95 Percent Group + Tools 4 Reading webinar
Dr. Mary Dahlgren, founder of Tools 4 Reading and literacy executive in residence at 95 Percent Group, recently joined Laura Stewart, Chief Academic Officer at 95 Percent Group, for a webinar focused on how the new partnership of the two companies (95 Percent Group acquired Tools 4 Reading in January) is expanding resources, expertise, and support for students and teachers.
An expanding ecosystem of evidence-based literacy instruction
Recently 95 Percent Group held the webinar, “95 Percent Group + Tools4Reading: The Perfect Partnership,” featuring speakers Dr. Mary Dahlgren and Laura Stewart. They discussed 95 Percent Group’s acquisition of Tools 4 Reading and the benefits for teachers, including key instructional resources and best practices grounded in the science of reading.
Stewart opened the conversation by sharing her enthusiasm for how the Tools 4 Reading products and professional learning resources—in particular, Sound Wall and Kid Lips— fit into the 95 Percent Group expanding ecosystem of evidence-based literacy instruction and resources, to improve student outcomes.
“First of all, it’s a cohesive suite of resources that aligns to our foundational principles and standards of excellence…Instruction is data driven and aligned across tiers of instruction to maximize outcomes for students.”
Presenting the One95 literacy ecosystem:
Stewart provided a high-level overview of the One95 literacy ecosystem and featured some of its leading benefits, including:
1. Consistency of academic language across all tiers
2. Scope and sequence of skills is the same; intensity of instruction differs.
3. Consistency of instructional routines allows for students to focus cognitive energy from process to learning.
4. Consistency of instructional routines allows teachers to focus on student response.
5. Evidence aligned to the principles and research of the science of reading (the 95 Percent Group litmus test)
Keywords: cohesion and alignment
Dr. Mary Dahlgren shared what the Tools 4 Reading team has been finding as they work with Kid Lips and build Sound Walls in classrooms. Reiterating Laura’s focus on cohesion and alignment, Mary explained, “When children can retrieve that information easily, they can also talk about comparisons and contrasts of the sounds in our language. And we’re also developing some metacognitive skills there, which is really exciting.”
She clarified the metacognitive aspect. “In Kid Lips, the idea is that we have more information to retrieve by talking about what I’m doing when I’m making those gestures with my tongue in my teeth, in my lips. And our students then are able to easily connect that speech to the print.”
These are things that most teachers have not learned in their undergraduate or teacher prep programs. Dahlgren emphasized that Tools 4 Reading products were designed to be easy to “grab and go” so teachers don’t have to spend hours learning it. The idea is they can pick up Kids Lips and Sound walls and use these in their classroom or small group setting.
Watch the replay
Watch the replay to see a demonstration of the Sound Wall and its components and learn how the Consonant Chart and Vowel Valley work together. Also understand the differences in instruction across grades and how 95 Core Phonics Program can support students during their critical learning years. During the webinar, Stewart provided a walkthrough of a lesson in the 95 Phonics Core Program®, demonstrating the explicit instructional language in teaching the phonics closed syllable patterns with /ch/ and /sh/ consonant digraphs. She also shows a transfer-to-text process in passage reading. Watch now!
Are you interested in learning about how you can bring an effective and efficient structured literacy approach, grounded in the science of reading, to your school or district? Contact us today.