In this NC Quest project, the School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, and Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill will partner with Bertie County Schools to provide intensive literacy instruction professional development to 30 kindergarten, first grade, and second grade teachers and 120 of their struggling readers at approximately 4 schools in one high-need local educational agency. The following priority will be addressed through this work: Assisting K-12 teachers to become highly knowledgeable about and pedagogically skilled in leading students to mastery of the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts. The following professional development threads also will be addressed: a) provision of instructional interventions for low-performing students, and b) utilization of teacher leaders in sharing acquired instructional skills with other faculty.
The professional development intervention is the Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI). TRI aims to help teachers reach all students by providing teachers with scientifically-based professional development in diagnostic reading instructional activities and strategies. By improving teachers’ instruction through intensive ongoing professional development and webcam literacy coaching, TRI will provide teachers with an enhanced understanding of what struggling readers need to acquire critical decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. Participating teachers will receive TRI training, materials, and ongoing remote webcam coaching throughout the year. A TRI literacy coach will work with a classroom teacher instructing a struggling reader and give the teacher real-time feedback to promote optimal literacy instruction. In just 6-8 weeks of daily one-on-one 15-minute sessions delivered in the general education classroom setting, classroom teachers will help struggling readers rapidly increase their reading and writing skills.