Curriculum Corner

LCS Department of Instruction - November 2017

Read at Home Plan

Thank you for all of your efforts supporting our first shared Elementary Read-At-Home Plan! With the generous donation we recently received from the Lapeer Optimist Club we are able to support you and your students with needed resources.

LCS Read-At-Home Plan Consistencies:

  • LCS students have a goal of reading at home for at least 20 minutes every day.
  • K-3 students will be provided with at least 3 days of reading materials to take home each week in support of this goal, with a combination of interest and leveled books (beginning in November)
  • Reading tips and simple activities focused on the 5 components of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) should accompany take-home reading materials to provide parents with the necessary tools to help their children develop as readers (beginning in December for teachers who are not already implementing).
  • A Parent Signature Component for at-home reading

Implementation Timeline for 2017-18:

  • November: For any k-3 teachers not already doing so, reading materials will begin going home with the parent signature collection method devised by teacher or building. Tips/activities aligned with the 5 components of reading will be available for teachers, but not required until December. Teachers should begin to think about the format they will use for tips/activities if they are not already doing so. Teachers who are already doing this as part of their classroom take-home reading/homework should continue.
  • December/January & beyond: The tips/activities aligned with the 5 components of reading should accompany the reading materials being sent home as part of the Read-At-Home Plan. Teachers are encouraged to share what they using for compilation the public folders. Monitor progress and need for adjustments.

Talking Points for Staff and Families Regarding the Read at Home Plan…

What do MDE and the 3rd grade reading law say?

  • Beginning in 17-18, districts will develop a reading intervention program that includes parent “read at home plans” and other documentation of school’s efforts to engage parents. MDE says districts are encouraged to provide this plan not only for k-3 students, but also for those in grade 4 who exhibit a deficiency and are passed on.
  • Grade 3 Reading Intervention programs must include “read at home plans” with training workshops.
  • Reading Intervention must include the five major reading components (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension).
  • Districts have the authority to determine the format and content of Read at Home Plans as well as the tools and professional development for parents and caregivers.

What does the research say?

  • Essential Practice 10: Collaboration with Families in Promoting Literacy (K-3 & 4-5): Promote children's independent reading; Provide literacy-supporting resources, such as the following: Books from the classroom that children can borrow or keep, Information about judicious, adult-supported use of educational television and "apps" that can, with guidance, support literacy development... (MAISA GELN Literacy Task Force, 2016)
  • Home and School Practice: "Send easy books home for independent practice. A child who is on the way to independence needs to read often from many different books selected to be easy for him to 'go it alone.' It is the quantity of successful reading that builds the assured independence of the competent reader." (Marie Clay, Literacy Lessons, Part 2, p.98)
  • Children's Literacy Foundation, in an analysis of a number of national research studies says that the following factors have positive impact on children's development as readers: access to books, children's choice in the books they read, children who read for enjoyment and are read to. "Reading aloud is the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading." (Children's Literacy Foundation Research, p.2)
  • Some national statistics: 61% of low-income families have no age appropriate books at home. One study found that in middle income neighborhoods the ratio is 13 books per child; in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is one book for every 300 children. (Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2. New York, NY: 2006)

Fun Fact: So far, students have read 43,100 minutes with MyOn online reading!

Tips and Activities

By Hartland Consolidated Schools

Tips and Activities

By Warren Consolidated Schools

Tips and Activities

By Eaton Regional Educational Service Agency

Online reading materials for grades K-8

Supports toward our goal of reading at home 20 minutes daily

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Changes to M-STEP


Changes to the M-STEP summative assessments for Spring 2018 include:

  • removal of all Performance Tasks in ELA and mathematics
  • removal of Claim 2 Writing short constructed response items in ELA grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 addition of one Claim 2 Writing text-dependent analysis (essay) in each grade of ELA
  • assessing science in grades 5, 8, and 11 (moving from grades 4 and 7 to grades 5 and 8) requiring all eligible grade 5, 8, and 11 students participate in the statewide science field test (in place of an operational science test)

M-STEP summative tests for grades 3–8 include:

  • English Language arts (grades 3–8): computer adaptive (CAT) assessment with text dependent analysis (essay) at every grade
  • Mathematics (grades 3–8): computer-adaptive (CAT) assessment
  • Science Field Test (grades 5 and 8): fixed-form online assessment
  • Social Studies (grades 5 and 8): fixed-form online assessment

Resources for M-STEP

Resources for Online Testers The Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability (OEAA) has developed online resources for students taking state assessments at all grade levels. The resources support the idea that children can learn about online technology when teachers and other educators demonstrate the use of technology— classroom viewing of the student video tutorial, classroom viewing of the Online Tools Training (OTTs), followed by interacting with the children while each student practices with technology (OTTs). Student Tutorials The OEAA has created Student Tutorials. These are student-narrated videos that introduce teachers and students to the online tests and tools contained in the M-STEP, MI-Access, and Early Literacy and Mathematics Benchmark Assessments.

The Student Tutorials are designed to be administered in a group setting, such as the classroom, using a projector or other similar resource. The tutorials can be accessed three different ways:

  • w/ eDIRECT ( — Select All Applications → General Information → Test Tutorials. Click on the icon under the Action column. This takes you to the tutorial page.
  • w/ INSIGHT (M-STEP testing software)― Open INSIGHT and at the bottom of the page select the DRC INSIGHT Online Assessments Tutorials link.
  • w/ Chrome ( portals/mi) — You must use the Chrome browser to access the tutorials. Click the yellow link at the bottom of the page: DRC INSIGHT Online Assessments Tutorials. This is the same link used for the online sample item sets.

An important component of the Student Tutorials is that they provide explicit training on the pause/exit/ end test functionality of the online testing engine. In addition, the tutorials explain how to access and use specific tools, online Sample Item Sets and OTTs.

Another important set of resources teachers can access are online Sample Item Sets for students in grades K-8. The Sample Item Sets are a select group of test items in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and social studies that encompass various kinds of technology-enhanced items (drag and drop, hot spots, etc.) and are embedded within the OTTs. The sets provide teachers and students practice in solving grade-level and content-specific test items aligned to Michigan’s content standards, and provide practice in navigating the online test delivery system.

The OTTs can be accessed two ways:

  • Chrome ( mi) — You must use the Chrome browser to access the OTTs. Choose the Online Tools Training link located under each assessment. Students can access the practice sets from home with the Chrome browser.
  • INSIGHT ― Open INSIGHT and on the lower left side of the page, select the Online Tools Training link under each assessment. Feedback collected from previous administrations indicates that students and teachers who utilized the OTTs and Sample Item Sets felt more prepared for online testing; students reported feeling confident about taking assessments online, and school administrators and teachers stated they experienced fewer issues related to online testing than students and teachers who did not take advantage of this resource.

Below is a 3rd Grade Text Dependent Analysis Sample with scoring guide. We will be meeting with Department Chairs to determine if we have gaps within our curriculum or if our current units of study will adequately prepare our students.