Did you Know?
Increasing a child’s ability to comprehend informational text also increases overall reading achievement (Duke, 2004)
StarrMatica Texts: Science Your Way
Are you looking for an authentic way to integrate more informational texts into your instruction? Would you like to improve the informational text comprehension of your students? Or maybe you are simply looking to give your students more access to informational texts? We can help with that!
Let’s start with what the research tells us about the problems related to informational texts:
- Over three-fourths of students taking the ACT cannot read a college level science text
- 4th graders score the worst on standardized tests on informational text comprehension
- Because beginning readers are primarily exposed to fiction, when they enter fourth grade and begin to read more content area informational text, they have difficulty with comprehension (McNamara, Ozuru, & Floyd, 2011; Meyer & Ray, 2011).
- Researchers have even identified a “fourth grade slump,” and they attribute it to issues with comprehending informational text (Biancarosa & Snow, 2006; Chall & Jacobs, 2003; Sanacore & Palumbo, 2009).
- Comprehending informational text requires a different set of strategies than students use for fiction.
- Current reading core curriculum materials only provide 16% informational text content.
And here is what the research says about the solution:
- Research has determined that the number of informational texts children have the opportunities to read significantly predicts their ability to comprehend informational text (Brenner & Hiebert, 2010).
- Integrating informational texts into the curriculum is the most effective way to use informational texts.
- Reading comprehension improves the most when students are provided with explicit comprehension instruction (Dewitz et al., 2009; Durkin, 1978). Students must receive explicit instruction on how to read informational text in particular (Dymock & Nicholson, 2010; Manyak & Bauer, 2008; McKeown et al., 2009; National Reading Panel, 2000).
- Children must read texts at their reading level for effective reading instruction to occur (Lennon, C. & Burdick, H., 2004).
Now That You Know What We Know, Here’s How We Can Help:
StarrMatica Texts: Science Your Way is digital software platform that houses hundreds of customizable K-5 digital science informational texts. This innovative solution was designed by teachers in collaboration with experienced children’s informational text authors and subject matter experts to solve the challenges teachers face in improving informational text comprehension.
StarrMatica Texts: Science Your Way focuses on the four things research indicates teachers must do to improve informational text comprehension: (1) increase students’ access to informational text, (2) increase the time students spend working with informational text in instructional activities, (3) explicitly teach comprehension strategies, and (4) create opportunities for students to use informational text for authentic purposes (Duke, 2004).
There are four research-based features entirely unique to StarrMatica Texts: Science Your Way:
- Readability - The texts all have multiple readability levels. This is a game changer because the informational text found in science textbooks and other supplementary readers is often too difficult for students; consequently, students don’t learn any of the content and aren’t able to participate in comprehension instruction. In our solution, students reading below, at, and above grade level can all read the same content adjusted to be at their reading level.
- Relevance - The texts are customizable. Every classroom has different curriculums, teachers, and students. Making the texts customizable means they can be adapted to fit the needs of each specific classroom. Teachers can customize multiple features of each text and see their changes on the screen in real time.
- Efficiency - The texts are focused on the Next Generation Science Standards. This saves teachers time by allowing them to address both ELA and science standards simultaneously. It also allows them to integrate informational texts into their curriculum which research has shown is most effective.
- Effectiveness - The texts offer both direct and guided instructional supports embedded within each text that teach comprehension skills while students are reading the text.
StarrMatica Texts: Science Your Way will be available for purchase in January 2020. If you would like to receive additional product information at that time, including pricing, please enter your information below. (We will never share your information with anyone else.)
This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Small Business Innovation Research Program.