The Top of the Class Reading Comprehension Kit is a seven booklet set of versatile, supplemental literacy materials created by real classroom teachers in Language Arts, English as a Second Language (ESL), Reading Specialist, Science, Social Studies, Math, Art, Music, and Technology. These teacher created materials are designed around literacy strategies that work in the classroom. Developed under the auspices of The Education Toolbox, LLC the materials are based upon successful classroom strategies that meet the needs of students, parents and educators. Students enjoy the flexibility of having self-paced and self-directed multi-grade literacy materials as they grow more confident in their reading skills and are able to chart their reading progress (the kit includes a math/graphing component). Teachers can use the kit as part of classroom “Do Now” exercises, supplemental lessons, substitute folders, or as an incentive or academic reward. Parents/guardians can monitor the literacy development of their child and assist with the growth of a child’s literacy progress at home and all year round.
As the movement for education equity grows teachers are particularly interested in impacting student achievement by addressing the “opportunity gap” with fresh new ideas and exciting high quality teacher created materials that meet student needs. Students can be successful if we provide the tools for success. We are committed to providing students with the educational tools for success. Teacher created materials are designed around successful strategies that work in the only places where it counts, at home and in the classroom. The Top of the Class Reading Comprehension Kit is our first teacher created multi-level literacy product.
We believe teachers should be recognized as valued experts and important contributors in shaping the learning environment. Further, we believe all schools should be well staffed and well resourced and focus on strategies that address the deep economic inequalities that hold back millions of students across the country. We should all be interested in leveling the playing field for all students. Partnerships should be encouraged that include all the stakeholders. Education should not be seen just in the context of a 45-90 minute block of classroom time but rather in the context of bridging the learning gap between school and home as well as parent and teacher. We must build a seamless environment for learning. If we are interested in student academic success our educational institutions must address the “total child” and not just limited aspects of a child’s development.
In1998 the U.S. Dept. of Education and the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Resources asked the National Academy of Sciences to study the problem of lagging grade school literacy and provide advice and guidance for parents and educators on the prevention of reading difficulties in young children. The following recommendations were issued: “throughout the early grades, schools should promote independent reading outside school by such means as daily at home reading…summer reading list, and encouraging parental involvement.” We know what to do we just have to do it.
Another important report published in 2007 by the National Institute for Literacy states: “Adolescents entering the adult world in the 21st century will read and write more than at any other time in human history. They will need advanced levels of literacy to perform their jobs, run their households, act as citizens, and conduct their personal lives. They will need literacy to cope with the flood of information they will find everywhere they turn. They will need literacy to feed their imagination so that they can create the world of the future.”
In our competitive world, well-developed reading ability is a highly valuable skill that is applicable to all professions and essential for social and economic advancement. There are no shortcuts. It is best for all students to start as early as possible when developing reading skills and to remain consistent. Successful reading will not only unlock the drive for below average readers, but will also boost the motivations of all learners for more memorable reading and overall higher academic achievement.