I’m excited for the ways in which our staff is growing and embracing refining their literacy professional practices as a result of their work with Sterling Literacy Consulting. What I find striking is the way in which Dr. Hall has been able to provide a unifying message, pathway and support for our teachers K-12. We are just beginning our journey in our implementation of refined literacy instruction with the guidance and support of Sterling Literacy Consulting. Already we have been impacted in so many ways! I’m excited about the ways in which our staff and our growing readers will continue to grow and soar with the continued support of Sterling Literacy Consulting. Impacting our students is an on-going goal and we are confident our continued work with Dr. Hall will result in what I call “forever ripples,” changes that last a lifetime in the lives of our growing readers.
Cathy Swanson, Weld Re-8 District Student Achievement Coach
Thank you so much for your guidance and support this year. I feel I have received more training than I have ever had before and I have a new understanding of what Kindergarten students should know at the end of the year and how to get them there. The training I received and the resources you provided really helped me gain a new knowledge and understanding of how our youngest students learn to read.... At the end of the year, 40% of my students were able to read well into the first grade reading levels. Another 40% were on grade level. I attribute this to the work we did gathering data, planning and systematically teaching the skills they needed to move on based on that data.
Christa Silber, Kindergarten Teacher, Wheeling Elementary School
When I first met with Dr. Hall, my biggest concern for phonics instruction was the lack of a clear scope and sequence within the curriculum we had. Dr. Hall shared many resources that allowed me to develop a clearer understanding of what effective phonics instruction should and could be. He introduced me to Words their Way, which has a clear and comprehensive scope and sequence. Dr. Hall also came into my classroom several times and gave me feedback, which strengthened my phonics instruction. I also learned to maximize repetitions with phonics activities without having to spend hours prepping materials. My current data has shown that my phonics instruction has been effective for my struggling learners. In the fall, I had 7 students who were identified in PALS. For the spring, 5 out of those 7 students are no longer identified in PALS. I feel much more confident about teaching phonics now and appreciate everything that Dr. Hall has taught me.
McKenzie Vallot, 2nd grade teacher, Murphy Creek P-8 School
Thank you very much for all that you have taught me this year. You have changed my beliefs about reading instruction and made me feel more confident about my abilities to teach kids how to read.
Jessica Johns, 2nd Grade Teacher and Teaching Partner, Altura Elementary School
Helping students, teachers, schools and districts succeed!
Dana Hall combines a deep understanding of literacy research with the practical know-how needed to assist schools in their efforts to bring about lasting change. His extraordinary work with teachers is proof positive that combining theory and practice is possible after all. His experiences have equipped him to work at all levels of literacy education, from policymakers to individual teachers. His groundbreaking research into how policy is translated into action has made a significant contribution to our understanding. At the same time, his skills as a literacy coach have made him an ideal change agent within a classroom, a grade level, or a school. In short, Dana possesses the breadth required to size up problems at every level and the depth needed to offer workable solutions.
Dr. Michael McKenna, Thomas G. Jewell Professor of Reading, University of Virginia
Sterling Literacy Consulting, LLC
Thank you Dr. Hall for providing expertise to our elementary teams around phonics and phonics based reading instruction. Based on the expertise, models, and resources you have provided I was able to implement a stronger reading program in my classroom this year. You have helped me gather the tools and knowledge I need to truly meet the needs of my students. I am more confident than ever working with struggling readers and we're having fun! Not only that, but the positive results are evident in student achievement outcomes. Thank you for all of the constructive feedback and positive encouragement along the way.
Katie Stacey, 2nd Grade Teacher, Murphy Creek P-8 School
Dr. Hall, Thank you again for all your hard work and support. I wanted to share the results of all our work this year.
Focus: Support teachers in developing understanding around foundational skills that are important in kindergarten (data is specifically targeted to below grade level readers).
Throughout the year, kindergarten teachers participated in grade level meetings and/or individual coaching regarding a systematic approach to developing emergent skills necessary for students to read. While this was our 1st year working to develop teacher knowledge and skill, we have seen great results. Eighty-eight percent of targeted kindergarten students scored above benchmark scores on PALS-K Spring assessment. This included all targeted students scoring 100% on Rhyme and Beginning Sounds; 88% of targeted students scoring 100% on letter identification; 76% of targeted students scoring 100% on letter-sound match and Concept of Word.
Focus: Regular individual coaching to support teachers as they incorporate foundational skills into small group instruction (data is specifically targeted to below grade level readers).
Many teachers asked for periodic support while they added systematic foundational skills instruction to their literacy block. The teachers receiving weekly individual coaching reported many observable gains in their confidence and automaticity of skill-based feedback and instruction. They also showed measureable gains on the PALS 1-3 spelling inventory. Of the 21 students who were assessed in the fall and the spring, 14 students doubled their total scores on the developmental spelling inventory. In addition, all but two of the identified students increased their summed score by an average of 74% (median 42% increase in summed score).
Ramone Carson, Principal, Wheeling Elementary School
Here is an excerpt from Altura Elementary School's year-end results... 47% of our core teaching staff regularly attend the optional Literacy Class run by Sterling Literacy Consulting. All teachers have reported that taking the class has changed their reading instruction and some have expressed relief of finally knowing what to do with their most struggling readers.
The third grade team has implemented their new learnings with the most fidelity and have begun their own PLC centered around their PALS data. They have increased their number of students at or above the cut score in PALS from 6% in the Fall to 27% in the Winter. Similarly, 86% of third grade students increased their DRA2 scores by 2 or more levels from Fall to Spring with 36% jumping 4 or 5 levels between the two assessment dates.
Currently, our PALS Paras serve 30 first grade and 14 second grade students who are 1.5 grade levels behind in reading. After our third data point in March, 63% of first grade students being served by PALS Paras are proficient with letter sounds, compared to 20% in January. Additionally, 70% of first graders are partially proficient or proficient with segment phonemes. 99% of second graders being served by PALS Paras are proficient with letter sounds and 100% are proficient in the assessed CVC beginning and ending sounds. Second graders are now moving on to automaticity of segment phonemes.
Shannon Blackard, Principal, Altura Elementary School
Excerpt from RE-1 Valley School District Recommendation Letter.... Dr. Hall's work has positively impacted our K-3 literacy achievement and growth... In the three years of training and modeling instruction with us, our identification of students with significant reading deficiencies in grades K-3 has dropped from 30 percent to between 8 and 10 percent consistently. This includes fall, mid-year, and spring assessments beginning in the fall of 2013.
...Dana is also particularly effective at classroom walk-throughs and follow-up conversations to share observations with teachers and answer questions. Teachers look forward to these chances to confirm and correct instructional delivery and implementation of data.
See the entire letter here... Dana Hall Recommendation.pdf
Ron Marostica, Assistant Superintendent Instruction and Assessment, RE-1 Valley School District
Classroom teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach, instructional coordinator, university instructor, department of education executive, consultant, and now co-founder of Sterling Literacy Consulting—rarely do you find a single individual with such a broad range of literacy experience. Add to that an effervescent personality and a great sense of humor and you have the perfect literacy consultant. I’ve watched Dr. Hall work with students, teachers, administrators and researchers for the past ten years and his knowledge and professionalism never cease to amaze me.
Dr. Marcia Invernizzi, Henderson Professor of Reading Education, University of Virginia