The Positive Impact of Title 1 in District 211
Students in basic English classes, STRIDE and those struggling in the regular English classes are benefitting from Title 1 teaching assistants both in the classrooms and in learning centers. Because of the economy, we have been able to hire certified English teachers to work with our students in a variety of roles.
In the classroom, teaching assistants not only help with classroom management so more curriculum can be covered, they also work with students individually or in small groups to help individualize instruction so that all students can be successful. They can help a student who was absent complete missing assignments or reteach a lesson so all students can learn.
Additionally, having two "teachers" in the classroom means that students do not fall through the cracks and that we can more effectively address social-emotional as well as academic needs of students. These same teaching assistants work in our learning centers; because they are in students’ classes, they are able to effectively work with students in mastering the skills addressed in their classes.
Title 1 funds have been used to purchase Netbooks that are in our Title classes. Having computers available in the classroom has strengthened our writing instruction, making revisions easier for students during the writing process. Additionally, we have purchased materials to isolate and target skills tested on the MAP Reading Test. Such materials allow us to individualize instruction, focusing on students’ target areas as identified on the reading test. Our Title students also use Reading Plus, a reading software program that helps students to increase their reading speed while maintaining their comprehension. This program is one of the few tools we have to help struggling readers improve their silent fluency so that they can complete timed standardized tests, such as the ACT. And because Reading Plus is a web-based program, they can access it at home.
Certainly, our Title program has changed the way we teach, allowing students and adults to work together to do what is necessary for students to become more skilled readers and writers.
-by Marci Albrecht, English Department Chair
Stride (Eng ) Stride (Span)