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Recently posted in Minnesota Center for Reading Research

1Target-PRESS-logo-4C.jpgThe Minnesota Center for Reading Research, with the Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS) project, has been chosen as the University of Minnesota nominee for the 2013 C. Peter Magrath University/Community Engagement Award. This award, sponsored by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), recognizes public colleges and universities for their engaged learning and discovery. The APLU accepts one application from each institution.

Aimed at preparing all students to read by third grade, PRESS is a comprehensive approach to early literacy developed by the MCRR in partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools, Minnesota Reading Corps, and the Target Corporation.

Driven by research-based approaches to literacy, PRESS incorporates quality core instruction, data-driven instructional decisions and interventions, expanded support for English Language Learners, and meaningful professional development to support systemic change.

PRESS is co-directed by Matthew Burns (EPsy), Lori Helman (C&I), and Jennifer McComas (EPsy).


February 27, 2013

AACTE Cover_1_0.JPGCEHD will have 14 representatives at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) this week in Orlando, Florida. This group will represent the college through research presentations, national panels, teacher preparation program redesign panels, accreditation workshops, and fellowship programs. C&I's Lori Helman will be launching her new book, Literacy Instruction in Multilingual Classrooms: Engaging English Language Learners in Elementary School, published by Teachers College Press. She will also present a session on the work in PRESS and MCRR with two doctoral students, Alyssa Boardman and Kari Dahle. Three sessions featuring the work of the Teacher Education Redesign Initiative (TERI) will be represented by EDRC's Elizabeth Finsness, Stacy Ernst, Tiffany Moore, and Misty Sato. Sato will also speak on a panel about the national implementation of the edTPA in teacher education. EDRC's Jo Matson will represent CEHD at sessions about NCATE and the new standards board, Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Five C&I doctoral students -- Mary Hoelscher in science education, Fang (Andie) Wang and Jason Martel in second languages and cultures, Ann Mogush Mason in culture and teaching, and Heidi Jones in literacy education -- will present a symposium on four perspective on defining and developing teacher identity. EPsy doctoral student Julio Cabrera will participate in the Holmes Scholars Program, which consists of doctoral students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds pursuing careers in education at AACTE member institutions.

The Behavioral Institute for Children and Adolescents (BICA) welcomed Dr. Matthew Burns, MCRR Co-Director and Professor of Educational Psychology, to the monthly BICA Book Club on October 9th to discuss RTI Applications: Academic and Behavioral Interventions.

This book addresses a crucial aspect of sustaining a response-to-intervention (RTI) framework in a school: selecting interventions with the greatest likelihood of success and implementing them with integrity. Leading RTI experts explain how to match interventions to students' proficiency levels, drawing on cutting-edge research about the stages of learning. Effective academic and behavioral interventions for all three tiers of RTI are described in step-by-step detail and illustrated with vivid case examples. In a large-size format with lay-flat binding for easy photocopying, the book features more than 40 reproducible planning tools and other helpful forms.

Dr. Matthew K. Burns and Dr. Jennifer McComas presented on Brief Experimental Analysis (BEA) for the Minnesota Northland Association for Behavior Analysis (MNABA) Regional Conference held in Maple Grove, MN. The presentation, Using Learning Theory within BEA of Academic Problems: What to Do When Nothing Else Works was on Friday, September 28th, 2012. Download Presentation [pdf]

Data for the presentation were collected as part of the Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS) project of which Dr. Burns and Dr. McComas are currently co-directors. BEAs were conducted with first, second, or third grade students who had not shown sufficient growth within Tier 2 reading interventions.

The Minnesota Center for Reading Research will honor 136 Minnesota K-12 schools for their achievement in reading Wednesday, February 29 at 10:00 a.m. at the annual School Recognition Lecture and Ceremony at the University of Minnesota. The event will take place in the Johnson Great Room at the McNamara Alumni Center.

Schools chosen for the honor are the Minnesota K-12 schools that made adequate yearly progress in reading during both school years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 after failing to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) in reading in the previous year.

Donald Bear, a professor in the College of Education at the University of Nevada-Reno, will present a lecture, "Their Way is Your Way: Development, Success, and Courage", at the event.

The event is free and open to the public. RSVP here.

Following the lecture, a few of the schools will share significant factors that led to their success and certificates will be awarded.

Target-PRESS-logo-4C.JPGEarly literacy education is receiving the highest priority in Minnesota in an effort to narrow the achievement gap between white and nonwhite students, according to a recent Star Tribune story, "Early literacy gets new focus, funds." Broad support for this initiative, including a $45 million Race to the Top grant from the U.S. Department of Education, is based on significant research and service contributions by CEHD researchers and students, including many associated with the Minnesota Center for Reading Research (MCRR). The MCRR's PRESS partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minnesota Reading Corps, and Target Corporation is one example featured in the article.

Across the college a commitment to early learning and early literacy is evident by contributions to now well established research on the importance of early brain development and its connection to the critical pre-third-grade years of reading skill development. From ongoing work in the top-rated Institute of Child Development and Center for Early Education and Development to curriculum development and school partnerships created by faculty and staff in the Departments of Educational Psychology and Curriculum and Instruction, CEHD is at the forefront of statewide efforts to improve early education.
Deborah Dillon

One contributor, literacy education professor Deborah Dillon, was recently honored with the 2012 Minnesota Academy of Reading Award for leadership. Dillon notes in the article that literacy education "must go beyond words and definitions to teach students complex ideas" and that it is "absolutely critical we don't let up after third grade."

See more on CEHD contributions to early learning and early literacy.

Lori HelmanE-books can be a great resource for improving literacy and engaging children in the reading experience, according to a recent article in the Star Tribune, but adult interaction and guidance needs to be a part of that experience, says Lori Helman, associate professor of literacy education and co-director of the Minnesota Center for Reading Research. She says human relations are crucial to child development.

"We need a lot of opportunities for face-to-face interaction so children can learn what it means to be human," she says in the article. "A developing person, whether they're 2 or 7, needs to be able to ask questions and check out their understanding. And no app can be responsive to all the questions and thoughts and wonderings that a young person needs. You need people."

Helman believes, however, that apps and e-books can improve access to books and put more resources at their fingertips.

"If we're using these things as little babysitters, I think kids will get tired of them," she says. "But if we use them to enhance our interaction, imagine the great conversation that could spark."

See the full story here.

YolandaMajors.jpgCultural Community Processes: Resources for Reasoning through Texts

Thursday, November 17, 2011 | 4:00 - 5:30 PM
Room R380, Learning & Environmental Sciences, St. Paul Campus

Join us for an afternoon session of the MCRR Brown Bag Discussion series.
Dr. Yolanda Majors, visiting Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction, will present and answer questions.

Majors says, "In this presentation, I present a cultural context view of literacy. I argue that, when leveraged within a classroom, literacy from this perspective can provide an alternative space that structures opportunities for all students to sort through their real life dilemmas as well as work through the academic tasks they are expected to take up. Research that acknowledges students' literate problem-solving and problem posing processes as culturally situated under-scores and challenges the dominant theme in education that either (1) views students' cultural practices (e.g., ways of speaking, communicating, listening, responding) as deficits rather than as resources, and (2) tends to link popular culture practices, such as rap and hip-hop music, to classroom practices without making explicit how and where such links occur."

Please visit the MCRR Events page for more information about upcoming events.

Jennifer McComasSix Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) have been selected as locations for Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS), a comprehensive approach to early literacy developed by Minnesota Center for Reading Research co-directors Lori Helman and Matthew Burns and educational psychology professor Jennifer McComas. The Target Foundation is donating $6 million to fund PRESS and other district literacy programs over the next three years. The selected schools are Marcy Open School, Anishinabe Academy, Anne Sullivan Communication Center, Pillsbury Elementary, Harvest Preparatory School and Best Academy.

Aimed at preparing all Minneapolis students to read by the third grade, PRESS expands upon research-based strategies developed via the Minnesota Reading First model, which improved student vocabulary, comprehension, word recognition, and fluency. Helman, Burns, and McComas, in partnership with The Minnesota Reading Corps, helped develop instructional strategies for students of all skill levels in kindergarten through third grade, including expanded support for English Language Learners.

Lori Helman"PRESS integrates the research on what is essential for student success in reading, the instructional practices that help learners advance, and the school-wide structures that ensure a continuous focus on data," said Helman, associate professor in curriculum and instruction. "There is evidence that each of these areas is critical to improved outcomes in student performance."

The McKnight Foundation has announced funding for a preK-3 reading initiative in collaboration with CEHD and the Brooklyn Center Independent School District #286. Part of a larger effort to improve early literacy, the McKnight funding will include an initial $150,000 grant to develop comprehensive strategies, with additional funding possible after the first year for implementation.

Earle Brown.jpg
The college's strong relationship with the district's Earle Brown Elementary School has become a model for success and shows the positive effects of support from literacy faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction's elementary education program. "For six years, the district has partnered with the University of Minnesota to introduce the concept of a continuum that includes reading strategies, skills, and assessment tools within an elementary literacy framework," according to the McKnight announcement. Initial licensure candidates from the college have taken literacy education courses at Earle Brown.

More recently, CEHD's Teacher Education Redesign Initiative (TERI) has strengthened the bond with Earle Brown even more, said partnership coordinator Stacy Ernst. "The deepening relationship is an example of how the redesign of the way we 'do' partnerships helps all involved--districts, centers, programs--deepen, focus, and fund the work," she said. "The college's Educator Development and Research Center (EDRC) is working across college departments and centers to advocate for our school partners and university faculty, match interests/research needs, and coordinate new connections within the TERI Partner Network."

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