Scholastic Introduces Program to Help Teachers Assess Students During In-Class Independent Reading

For Immediate Release

Contact: Alex Wladich, Scholastic Inc., 212-965-7353

Independent Reading Assessment: FICTION helps educators turn assessment data into targeted instruction

New York, NY — June 26, 2012 — Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, today announced the release of Independent Reading Assessment: FICTION, a program created by educator and author Jennifer Serravallo that helps grades 3-5 teachers assess students during independent reading, gather precise data on student comprehension skills, and target instruction to meet the unique needs of each child. Independent reading is a key component of elementary school reading instruction, but is often difficult to evaluate. Independent Reading Assessment allows teachers and students to work on the right reading skills at the right time with the right texts and instructional support leading to high-level thinking and reading, which is at the heart of the Common Core State Standards. Independent Reading Assessment: NONFICTION is in development for release in spring 2013.

Serravallo, the author of several best selling books on reading instruction and a member of the esteemed Columbia’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project in New York City, designed the “Assess-Evaluate-Teach” independent reading system to close the loop between assessment and instruction. The Independent Reading Assessment program structure makes it easy for teachers to administer the assessment tool, takes the guess work out of instructional follow-up, and provides a road map for helping students get to the next level of reading proficiency.

Each Independent Reading Assessment kit comes with a full-color, grade-specific Teacher’s Guide, two sets of 16 leveled fiction titles by top authors, comprehension questions and prompts for each book, evaluation rubrics, and a web-based management system. The online system provides teachers with tools to record student data, keep notes on each student, and monitor the progress of each child.

When using the Independent Reading Assessment system students select one book depending upon their reading level. The assessment books in the program include an array of recognizable fiction stories such as Amber Brown is Not a Crayon, Chocolate Fever, Because of Winn-Dixie and Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes along with other titles for grades 3-5. While they read independently, students complete a set of comprehension questions inserted throughout each book. Teachers can easily evaluate a student’s responses and performance compared to research-based rubrics outlined in the Teacher’s Guide, and then plan follow-up instruction. The instructional support for teachers includes 100+ lessons which are all organized by skills allowing teachers to immediately address student skill gaps.

Teachers can use Independent Reading Assessment on an ongoing basis to “spot-check” students’ progress as needed so that no reader, whether gifted or struggling, falls off the radar as the year unfolds.

"Independent reading is a vitally important part of literacy development and something students participate in at elementary schools everywhere. But teachers need tools and resources to help them ensure that time is well spent and that students are progressing," said Greg Worrell, President of Scholastic Classroom and Community Group. "With the demands of the Common Core State Standards, it's important that students are reading rigorous text and that teachers are able to assist student growth and make instructional decisions using data. Independent Reading Assessment supports both of those goals."

Independent Reading Assessment supports the Common Core State Standards by helping students grapple with increasingly complex texts, a critical skill to becoming career and college ready. Independent Reading Assessment also supports teachers with detailed charts by grade levels that identify what the Common Core State Standards say, how the resources addresses each standard, and where in the Teacher’s Guide teachers can find help.

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