Today some colleagues referred me to the Thinkfinity.org website. The website points out:
“Thinkfinity Literacy Network (TLN) is part of Thinkfinity.org, the Verizon Foundation’s signature education and literacy platform. TLN features content specific to the adult and family literacy communities. It offers teachers, volunteers, parents, community groups, adult students and program administrators free online courses, best practices, program assessment tools, teaching and learning tools, model programs that demystify technology for parents, and abundant research highlighting the importance of literacy development across the life span. All TLN content is free and is developed and approved by leading literacy experts like the American Library Association, National Center for Family Literacy and ProLiteracy Worldwide.”
There is a ton of free and informative resources on this site! Check out the online literacy PD courses here. Each course is short (~60 minutes) and packed with useful and research-based teaching tips. For example, the course objective for “Before, During, and After – A Reading Comprehension Technique” is as follows:
“Comprehension – obtaining meaning from text – is the purpose of reading. While the definition is simple, the skills, strategies, and techniques that good readers use to comprehend what they read can be quite complicated, especially for someone who is learning to read. The fact is, adults with low literacy skills need direct instruction in reading comprehension because they will not discover effective strategies on their own. This course features the Before, During, and After reading technique. Tutors and teachers can use this technique to help students interact with text and systematically apply reading strategies that will improve their comprehension.”
Also take a look at the Verizon Lifespan Literacy Matrix. When I taught literacy in Japan, I was always looking for materials I could send home with parents to inform them about their children’s literacy development. This matrix is something you can send home to parents, so that they can learn the stages of literacy development and help their children learn how to read.