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ArkansasIDEAS - “The Science of Reading”

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How do our brains best tackle learning to read? A new, 18-hour learning path from ArkansasIDEAS — created in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education and R.I.S.E. (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) — is launching to help the state’s educators explore just that!

According to the Children’s Literacy Foundation, the average child in poverty has only been exposed to 25 hours of one-on-one reading. Middle class children, meanwhile? They’ve typically experienced 1,000-1,700 hours of one-on-one reading time. That means children in poverty have had — on average — 2.5 percent of the reading preparation their classmates have had when they start learning to read in school.

To help level the playing field for all students, the Right to Read Act (Act 1063) was created and requires educators to achieve proficiency (grades K-6 and K-12 SPED teachers) or awareness (grades 7-12) in knowledge and practices of the science of reading instruction.

ArkansasIDEAS The Science of Reading Logo

In response, ArkansasIDEAS is launching “The Science of Reading” learning path — a group of courses related to a subject area or particular state initiative — to connect principles from neuroscience about how the brain learns to read with instructional classroom practices. The 18-hour learning path launches June 1, 2018, with its first course “Science of Reading: The Right to Read Act,” and additional courses in the learning path will be released through 2021.

Hosted by ADE Assistant Commissioner of Learning Services Stacy Smith, “The Science of Reading” learning path will:

  • highlight presentations from experts in scientific reading instruction, neuroscientists and Arkansas educators.
  • describe the changes that take place in the brain of a child learning to read.
  • explain the Five Essential Elements of Effective Reading Instruction - phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • provide background information and practical strategies for creating explicit, systematic instruction in each of the Five Essential Elements.
  • provide a basic knowledge of how children learn to read and how to identify the root of common reading struggles.
  • To help strengthen reading education “The Science of Reading” joins the state’s reading professional development’s focus on the science behind how one learns to read and on changing instructional practices in the classroom. Through the learning path, educators will have an opportunity to develop an awareness of the science behind reading instruction and the best practices for supporting readers in the classroom.

    “The Science of Reading” learning path is available through ArkansasIDEAS at Courses to be released during the summer of 2018 will include:

  • “Science of Reading: The Right to Read Act,” June 2018.
  • “Science of Reading: An Overview,” July 2018.
  • “Science of Reading: The Reading Brain,” August 2018.

    “The Science of Reading”


    R.I.S.E. Arkansas

    Arkansas Department of Education