomes in other settings.
Key Tools for Implementing Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction:
A Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a framework designed to respond to the needs of all students within a system which integrates, but is not limited to, tiered behavior (e.g. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) and academic (e.g. Response to Intervention) supports.
MTSS is a whole-school, data-driven, prevention-based framework for improving learning outcomes for all students through a layered continuum of evidence-based practices and systems.
Key Tools for Implementing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support:
Universal screening is a critical first step in identifying students who are at risk for experiencing reading difficulties and who might need more time in instruction or different instruction altogether. Screening is conducted to identify or predict students who may be at risk for poor learning outcomes. Universal screening assessments are typically brief and conducted with all students from a grade level. They are followed by additional testing or short-term progress monitoring to corroborate students' risk status. Universal screening can be used for all academic subjects and for social and behavior assessment.
Key Tools for Implementing Universal Screening:
A systematic process of using data for instructional decisions can improve teachers' ability to meet their students' learning needs. Using data to improve instruction is part of a cyclical process. This process involves teachers:
collecting and preparing data about student learning from a variety of relevant sources (including annual, interim, and classroom assessment data);
interpreting those data and determining factors contributing to students' performance;
using those factors to determine specific actions to meet students' needs;
implementing changes to their instructional practice and watching to see the effect they have; then
collecting and interpreting student performance data again to evaluate their own instructional changes (IES Practice Guide: Using Student Achievement Data to Support Instructional Decision Making, 2009).
Key Tools for Implementing Progress Monitoring:
Both general and special education teachers are responsible for teaching students with disabilities. Collaboration is a style of interaction between teachers voluntarily engaged in shared decision making as they work toward a common goal. When teachers work together, they share their expertise, their resources, and their support for the students. Collaboration requires that special educators become more adept in content knowledge and curriculum development, and that general educators understand their role in implementing IEP goals and objectives—that is, how to accommodate all students, including students with disabilities who spend the vast majority of their days in the general education classroom.