Closing reading gaps early can make all the difference in the lives of Minnesota students. A core set of rigorous instructional practices aligned to the science of reading has been identified, and early reading educators in Minnesota understand why explicit, systematic instruction in the foundational skills is critical for all students. Educators know that assessments are also important to early reading, providing key data about gaps in foundational reading skills that allows educators to make timely, impactful instructional decisions.

So, what exactly is the science of reading? Learn more in an excerpt below from the informative article, “The science of reading and balanced literacy: What you need to know,” by NWEA® early learning expert Cindy Jiban.

NWEA is proud to partner with Minnesota educators to quickly and accurately assess your pre-K–5 readers, deliver valid, reliable data, and help close reading gaps sooner rather than later. MAP® Reading Fluency™ can be utilized by Minnesota schools to meet the Read Well by Third Grade requirements for a universal and dyslexia screener. It assesses all the foundational reading skills, including oral reading fluency. Innovative technology allows for group administration for an entire class in about 20 minutes, saving valuable teacher time for instruction. Comprehensive instructional practices grounded in the science of reading, along with MAP Reading Fluency data, are your tickets to accelerating reading growth.

The science of reading and balanced literacy: What you need to know

By Cindy Jiban, PhD

NWEA Principal Academic Lead, Early Learning

A strong call has been reverberating through the early literacy education community: we need to reform our practice to align to the science of reading.

But as sometimes happens when messages hit the loudspeaker, some distortion has fuzzied the clarity. As the message gets picked up and passed along by new advocates, like in a game of telephone, it can shift a bit away from its original meaning.

Let’s cut past the noise. What is the science of reading, and what is it not? How does it interact with the practice of balanced literacy? And most importantly, just how can it improve our practice so that kids become better readers?

What is the science of reading?

One research study does not make a science. In early literacy alone, tens of thousands of studies have been published, and some even show results that are at odds with one another. For educators to be able to consume research meaningfully, we need to look for a convergence of evidence. When many well-designed studies point to a similar result, we should pay attention.

Continue reading the article here in the NWEA resource library.

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