Learning Focus

November 2020 | Focus: Supporting Reading at School

The Importance of Reading

The great children's book author, Dr. Seuss, wrote about reading- "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." No single line about reading has rung more true! Reading is not only an essential academic skill, it is one of the most important skills a person can learn.

As educators, you know the important role reading plays in the life of your students. There is not a single content area where reading does not play a part in a child's success. This month's Learning Focus looks at the teaching of reading. The goal of the November publication is to provide strategies to support struggling readers as well as guidance for remote reading instruction and differentiation. Also, included in this newsletter is a professional learning opportunity regarding supporting students with dyslexia. I encourage you to take advantage of free workshop series produced by the NJDOE: The New Jersey Dyslexia Handbook: A Guide to Early Literacy Development and Reading Struggles.

Until next time, keep on learning! –Mike

New Webinar Series to Support Families and Educators of Students with Dyslexia

The New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of Special Education is pleased to offer school districts a four-part webinar series entitled, The New Jersey Dyslexia Handbook: A Guide to Early Literacy Development and Reading Struggles, which will guide educators and families through the process of identifying dyslexia and other reading disabilities.

Each of the four recorded sessions contains: a video webinar, a copy of the slide deck, a transcript of the video narration, and New Jersey Tiered System of Supports tools that can be embedded in the district’s identification process.

Reading disabilities remain the most common form of specific learning disability in New Jersey. Early identification of dyslexia is critical to ensure that students receive the supports and interventions they need to become successful readers. A committee of dedicated specialists in the field of dyslexia and other reading disabilities collaborated for over a year on the New Jersey Dyslexia Handbook. This webinar series can be used by a professional learning community or team to determine how the highlighted practices can become part of the school’s literacy curriculum. School officials are encouraged to share the handbook with staff and visit the NJDOE's dyslexia webpage to take advantage of this professional learning opportunity. The webpage also contains additional webinars and a full listing of quality resources for educators, families, and caregivers.