Really Great Reading Success Story - Jordan School District, Utah


Really Great Reading Success Story: Jordan School District, Utah

Jordan School District in Utah, like many school districts faced challenges with achieving state mandated literacy goals. Leaders at the district decided it was time for a change. Over 1200 teachers have been trained to use the Really Great Reading program in their schools. The results have been immediate. Teachers report that students are excited to learn reading, and that the program is easier for teachers to use.

“Last year was a hard year for teachers, and students, and everyone,” she said. “With the pandemic year … and to have the children make the growth after being out of school. It was amazing.” Jordan District literacy consultant, Michelle Lovell, quoted by KSL News.

Teachers at Jordan School use a statewide test to assist students, and then do further diagnostics to determine what help students need. Students get 15 day interventions that are targeted to what skills they need help with, and then are diagnosed again. Depending on the results, they are moved to a new group for help with other skills.

School to Home Connections

One difference this year from last is that instead of fixed level in the alphabet, students are grouped by skills. For example, teachers will tell parents what skills the student is learning, such as long vowels. Also, materials sent home will refelect the new curriculum. Parents will be encourage to read with their kids and talk about vocabulary words.

Lovell explains the program was meant to be standardized and systematic. This type of approach not only takes a burden off the teachers of preparing unique lesson plans, but it also creates a uniform approach to the topic. KSL News

Listen to this podcast from the Jordan School District where they discuss the impact of the new reading curriculum including Really Great Reading  

Learning to Read So You Can Read to Learn

Students in third grade should be able to automatically decode and read words, enabling them to focus on learning instead of the process of reading. With the new testing and diagnostic process, student above third grade will also receive reading help targeted at the skills they need to become successful readers. Teachers in daily instruction are focused on the science of reading and providing research based instruction, and targeted interventions. For example, one class where this method was applied was able to have all students score above profiency.

Training and Implementation Success

Teachers in the Jordan School District receive a lot of support from their district. Teachers spend a half-day with a specialist after each assessment period, going through the lessons and internventions. Teachers also have coaches working with them. The district worked to get 1,200 teachers trained over the summer in the program.

Before the adoption of Really Great Reading, teachers were responsible for putting together their own reading lessons. Now, with systematic and cumulative instruction, teacher prep time is much easier. The use of manipulatives allows for multisensory learning by students, which is shown to assist with learning phonemes. Physical engagement keeps students focused.

"They [students] are engaged. They have their manipulatives, their letter tiles and making words. I think it is very benefical for the students because, they are learning the rules of our language and how to read." Jordan Supercast


Episode 110: Brand New Literacy Program Helping Students Read & Succeed. Jordan Supercast.


New program raises reading literacy levels in Jordan School District. KSL News Radio.


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