The award honors an exceptional college or university professor in the field of reading education and is given annually to a member of ILA who is currently teaching preparation in reading to prospective educators at the undergraduate or graduate level. “An ideal recipient is considered to be a knowledgeable professional, an innovative teacher, a leader in the field of reading, a role model, and a disseminator,” according to the association.
Helman’s work in literacy in reading includes several endeavors. Most recently, she launched PRESS, a website featuring videos and tutorials that supports educators in implementing a framework for schoolwide literacy improvement. Helman also completed a a six-year longitudinal study of immigrant, bilingual students’ language and literacy journeys and co-wrote Inclusive Literacy Teaching on her findings and the implications for education. She is currently working with bilingual and dual immersion schools to implement Spanish word study curriculum and serves as a member of the International Literacy Association’s Standards 2017 Committee revising national standards for reading teachers and literacy professionals.
Helman’s research and teaching at the University centers on topics such as literacy development in the elementary grades, effective instructional practices with multilingual learners, teacher development and leadership, and assessment and instruction to support aspiring readers K-6.
Learn more about the graduate programs and professional development opportunities offered in literacy education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.
The Leaders in Reading Network (LiRN) meeting on February 10, 2016 included presentations by Cynthia Lewis and Molly Vasich, as well as by Stephanie Rollag and Kay Rosheim. See below for links to the PowerPoints from their presentations.
LiRN February 2016 Presentations: Pathways to Meaningful Discourse
“Classrooms are often crowded, and we know that there are often not enough adults to give individualized attention,” says Megan Pieters, a coordinator for America Reads, a program in the Minnesota Center for Reading Research (MCRR). “Think about a kid from a crowded family with busy parents, in a crowded school, in a busy classroom—a volunteer can make a world of difference to them.”
The Minnesota Center for Reading Research hosted its annual summer literacy workshop Wednesday, August 12 at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education & Conference Center. Bold Solutions: Research to Support Transformational Literacy Practices featured keynote speakers Vichet Chhuon, Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Ahmed Amin, Social Studies teacher at Minneapolis Roosevelt High School. Afternoon breakout sessions were led by CEHD faculty and staff.
Literacy is a powerful “tool of protection,” especially for underprivileged or at-risk students, Chicago educator and researcher Alfred Tatum said at the CEHD Policy Breakfast at the University of Minnesota. More than 100 educators, researchers, and local professionals gathered January 20 to discuss literacy development and educational policy with their metro area colleagues.
Tatum, dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois–Chicago, has spent the last 18 years researching the literacy development of African-American male students in Chicago public schools. In his presentation, he gave moving examples of student responses to rigorous classroom assignments and methods.
Tatum applied his findings to the policy environment and literacy improvement efforts in Minnesota. He quoted the recent State of the State address and, as an example, cited Minneapolis Public Schools’ current goal to increase reading proficiency annually by five percent overall and eight percent for students of color.
Tatum questioned the effectiveness of gradual-growth plans, calling attention to the number of students that a slower rate of improvement leaves behind each year.
“Is it a literacy plan,” he asked, “or a poverty-illiteracy-dropout-unemployment plan?”
He urged educators to take a more dramatic approach to literacy development in their classrooms. He explored why many students hold severed relationships with reading and writing, both academically and creatively. He also spoke about “textual lineages,” illustrated with photos of male writers of Africa descent that he uses in his classrooms, reminding the audience that literacy in Africa dates to ancient times.
Building literacy skills builds long-term confidence and capacity, Tatum explained. “It’s not just about students’ literacies. It’s about their lives.”
Tatum’s keynote was followed by remarks from four panelists. Gevonee Ford, founder and director of the Network for the Development of Children of African Descent, a family education center in St. Paul, asked the audience to consider ways to expand ownership of policy. “The question is ‘Who gets to be the educational authority for my children?’” he said. “Literacy has always been a political act for African people.” Ford asked the audience to look for places where African Americans are educating themselves and learn from them.
Jonathan Hamilton, research director for the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (MMEP), stressed the importance of school leadership and agreement on common language, such as the concept of equity. Hamilton joined the panel when Rep. Carlos Mariani, MMEP’s director, was not able to attend due to responsibilities at the Legislature.
Tina Willette, principal at Salem Hills Elementary School and Athanaeum in Inver Grove Heights, described her school’s efforts to help all—instead of most—students meet literacy goals. “That word ‘all’ makes all the difference,” she said, and it requires adaptive rather than technical changes.
Lori Helman, professor and director of the Minnesota Center for Reading Research in CEHD, cautioned against the “magic bullet” approach and urged educators and U researchers to push each other. “The ‘solution’ involves all of us,” she said.
Educators in the audience sought advice from the speaker and panelists on ways to bring Tatum’s research into their own classrooms and their students’ daily routines. Campbell Leadership Chair Michael Rodriguez, professor of educational psychology, facilitated the conversation.
Tuesday’s Policy Breakfast was the fourth installment in an ongoing series sponsored by CEHD, which is dedicated to discussion and analysis of research and policy regarding Minnesota’s achievement gap and efforts to close it. This semester’s topic, framing responsive literacy instruction in the national policy context, was planned in partnership with the Minnesota Center for Reading Research.
CEHD America Reads is one of two University of Minnesota initiatives nominated for the 2015 MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship. The Office for Public Engagement selected America Reads, along with Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID), because of its commitment to the University of Minnesota’s public engagement agenda of combining rigorous teaching, learning, and engaged scholarship with authentic partnerships. America Reads places over 150 students in more than 20 community organizations each year and is a leader in the University’s commitment to addressing the educational achievement gap in Minnesota.
The MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship is an international award recognizing exceptional programs that promote student community engagement and community service. The award provides financial support (up to $7,500) to further the program’s community engagement initiatives as well as an opportunity for international recognition.
The 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).
CEHD 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’sLori 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.
Early 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.
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.
E-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.