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"Teaching Reading is Rocket Science" Guides Professional Learning at Perry Elementary

Perry Elementary School in Perry and Heartland AEA have spent three years digging into the science of teaching reading, and this focused work has made a difference for students and teachers.

In 2013, Perry K-5 teachers were selected to pilot the FAST assessment, a new reading screening tool. With that pilot came additional instructional coaching supports from Heartland AEA and ongoing grade-level professional development sessions -- using Louisa Moats’ Teaching Reading is Rocket Science -- to guide them on the science of teaching reading.

Heartland AEA instructional coaches partnered with Perry Elementary administrators to facilitate the implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). This included modeling instructional routines and allowing teachers to see the science of teaching reading come to life in the classroom. Teams met to establish goals, monitor progress and learn to use assessment data to match instruction to the needs of students. 

“The best news of all is that the science is working!” Joel Martin, Perry Elementary Associate Principal, said. “Our FAST data has increased at every grade level since we started, and we are closer to having our Core reading instruction meet 80% of our student needs in the area of reading."

Joel Martin

“Collaborative efforts between Perry and Heartland AEA have continued to expand, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to support their efforts in data decisions, professional development, special education and more,” Robin Koskovich, Heartland AEA Professional Learning & Leadership Consultant, said.

Robin Kosovich


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