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KPS teachers take aim at reading

KPS teacher studying AIMS.
KPS teacher studying AIMS.(Kearney Public Schools)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 11:49 AM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Kearney Public Schools’ PK-5 principals and teacher leaders have been learning how to become stronger reading instructors over the past six months.

It’s through a partnership with the Nebraska Department of Education and the Nebraska Dyslexia Association. They were able to take an online, interactive course from the AIM Institute for Learning & Research.

AIM Pathways courses take the science of reading and translate that information into unique learning activities based on research. This new partnership is designed to build capacity with leaders and teachers around solid, research-based reading strategies before adopting an ELA curriculum in 2022.  Over 15 KPS participants experienced over 30 hours of coursework in the Pathways to Literacy Leadership course.

The Pathways to Literacy Leadership and the Pathways to Proficient Reading course are designed for educators committed to learning about the connection between reading research, theoretical models such as the Simple View of Reading and Scarborough’s Reading Rope, and best practices for language and literacy instruction in the classroom. Administrators learned about the Science of Reading, focusing on developing a literacy plan, curriculum selection, and assessment tools.

Audra Haas, a Title Reading Teacher at Bryant Elementary, said that the AIM Pathways training provided in-depth information on best practices for teaching reading. “This training helps you understand exactly what is preventing a struggling reader from becoming a proficient reader,” said Haas. “Then AIM gives you a science-based approach to lessons that will help students improve reading skills.”

Central Elementary Principal, Teresa Schnoor, explained, “As a building principal, I found this comprehensive look into how children learn to read, why learning to read can be difficult, and how best to address those challenges, to be invaluable to our efforts to ensure our students become proficient readers.”

According to Chelsea Feusner, Director of PK-5 Education at KPS, all K-5 classroom teachers will participate in AIM’s Pathways to Proficient Reading program on professional development days during the 21-22 school year.  “This online professional development course includes classroom resources that will help teachers put the training into practice,” said Feusner.  “Research shows that traditional stand-and-deliver workshops are not as effective as AIMS at changing instructional practices.”  AIM Pathways courses are designed to follow a learn, practice, and apply cycle.

“Our goal is to provide the best reading instruction to our students possible,” stated Feusner.  “Our teachers have embraced this research-based method of teaching that will help all readers.”

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