- Nonprofit organization Learning Stewards' Magic Ladder program lets readers click on words to see them broken down by syllables and definitions, according to The Hechinger Report.
- Schools that have put the tool to use say students can get help with reading, but without their peers needing to know.
- The program is also useful across any curriculum, helping students learn words whether they’re sitting in math class or in social studies.
Early literacy continues to be an important focus in schools and even hit the top five in the 2018 What’s Hot in Literacy Report from the International Literacy Foundation. Getting students comfortable with reading, and in a way that encourages them to remain active readers throughout their life, is a tricky endeavor — particularly with struggling readers.
Children know in classrooms how their peers are progressing — all they have to do is see the book a friend has and they do not. Curriculum tools that then help students not only progress in their own reading ability, but do so discreetly, can take away any stigma some readers fear they’ll face. These options can mean the difference between a child who isn’t afraid to pick up a book and work through passages and one who declares reading is boring but is actually just uncomfortable.
Curriculum designers and administrators must then choose every possible tool to support early literacy, particularly as reading at grade level by the 3rd grade is crucial to a child’s success, as 2010 data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation illustrates. Supporting struggling readers is one way educators can replace the stress with excitement, so they learn to see reading as a door always open.