Last Friday, Littera hosted a webinar with our partners from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. The Webinar was emceed by Justin Serrano, Littera’s Founder and CEO, and featured Teachers College Reading and Writing Project founder Lucy Calkins and Director of Innovation Colleen Cruz. Attendees to the Webinar heard how the Littera and Teachers College partnership will accelerate literacy through the development of a comprehensive, high-dosage K-6 literacy tutoring program.
Regardless of whether you attended the Webinar or not, the content was compelling. Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and Littera have come together to empower K-12 school districts to accelerate literacy with high-dosage tutoring. If you want to listen to the entire presentation we have made it available to all to view directly, but if you just want to experience the highlights we have posted the best pieces from the Webinar below.
TCRWP Director of Innovation Colleen Cruz started off the presentation with her perspective on why tutoring is important to accelerating literacy for K-12 schools and districts.
Collen and Lucy from TCRWP talking about their rationale for partnering with Littera
For the first time in its history, Teachers College Reading & Writing Project is partnering with a sister organization to provide students with the personalized and responsive support they need in the years ahead. Teachers College Reading & Writing Project has teamed with Littera, to create an all-inclusive tutoring program for districts and schools.
High-Quality Curriculum, Built Specifically for High-Dosage Tutoring
Teachers College Reading and Writing Project has created a one-of-a-kind comprehensive tutoring curriculum that leans on decades of literacy research and practice. The curriculum is divided into three core pathways: Foundational Reading Skills, Fiction Reading Comprehension, Nonfiction Reading Comprehension. Each pathway consists of modules (or units) and a learner may enter at many different points along the pathway.
Three Pathways Built On A Continuum Of Reading
The curriculum is divided into three core pathways: Foundational Reading Skills, Fiction Reading Comprehension, Nonfiction Reading Comprehension. Each pathway consists of modules (or units) and a learner may enter at many different points along the pathway. With the help of lean, efficient assessments, tutors and teachers will decide the pathways and more specifically, the module, that is the most appropriate starting point for each student. Frequent continued assessments--both formal and informal-- will allow tutors to teach responsively, adjusting instruction to provide learners with the help they need.
How the Foundational Pathway Addresses Phonics
In the Foundational Reading Skills Pathway, there are 10 modules, each supporting a research-based micro-progression of phonemic awareness and phonics skills. In each session, tutors guide students through a range of engaging activities and games to practice phonemic awareness and sequential phonics.
Tutors end each session by helping the learner apply his or her skills to high-interest decodable texts or, for the more proficient readers, to authentic popular literature. Throughout, tutors also provide instruction in reading comprehension and vocabulary strategies in developmentally appropriate ways.
What Students Will Be Reading
Students will co-read, with their tutors, high-interest books selected to practice targeted instruction. In the Foundational Skills Pathway, these include high-interest decodable texts and trade books. In the Reading Fiction Pathway, these include series books, genre fiction, and contemporary fiction - chosen for their ability to engage and appropriate level of text complexity.
Students will also receive regular book talks and book recommendations as well as support for cultivating their independent reading lives. Students will have time with the tutor to share independently chosen books regularly.
Where Will Tutors Come From?
A compelling component of the overall literacy program is the flexibility to leverage district personnel or online virtual tutors. For schools and districts that want to use their own personnel as tutors, TCRWP is going to host a series of virtual “institute-style” training sessions where districts can get their teachers and/or para-professionals certified as tutors for the high-dosage tutoring program.
Alternatively, districts that do not have the capacity to leverage their own staff as tutors, Littera is building out a national tutoring corp where districts can tap into a pool of virtual tutors certified in the TCRWP tutoring content and curriculum.
Operationalizing Tutoring For K-12 Districts
Littera is an online academic support program that is designed to house curricula, streamline scheduling and data management, and facilitate communication between tutors, schools, and families. Littera also provides qualified tutors for schools and districts that need them. TCRWP will provide training for all Littera tutors as well as any in-house or community tutors a school or district has available.