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Email: ndseec.info@k12.nd.us

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Phone: 701.446.3170

Fax: 701.446.3176

Improving Academic Literacy

The Improving Academic Literacy (IAL) Project, sponsored by the SEEC, is a five-day team professional learning opportunity spread over the course of the school year with Dr. Kevin Feldman.

The project's goals are to familiarize with and implement research-based literacy strategies that will increase student achievement for learners in grades K-6 (elementary cohort) and grades 6-12 (secondary cohort).

The project focuses on working with a team of "master teachers" from each school to combine research-based strategies ( IES Practice Guide ) with implementation, feedback and coaching.

Building administrators will invite master teachers based on their expertise, leadership abilities and their willingness to be observed and give/receive feedback.

Training Schedule

Cohort A:

August 15, 2017
September 27, 2017
November 27, 2017
February 7, 2018
April 12, 2018
Click here for training materials

Cohort B:

August 15, 2017
September 28, 2017
November 29, 2017
February 8, 2018
April 11, 2018
Click here for training materials


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Dr. Kevin FeldmanDr. Kevin Feldman, is well-known as a co-author of Scholastic's READ 180 Intervention Program. His career in education spans more than 40 years. While Director of Reading and Intervention for Sonoma County Office of Education, he was responsible for developing, organizing, and monitoring programs related to PreK-12 literacy and the prevention and remediation of reading difficulties. To learn more about Dr. Feldman's work, you may view workshop videos on vimeo.

Contact Information

Jennifer Glasheen
Director of Teaching & Learning

Improving Academic Literacy Project: Setting the Stage for School Leadership.

Participants have the option of registering for a 2-credit course through Valley City State University.

Literacy Strategies will focus on the IES Practice Guides for Improvening Academic Literacy and Improving Reading Comprehension K-3 .

Team membership from each building should consist of some of the following individuals:

  • Building administrator (1 REQUIRED per team)
  • General education content area teachers
    • Grades K-6 - Elementary Cohort
    • Grades 6-12 - Secondary Cohort
  • Special education teachers
  • Reading Specialists
  • Instructional coaches

(Grades k-3, What Works Clearinghouse)

IES Practice Guide, Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten Through Third Grade. (Shanahan, et al., Sept., 2010)

This practice guide presents five recommendations that are supported by research. The fundamental assumption in this guide is that the objective of reading instruction is to give young readers the tools they need to understand increasingly sophisticated material in all subjects from elementary through later years of school. The practices recommended are therefore not an end in themselves, but the means to developing sound ability in reading comprehension. To be successful, these five recommendations must be implemented in concert, and clearly explained in a rich educational context that includes the following: a comprehensive literacy curriculum, ample opportunity for students to read and write while being coached and monitored by teachers, additional instruction and practice for students based on the results of formal and informal assessments, and adequate resources for students and teachers.

  1. Teach students how to use reading comprehension strategies.ow to use reading comprehension strategies.
  2. Teach students to identify and use the text's organizational structure to comprehend, learn and remember content.
  3. Guide Students through focused, high-quality discussion on the meaning of text.
  4. Select texts purposefully to support comprehension development.
  5. Establish an engaging and motivating context in which to teach reading comprehension.

(Grades 4-12, What Works Clearinghouse)

IES Practice Guide, Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices. (Kamil, et al., May, 2014)

This practice guide presents five recommendations that are supported by research. The NAEP data discussed in the overview make it clear that many adolescents lack the robust literacy skills they need for success in school and in the workplace. Many of these students can benefit tremendously when their classroom teachers adjust their instruction in ways that this practice guide recommends. The first four recommendations provide evidence-based strategies that can usually be implemented by regular classroom teachers, those who teach content areas to students.

  1. Provide Explicit Vocabulary Instruction an Use of Academic Language.
  2. Provide Direct and Explicit Comprehension Strategy Instruction.
  3. Provide Opportunities for Extended Discussion of Text Meaning and Interpretation.
  4. Increase Student Motivation and Engagement in Literacy Learning.
  5. Make Available Intensive and Individualized Interventions for Struggling Readers that can by provided by Trained Specialists.