At H.O. Brittingham Elementary, a major improvement on state tests basically comes down to more reading.
“We are very happy to have adopted the American Reading Company framework, and, yes, we do believe that it helped us earn recognition status from the state,” said Cathy Miller, a reading specialist at HOB.
HOB recently earned a Recognition School award from Delaware Department of Education for improving test scores on the annual state test.
The American Reading Company curriculum is new to the school, and it challenges students in kindergarten through fifth grade with independent reading using books that they want to read, Miller said.
“Just building the reading stamina and giving students a choice of books at their independent reading level resulted in more student engagement with texts,” Miller said.
Principal Ned Gladfelter said students read at least 60 minutes a day, and teachers then meet with students individually to set reading goals.
This school year, Miller said, the school has expanded its reading program for all grades by adding research projects. Depending on grade level, Miller said, students explore a topic and then produce an informational piece to share.
Fifth-graders, she said, researched ecosystems and created a website or a Powerpoint presentation on their research. Second-graders researched bugs, and each student picked a bug to learn about.
Each week, Miller said, students research a different topic.
“We are thrilled with the engagement of the students,” she said.