Improving Literacy Briefs

Advocating for My Child’s Literacy Needs

A literacy advocate supports or speaks out for someone else’s educational needs or rights in reading, writing, and language. As a family member, you know your child best. You have seen your child’s literacy skills progress over time. You can embrace your role as an advocate and learn how to work together with your child’s school toward common goals.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Advocacy
Behavioral Considerations in Universal Screening

Screening assessments can help capture each child’s reading and language strengths and weaknesses in key early stages of development.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Screening
Best Practices in Universal Screening

There is broad agreement that schools should implement early screening and intervention programs. State legislation generally favors the use of universal screening within schools across grades K-2.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Screening

Dyslexia is a brain-based learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Dyslexia

Fluency is the ability to read words, phrases, sentences, and stories accurately, with enough speed, and expression. It is important to remember that fluency is not an end in itself but a critical gateway to comprehension.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Beginning Reading, Fluency with Text
Four Questions to Ask After Universal Screening

Screening for dyslexia risk should be part of a decision-making framework that answers four fundamental questions.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Screening

Repeated readings, goal setting, corrective feedback, and graphing performance can help build Fluency with Text.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Beginning Reading, Fluency with Text
How We Learn to Read: The Critical Role of Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness involves being able to recognize and manipulate the sounds within words. This skill is a foundation for understanding the alphabetic principle and reading success. There are several ways to effectively teach phonological awareness to prepare early readers, including: 1) teaching students to recognize and manipulate the sounds of speech, 2) teaching students letter-sound relations, and 3) teaching students to manipulate letter-sounds in print using word-building activities.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Beginning Reading
Key Roles for Children’s Literacy Success

Families and educators can work together to ensure children have successful literacy experiences in and out of school. This is especially important if children have reading difficulties. Families and educators play important roles in a comprehensive approach to literacy development through four key actions: Learn, Advocate, Partner, and Support.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Advocacy, Partnerships
Learning About Your Child’s Reading Development

Learning to read is difficult and does not happen naturally. It requires explicit and systematic instruction, which is especially important for struggling readers. Learning to read involves many different skills that must be taught to your child. Instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension will help your child learn to read.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading
Learning to Read: “The Simple View of Reading”

Learning to read consists of developing skills in two areas: accurate, fluent reading and comprehending the meaning of texts. Learning these skills does not come naturally. Both accurate word reading and text comprehension require careful, systematic instruction.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Beginning Reading

Studies report fundamental differences in brain development and activation patterns between individuals with dyslexia and those without.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Dyslexia
Partnering With Your Child’s School

You and the school share responsibility for your child’s language and literacy learning. Collaborate with your school to make decisions about your child’s literacy education right from the start. Your child benefits when you and the school work together to support her literacy development. Working together promotes faster development and catches trouble spots early.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Partnerships
Remote Literacy Learning: Coaching Steps for Familie

You can coach your child’s literacy learning at home. This means interacting with and guiding your child so he or she grows and succeeds.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Remote Learning
Remote Literacy Learning: Families as Partners

Remote literacy learning includes a mixture of literacy learning experiences that are teacher-led, family-led, and student-led. It is a collaboration among schools, families, and students. Parents have an important role in helping develop your child’s literacy skills.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Remote Learning
Remote Literacy Learning: Schools as Partners

Remote literacy learning includes a mixture of literacy learning experiences that are teacher-led, family-led, and student-led. It is a collaboration among schools, families, and students. Schools play an important role in providing families and students support.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Remote Learning

Four tips to use when reading with your child.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading

Questions to ask about your child's reading instruction at school.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading

Questions to ask about your child's assessments and instruction at school.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading

Helping your child with speech sounds supports early reading success.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading

Asking questions can help your child understand what she reads.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading

Helping your child stretch apart and connect sounds to sound out words supports early reading success.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading
Route to Reading: Map It Out

Questions to ask about your child's reading skills.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading
Route to Reading: Repair as Needed

Difficulties can be spotted early, ask these questions if you have concerns about your child's progress at school.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading

Help your child practice early literacy skills and understand ideas during everyday life.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading
Route to Reading: Tune-up in the Community

Help your child practice speech sounds and letters during everyday life.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading

Help your child practice language skills and understand ideas during everyday life.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading
Schools and Families As Partners in Remote Literacy Learning

Remote literacy learning is a collaboration among schools, families, and students.

Audience: 
Parents & Families, Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Remote Learning
State Policy and Dyslexia

The characteristics of dyslexia legislation.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Dyslexia, Legislation
Succeeding in School: Essential Features of Literacy Development

Reading skills provide the foundation for academic success. From the beginning of school, students should be taught different ways of using language to help them learn and communicate about academic content. This brief discusses two areas of literacy development that students must learn so that they can do well in school: foundational reading skills and academic language.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Beginning Reading, Vocabulary
Supporting Your Child’s Literacy Development at Home

Taking part in literacy experiences at home can develop your child’s reading ability, comprehension, and language skills.  Activities that you can engage in at home include: joint reading, drawing, singing, storytelling, reciting, game playing, and rhyming.  You can tailor activities to your child’s age and ability level, and can incorporate technology into your learning opportunities.

Audience: 
Parents & Families
Topic: 
Beginning Reading, Comprehension
The Alphabetic Principle: From Phonological Awareness to Reading Words Inforgraphic

The alphabetic principle is a critical skill that involves connecting letters with their sounds to read and write. Learning and applying the alphabetic principle takes time and is difficult for most children. Explicit phonics instruction and extensive practice are important when teaching children to learn the alphabetic principle.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Beginning Reading
Understanding Dyslexia: Myth vs. Facts

Breaking down the truth about Dyslexia.

Audience: 
Parents & Families, Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Dyslexia
Understanding Dyslexia:What are the Effects of Dyslexia

Signs of typical reading development and possible indicators of risk for dyslexia.

Audience: 
Parents & Families, Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Dyslexia
Understanding Screening: Bias

When evaluating the quality of any screening tool, it is important to determine whether or not the assessment is biased against different groups of students. We want to ensure that students do not receive higher or lower scores on an assessment for reasons other than the primary skill or trait that is being tested.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Screening
Understanding Screening: Classification Accuracy

Classification accuracy is a key characteristic of screening tools. A goal in classification accuracy is to correctly identify issues that result in a later problem and situations in which the scores identify issues that do not result in a later problem.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Screening
Understanding Screening: Overall Screening and Assessment

Assessment is a process of collecting information. Screening is an assessment process that helps teachers identify students who are at risk for not meeting grade-level learning goals.

Audience: 
Parents & Families, Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Screening
Understanding Screening: Reliability

Reliability is the consistency of a set of scores that are designed to measure the same thing. Reliability is a statistical property of scores that must be demonstrated rather than assumed.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Screening
Understanding Screening: Sample Representativeness

Sample representativeness is an important piece to consider when evaluating the quality of a screening assessment. If you are trying to determine whether or not the screening tool accurately measures children’s skills, you want to ensure that the sample that is used to validate the tool is representative of your population of interest.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Screening
Understanding Screening: Validity

Validity is broadly defined as how well something measures what it’s supposed to measure. The reliability and validity of scores from assessments are two concepts that are closely knit together and feed into each other.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Screening
What Do We Mean by Evidence-based? Infographic

The term evidence-based is defined by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). According to ESEA, evidence-based programs are supported by strong, moderate, or promising research evidence of their effectiveness; or they demonstrate a rationale that they can improve a targeted outcome. NCIL supports the implementation of approaches with the highest levels of evidence supported by rigorous evaluations.

Audience: 
Schools & Districts
Topic: 
Evidence-based