Root to Fruit — The Sprig Learning Newsletter for Holistic and Equitable Early Learning.
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In Sprig’s research thus far, there have been advice and case studies that fell outside the purview of previously written articles. However, these bits of wisdom have shown to be just as successful in closing the early literacy gap.
When these five gems of recommendations listed below were followed, schools and early learning centers were successfully able to surpass student language and literacy learning indicators targets.
Regardless of the type and degree of training teachers have received on dyslexia, or their current level of knowledge, it’s never too late to create a more supportive learning experience for dyslexic students.
If you want to understand the basics of dyslexia and see proven characteristics of effective reading programs, do read Sprig’s Improving Reading with Dyslexia.
This article is a follow up to that content, focusing exclusively on how teachers can support students with dyslexia.
Play-based learning is one approach to differentiate learning— something Sprig has covered in a previous article showing how differentiated learning supports all other forms of learning.
Indeed some children may display a greater preference for play.
But by itself, play-based learning as a strategy for the whole classroom is a great way to improve early literacy scores.
Play-based learning supports early literacy development in multiple ways.
Sprig covered the role of PD in strategic reading instruction in a previous article. It’s essential reading for anyone looking to better understand the linkage between PD and improving early literacy instruction. The article goes into the components of effective PD for reading instruction, its examples and its expectations.
This article will talk about the role of online PD, how it connects with the real purpose of PD, and how such a format can be useful for evidence-based reading instruction.
It makes a case for online professional development being suited to raise student performance because of the advantages it provides to the reading teacher.
The change process is usually preceded and followed by unfreezing and refreezing respectively. If this 2019 report from Education Week is any indication of the viewpoints held by the majority of educators, we are still at the unfreezing stage.
But the blow dealt by the pandemic to the continuity of in-school learning has definitely hastened the need to take action and speed up the change process.
The learning loss that has occurred has grabbed the attention of many school districts and teachers across North America. Some have started to implement practices that are more conducive to evidence-based early literacy.
Nine such evidence-based instruction trends are reviewed in this article, with examples. The lesson learned from each trend is discussed as well.
The effort to reduce literacy inequity is a massive undertaking. It’s one that requires multiple actions. The original research conducted to write that piece included more than 10 ideas! Thus, as a part two of the same series, Sprig Learning presents to you, “7 More Actions Schools Can Take Today to Increase Literacy Equity” .
These 7 actions are just as applicable and research-based as those mentioned in the first part of this series. Sprig hopes some of these (if not all), are incorporated into future school improvement plans.
When done right, PD can be a tool for strategic reading instruction.
It can consolidate and further advance the learning gained from teacher preparatory programs on evidence-based instruction.
Furthermore, it can introduce these concepts to teachers who have not heard of them before.
Most importantly, it can provide practical and actionable guidance to teachers by which they can improve reading proficiency for their students.
This article explores the goals of PD for strategic reading instruction and the ideal components of PD. It subsequently discusses the types of PD that are available, and the expectations of a high-quality PD program.
Creating the right plan and formulating the right strategy are important, but sometimes it helps to review ready-made actionable recommendations to help those students who are in dire need.
What are some things schools can do today to boost reading proficiency scores and accelerate both learning gains and learning recovery? These 10 actions can be implemented by any school to increase literacy equity.
As the new school year begins, teachers, schools, school districts, organizations and governments are looking to improve early literacy scores post-pandemic. Some states across the US have strengthened previous legislative acts, other states have action plans in place to deal with literacy inequity, while others have enacted new laws to increase early reading achievement.
When making decisions on education investments, both cost and efficiency must be taken into account. Both factor into the academic ROI, where the idea is to maximize student achievement for a certain sum spent.
There are many studies that explore the impact of educational tools, but the cost-effectiveness of these tools is often overlooked.
Costs include the price tag of such tools, but also the cost of the resources that are required for their successful implementation.
Dyslexia, and other related co-occurring learning disorders like ADHD, can put affected students at a disadvantage. In a diverse classroom, the needs of such students can be overlooked, unless we pledge to take the necessary steps to provide the support they need.
In this article, Sprig covers the basics of dyslexia, and offers tips to improve reading with dyslexia in the early years of education.
Although dyslexia is non-curable, when properly managed, it’s possible for many dyslexic students to be proficient in reading!
Improving foundational reading skills requires the collaborative effort of many. Sprig has written about these players in previous blogs. See for example, the primary teacher, the literacy specialist and the literacy coach. This article deals with the all important role of the school principal.
When enough principals adopt a validated, peer-reviewed approach to literacy, they can also influence the superintendents in their districts to try out evidence-based methods, which have been proven to reduce risk of reading failure.
Given the current state of affairs for K-2 students, and for those from marginalized backgrounds, Sprig has identified six factors that make a positive difference in the learning outcomes of children.
These six factors, when understood properly, can be used to make a difference for students who are: struggling to read, just beginning to learn how to read, or going to start learning in the near future.
In this article, we look at multiple aspects of SoR to derive lessons that can be applied in the classroom.
To do this, we rely on an assortment of 40 factual statements on SoR. They are grouped where appropriate, to offer valuable insights to educators, staff and leaders for improving reading instruction at schools.
Education leaders do not seek a monetary return on their investments, but they do seek greater student learning and cost-efficiency. This is called the academic return on investment for schools. This article is about increasing the academic return on investment through early literacy initiatives.
Recently, there is more awareness about the immense value of early literacy. Studies continue to be published from various states showing that roughly a third of all K-2 students are missing early literacy benchmarks.
It’s a collective responsibility to ensure that the early literacy experience for children is optimized. Apart from parents, teachers spend the most time with kids in their daily lives during the school year. Their role in young students’ early literacy development is paramount to student success.
This article, Part 3 in our series, is dedicated to classroom teachers in early elementary grades who have a permanent seat at the early literacy dream team table. (Read Part 1 and Part 2.)
Sprig Learning Partners With Joyful Literacy To Develop a New Evidence-Based Early Literacy Teacher App
Sprig Learning was purpose-built to help provide every student with a fair shot at success. To date, we have worked with schools across North America to improve the assessment process in the early years, support teachers and provide all young learners with the chance to succeed in both school and in life. We have helped thousands of early learners acquire the fundamentals of early literacy and numeracy.
Sprig Learning’s early literacy tools are built around the Science of Reading. To take the next big leap in early literacy innovation, Sprig is excited to partner with Dr. Janet Mort and her Joyful Literacy team to bring you Sprig Reading: Powered by Joyful Literacy! Joyful Literacy is a proven, evidence-based literacy framework that has consistently improved classrooms to 90% grade-level literacy achievement. Wherever it is implemented, the results soon follow!
This week, we turn our attention to the literacy coach. Like the reading or literacy specialist, it’s another in-school role that plays an invaluable part in teaching school children how to read.
The literacy coach, or reading coach, is someone trained in early literacy and who is aware of all recent developments in reading research. They use these skills to show teachers how to more effectively help students learn to read.
The role of a literacy coach is multivarious. It involves planning for coaching, reviewing teaching and assessment practices, and organizing resources for early literacy instruction.
Approximately 4 million students are enrolled in Grade 3 in the US in 2022. We regularly read reports from different states about the percentage of Grade 3 and Grade 4 students scoring below the state assessment level for reading proficiency. It ranges from 20% to as much as 60%.
Even if the lower quartile is considered, that means 1 million students are struggling to read in the US. It’s quite a daunting task for reading specialists, with each reading specialist, on average ,responsible for supporting 52 students!
In this article, we look at the nature of the job that is done by reading/literacy specialists, evidence of their effectiveness, and put forward ways in which we can better support them.
Often the word “literacy intervention” conjures up thoughts that relate to cost-inefficiencies and doubts over its overall efficiency.
But with hundreds of reading intervention programs being used by thousands of schools, we are past the point of debating the usability of interventions.
Rather, the focus should be on how to best implement literacy interventions in schools.
Indeed, schools should be well equipped to manage returning students that had varied summer experiences and were exposed to diverse learning opportunities. Some students may require more help than others in the form of one-on-one or group support.
But how can we mitigate the summer slide?
Or looking at it from a more positive angle, what if more learning opportunities were available during the summer so all students could continue to maintain and build their early literacy skills?
In a study on school readiness and later achievement, it’s said that early math skills have even greater predictive power than reading and attention skills, when it comes to determining success.
Given math is such an integral part of early childhood education, we wanted to do a comprehensive roundup of all strategies written on this topic.
We present them in this article.
Despite all the challenges commonly faced by teachers, they are committed to the teaching profession to help students.
It takes an enormous amount of effort and dedication to teach preschoolers, kindergarteners and students in the early elementary grades. That’s why Sprig Learning supports the teaching cause by designing holistic early learning programs for Pre-K to Grade 3.
For this year’s National Teacher Day, let’s take time to understand each teaching role to truly appreciate them!
Encouraging and motivating a student during their early math experiences allows them to develop a keen interest in math. Such enjoyment and persistence in learning math pays off. Students explore creative ways to advance their learning instead of being discouraged and frustrated.
Play-based learning drives engagement in the early years.
Technology facilitates play.
In this article, we explore technology’s potential in teaching early math skills.
It may be easier to raise the performance standards for some students, but it’s a much more difficult task to ensure all students receive the academic support they need.
Whether it’s creating the right vision for early learning, or writing a high-performing school improvement plan, Sprig aims to present what has worked for schools.
This article is the latest installment of our early learning school improvement series. We present 3 case studies from the US that resulted in early learning student success. Each case is followed by a takeaway.
There are hundreds of different factors that determine literacy success, and there are potentially more factors that remain unresearched.
That being said, the evidence for the Science of Reading deserves thorough consideration from educators who are looking for ways to build early literacy skills in and develop proficient readers in their classrooms.
In this article, we look at how the Science of Reading informs early literacy strategies.
Literacy is a science, and there is a plethora of things to consider when explaining variances in literacy outcomes.
For schools, timeliness is especially important in making a difference in building early literacy skills. A stitch in time saves nine.
In this article, Sprig Learning zeroes in on early literacy skills, and their impact on student outcomes.
One of the major reasons is holistic learning’s connection to differentiated instruction, which enables educators to personalize learning for every early child. Sprig’s holistic assessments help educators identify the unique strengths, needs and learning interests of every child.
Here are 11 more reasons why holistic learning suits early learning so well.
Sprig Learning is a purpose-built company that aims to provide every child a fair shot at success. Doing so requires the cooperation of many — administrators, teachers, parents, etc.
In order to best serve all learners, there should be a needs assessment conducted by school districts followed by school improvement plans that are written in accordance with the discovered needs.
By assessing what is working versus what is not, an action plan for school improvement can be set in motion.
With the right school improvement plan, becoming a high-performing school is a reality. It’s best to learn from existing case studies. We present three of them in this article.
Sprig Learning designs high-quality and culturally enabling early literacy and numeracy programs for pre-K to Grade 3.
High-quality early learning programs are used by school districts all over North America to produce meaningful results and deliver the best outcomes for young students.
Assessments are critical to early childhood education and development. We look at early learning assessment best practices to design the most effective assessments.
In school districts across Canada and the US, there is a standardized assessment delivered at the end of grade 3 or grade 4 which often represents the first standardized assessment in the early years. It also often marks the end of the primary school years. But in fact, a lot of the time, early childhood education begins with an assessment!
How can educators be better supported in their daily schedules? The essential components of teacher schedules are explored in this article, to suggest areas where help can be accepted. By following a set structure, an educator ensures that they are fitting the best quality education possible in the time they have at the school with their students.
Introducing Sprig Learning, the holistic early learning platform that provides every young student a fair shot at success. What does this mean for everyone involved? Whether you are a parent, a teacher, principal, a school district or community leader, an education innovator, or perhaps all of the above, Sprig’s products are designed to help everyone involved in early childhood education.
Why are early childhood education programs of such importance in our society? Here are 3 critical reasons that break it down. Early childhood education is defined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the National Association for the Education of Young Children as birth to 8 years of age. This corresponds to pre-K to Grade 3 in the school system.
Early literacy development is in the back of every Pre-K to grade 3 teacher’s mind. Apply these 4 golden rules to see young students become better readers and writers. Family Literacy Day was created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 to promote the joy of life-long learning. It’s never too late for anyone to improve their skill level in reading or writing. But it’s best if such a process starts early, hence the importance of early literacy!
A holistic approach to education is often the answer to many of the challenges faced by school districts and policy makers today. This interactive map of Canada looks at the state of holistic education across the country.
Will augmented reality work in early childhood education? It will, if used in the right context. We explain its potential. Adding technology to any learning program will not immediately translate into improved student outcomes. However, technology, when used with physical educational materials, has the potential to add tremendous value to classrooms.
Formative assessments are used by educators throughout North America to teach students. How can holistic formative assessments help? In education, formative assessments are extremely popular. Schools that use formative assessment show gains in academic achievement for students. For previously underachieving students, the gains are more pronounced due to the impact of formative assessments.
ESSER contains 3 stimulus packages thus far to help schools during the public emergency. With the right recommendations, it’s a tremendous opportunity to make long-term winning investments.
This is Sprig Learning’s 2021 end of year reflection. There is so much to be grateful for, as we work to ensure all early learners have the best shot at success in school.
Parental involvement is essential for a high-quality early childhood education. For best results, make sure that these four things are taken into consideration.
Every challenge has a solution. Apply these 5 solutions to address the 5 major early learning challenges faced by schools in North America.
So many articles, journals, whitepapers, conferences, and experts agree on these 5 challenges in early education. Yet, they continue to exist. What are they? We discuss.
In order to address the opportunity gaps that exist in early childhood education, all relevant terms that make or break a program should be understood. We cover the most essential terms in this article.
Organization focused influencers in early childhood education are a driving force in the betterment of early learning. We look at 11 key figures in North America.
Early childhood education is a discipline that continues to evolve over the years. Here are 21 key influencers today who make ECE what it is.
Use this miniguide to build your differentiated instruction strategy for early learners. Acquire a complete perspective of differentiated instruction implementation.
Is there such a thing as a holistic approach to assessment in education? We explore the depth to which holistic learning and assessments align with early literacy.
We have a long way to go to achieve equity in early childhood education. Here is some food for thought and potential solutions.
Is it possible to mitigate implicit bias in early learning assessments? Further your understanding of this topic and get some recommendations.
Assessments are essential in schools, but are we missing something in the way we conduct assessments? See how formative assessments could be immune to learning disruption.
If we only looked at the numbers and nothing else, what story would that depict? In early learning, we look at many such numbers from zero to hundred to tell a story.
Benefits of Differentiated Instruction in Early Learning—The Comprehensive List [With Matching Strategies]
What’s the hype about differentiated instruction in early learning? We address all of its benefits in one place, with strategies to match.
A robust head start preschool program is required to educate early learners. But what’s the difference between a high-quality preschool vs other preschools?
Is one type of formative assessment better than the other for early learning? We explore the nature of both formal & informal assessments.
Differentiated learning is not a standalone approach. It affects many other types of early learning approaches. We look at the central role it plays in early learning.
In honour of Orange Shirt Day, we pledge to never forget, but to look ahead. Canada is in the process of reconciliation. These 13 Indigenous learning initiatives are making an impact.
Improving quality and accessibility of early learning programs has always required appropriate investments. In response to the greater urgency for funding, we list the must-follow early learning funding sources in the US.
You’ve heard the idea of holistic learning before in early childhood education. We bring you 15 characteristics that reveal the essence of holistic education, with examples.
Indigenous education awareness is at an all-time high. We explain the current state, challenges and opportunities in North America, focusing on early learners who are most impacted by any change.
It’s said that Covid 19 school closures have devastated early learning. We discuss the journey from learning loss to learning recovery for those affected.
Indigenous education authority, Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, recognized for its innovative approach to learning. OTTAWA, ON (May 20, 2021) —The Mi’kmaw education authority in Nova Scotia is one of six recipients from across Canada to win the prestigious Governor...
Sprig Math Focuses on Building a Deeper Understanding of Mathematics in the Early Years. OTTAWA, ON (March 10, 2021) — Leading educational technology company, Sprig Learning, launches Sprig Math to support teachers, students and families as they navigate the...
Designing Classroom Resources: Part Two – Process & Execution Design Tips & Tricks for Early Childhood Educators
For part two of our ‘Designing Classroom Resources’ series, Chris is going to focus on process and execution; how to create engaging resources that are inspired by your own ideas or by borrowing inspiration from/putting your own twist on activities you may have...
Interested in creating your own classroom resources for early learners? Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! Sprig’s in-house graphic designer is sharing a design education series just for you; to give you access to the tips and tricks you need to design...
As a follow-up to Part One - Children on Computers, we now shift the focus to securing data on mobile technology. While the evolution of mobile and wireless technologies have contributed positively to lives over the past 10+ years, many people continue to debate the...
With most schools running either part- or full-time remote learning programs (or a combination of both), parents are advised to stay vigilant about doing everything they can to protect their child’s data online. At Sprig Learning, we take online security and privacy...
COVID-19 brought the entire world to a standstill. Arguably, the education sector was the most impacted. School closures for nearly six months are having a profound impact on young learners. According to UNESCO, approximately 1.5 billion children were affected by...
This article was originally published at https://www.canadadownunder.org.au/sprig-learning/ Jarrett Laughlin comes from a family of Canadian educators. As someone with nearly two decades of experience in the Canadian education sector, his passion and work are...
Across the country, Canadian families are feeling the effects of COVID-19 school closures. In some provinces, schools have been closed indefinitely, prompting many parents to seek credible learning resources that have been designed with them in mind. In response,...
This interview was originally published by The Information and Communications Technology Council on Monday, March 9, 2020. The constant proliferation of new educational technologies can distract from important questions such as “Is this software helpful” and...
Sprig Learning, a leader in holistic early years programming, is excited to launch our new innovative platform Sprig 2.0 for the 2019-20 school year. With improved data visualization for educators, iOS assessment application features and learning resources for...
There’s a change going on at my school near the Trans-Canada Highway in the southeastern Alberta town of Bassano. Teachers are turning on to how student data can be used to drive decisions in the classroom. I’ve been the principal at Bassano School for about three...
Education administrators, teachers and parents have access to more personalized data about their students than ever before. With class sizes growing and caps being removed, it is important that we learn how to process and apply the information collected effectively to...
Sprig Learning CEO Jarrett Laughlin had the opportunity to talk about how an iPad and real-time data are helping Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in Nova Scotia capture multiple perspectives of early literacy while promoting language learning in the home,...
Technology isn't leaving anytime soon – that's a fact. With job markets desperate for digital skills and teachers desperate for support, devices have a place in today's education system. The trouble is, schools are adopting technology at an accelerating rate while the...
The truth is hard to come by, isn't it? Even for adults, the line between truth and falsehood is often blurry. Social media, news sites, online publications – the access to information is limitless but so too is our exposure to misinformation. For every reputable news...
Protecting student data is a top priority for school districts and schools, and with the upswing of new edtech products on the market, it can be hard to qualify which tools offer the kind of protection that you and your students need. While some edtech companies may...
We are thrilled to announce that the Sprig Learning Bookshelf has been named the Tech Edvocate’s Best Language Learning App of 2018! The Sprig Learning Bookshelf was built in partnership with Mi’kmaw Kina’matenwey of Nova Scotia, and provides Indigenous and...
Parental engagement is one of the most powerful ways to raise student achievement in academics, but actually getting parents in the door of your school is easier said than done. Check out Sprig Learning's six strategies to boosting parental engagement, and create a...
Children of all backgrounds should have role models to admire. Most young children have heroes and they’re often quite literal in the rationale behind their choices. Race and gender are often deciding factors and while pop culture is responding by diversifying content...
Coding, digital literacy, tech etiquette – these competencies are being squeezed into curriculums faster than you can say ‘growth mindset’. There is a justified reasoning behind this digital push, but let’s not forget the importance of early literacy. Without...
Among personalized learning and caregiver engagement, student assessment is one of the most important aspects of early learning. Educators who consistently use formative assessment strategies are shown to double the speed of learning for students in their classroom....