Cyber Monday FREE TRIAL

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Tyler Borek

Tyler worked for the New York City Department of Education and for MATCH Middle School in Boston. Tyler is very passionate about the potential for purposeful technology to improve students’ literacy outcomes and teachers’ lives.

November 29, 2021

Click here for a FREE TRIAL of Literably Foundational Skills

If there’s ONE THING we’ve learned working with teachers on the front lines of elementary literacy, it’s this: THEY NEED MORE TIME!  And we’re not the only ones who’ve noticed.


“Teachers accomplish so many important things with such little time. They teach several subjects or courses each day, review student work, plan differentiated lessons to meet the needs of diverse learners in their classroom, and strategize with parents and specialists about how to support individual students. Teaching is a full immersion experience.”

“No matter how long their workday was, most teachers said they did not have enough time to complete ‘essential tasks.’ Responsibilities like grading, reading, lesson planning, and calling parents often fell into out-of-school hours, leading many teachers to question whether they could teach at the level of quality they aspired to or would stay long in the profession.”

 


If we could build a time machine to give elementary teachers the extra hours they need, we would! Until then, we’re trying the next best thing -- building a platform for literacy assessment, insight and remediation that works with, not against teachers’ time constraints.  


Many of the assessments available to districts and teachers today don’t alleviate the drain on teacher time -- they ADD TO IT. Instead of taking advantage of the countless benefits of technology, many widely-used assessments are still administered and scored by hand. There is a place for in-person observation, but requiring teachers to assess every student by hand multiple times per year across multiple measures takes teachers away from the work that only they can do - teaching their students.

Assessments should also inform each other. Today, districts’ critical literacy assessments are often spread across 2 or 3 different vendors. So, the data you gather from an oral fluency assessment doesn’t automatically build upon the understanding gained from the phonological awareness assessment you administered earlier in the year.

Finally, the path to remediation, as recommended by assessment vendors, requires even more time and usually falls outside the normal curriculum or lesson plan. No wonder time is a scarce resource. Gaining insight is actually creating less teaching time!

It’s our mission to resolve this problem by creating a unified digital reading assessment platform that supports the 5 pillars of literacy (phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary), meaningfully captures and analyzes students’ reading skills, saves teachers time, better informs lesson planning and gives administrators a dependable view of how students are performing relative to grade-level expectations.

Our first product, the Literably Oral Reading and Comprehension Assessment, already has a great reputation with teachers and districts for its ability to save time, and our latest product, the Literably Foundational Skills Assessment (available for FREE until the end of 2021), strives to contribute to that reputation by giving teachers an even more accurate picture of a child’s strengths and weaknesses. Together, we hope they make assessment, planning and intervention less time-consuming, more informative and more focused.

It’s past time that education solution providers consider the impact of their offerings on our already overtapped teachers. How can we hope for better results if the “help” we offer only adds to the burden? We hope our offering helps to stem and ultimately turn the tide.


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