September 16, 2022

Connections are the heart of education. This school year, you’ll find great new features in your Renaissance solutions to more powerfully connect assessment, instruction, and practice—to preserve instructional time while also helping you to drive greater student growth. Read on for a summary of what’s new. For the full details, visit our Product Updates Blog, where you’ll find the latest Renaissance news and resources throughout the year.

Supporting oral reading fluency with myON

myON digital books include natural-voice audio narration to model fluent reading. A new myON feature allows students to also record themselves reading books aloud—and to review the recording before submitting it to their teacher:

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This feature provides students with new opportunities for oral reading practice both in and out of the classroom. It also encourages them to self-assess their reading performance to recognize their strengths as well as their miscues. Opportunities to self-assess are essential for literacy growth and help students to take greater ownership of their learning. As an educator, you can listen to the recordings to monitor students’ progress and provide additional feedback. You might also use the recordings to create portfolios, to compare each student’s reading fluency at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year.

In addition to this new read-aloud feature, myON offers more than 100 new titles for Back to School, including decodables, early elementary chapter books, and books in Spanish. And remember that myON provides you and your students with two metrics for identifying students’ current reading levels: ATOS ZPD and Lexile® measures.

Building foundational literacy skills with Lalilo

Lalilo provides K–2 students with engaging practice on foundational literacy skills and is built on Science of Reading research.

Educators using the premium version of Lalilo can now use Star Early Literacy assessment scores to pre-place students into the Lalilo scope and sequence. This new connection saves students time while also helping to ensure they begin their Lalilo journey with the just-right lessons in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and more.

Administrators also have access to enhanced Lalilo reporting this year, so they can more easily monitor K–2 students’ foundational literacy practice and progress at the district, school, and class levels. Lalilo’s administrator dashboard provides a variety of important metrics, including the amount of time students are practicing in Lalilo and the percentage of students who are On Track, Below Track, or Inactive by grade level and by month:

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If you’re not already using Lalilo, we invite you to learn more about the program and to create a free account to get started.

Promoting greater literacy growth with Accelerated Reader

In the past, AR’s Average Book Level metric could be difficult for younger readers to understand. So this school year, we’ve introduced a new metric called reading range. You can set a reading range in English as well as Spanish for each student, using either ATOS or Lexile. Students can refer to their reading range(s) when choosing books for independent reading, and you can quickly see the percentage of their practice that occurs within their reading range.

To support emergent bilingual students, AR offers thousands of quizzes in Spanish. AR’s new Biliteracy Report helps you to more easily monitor these students’ reading practice. On this new report, you can quickly see students’ percentage of reading in English and in Spanish and how they’re performing on AR quizzes in each language. You can use this information when conferencing with students and to support their journey to English-Spanish biliteracy.

We invite you to learn more about how we create Spanish quizzes in Accelerated Reader, as well as our ongoing work to ensure Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in AR.

Introducing the Parts of Speech domain in Freckle

You’ll find a number of new features in our Freckle for ELA K–12 practice program this year, including Targeted Grammar Practice, enhanced reporting, and new ELA Skills learning pathways. You can also take advantage of a new Parts of Speech domain, which provides students with practice on essential building blocks for success in reading and writing.

In addition to multiple-choice and fix-the-sentence question types, Freckle’s Parts of Speech domain also presents students with a new, interactive question type that allows them to select-the-word in the context of the sentence, providing more variety in their practice:

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If you’re not currently using Freckle for ELA, we invite you to create a free account to see what the program has to offer. Also, learn more about how Freckle will fit into your ELA classes this year.

Accessing Nearpod lessons from the Star Record Book

Great news! If you use Star Assessments, you now have access to Nearpod lessons and resources within the Star Record Book. This enables you to easily select engaging instructional resources for individual students, small groups, or an entire class—matching the specific literacy and math skills students are ready to learn next:

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As shown in the screenshot above, Focus Skills are marked with an icon, so you can quickly identify the most critical skills at each grade level. With a single click, you can also see the prerequisites for each skill, along with aligned Nearpod resources for students who need further instruction and practice on these prerequisites.

Star users who don’t already have a Nearpod account will be prompted to create one, at no additional cost. If you’re using the Nearpod Math program, you’ll also have access to premium math lessons and resources within Star.

If you’re not familiar with Nearpod, which offers thousands of interactive lessons, activities, and videos that fit how students learn best, you can learn more here.

Introducing Star CBM Lectura for K–6 students

We’re excited to introduce the latest addition to the Star Assessments suite: Star CBM Lectura. Designed authentically in Spanish with input from experts in the field of biliteracy, Star CBM Lectura is a powerful new resource for educators in bilingual and dual language programs. It provides reliable measures that truly reflect K–6 students’ foundational literacy development in Spanish:

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You can use Star CBM Lectura alongside Star Early Literacy, Star Reading, and Star CBM Reading to support Spanish-English biliteracy growth and to guide reading instruction in each language. You’ll find intuitive, side-by-side reporting to screen and monitor student progress throughout the year:

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We invite you to learn more about the design of Star CBM Lectura and our field testing process. Also, discover how Star Assessments, Accelerated Reader, myON, and other Renaissance solutions work together to support Spanish-English biliteracy development from pre-K through grade 12.

Additional support for your early learners

You’ll find several additional new features in Star Assessments to support your early learners this year:

  • Star CBM includes two new measures of Rapid Automatic Naming (RAN) for grades K–3: Rapid Letter Naming and Rapid Number Naming. Many states and professionals require assessment of Rapid Automatic Naming as part of universal screening for characteristics of dyslexia, and these new measures provide you with additional assessment options.
  • Star Early Literacy includes new national norms for pre-K, and Star Math includes new national norms for kindergarten. Norm-referenced scores—such as Percentile Rank (PR) and Student Growth Percentile (SGP)—help you to compare students’ performance to that of their grade-level peers nationwide. You can learn more about the new norms here.

Accelerating student learning this year

A new school year provides new opportunities for helping all students to learn and grow. If you haven’t already, we invite you to explore strategies for increasing math motivation and strategies for teaching challenging literacy skills in recent blogs by our colleagues Dr. Jan Bryan and Dr. Gene Kerns. We also invite you to use our Focus Skills for literacy and math to help prioritize instruction and practice this year. And please join us for one or more of our complimentary How-to Webinars, which provide professional learning on each of your Renaissance products.

Learn more

For more insights on connecting your learning data during this school year, watch our new webinar on rethinking the perfect district assessment system, presented by Dr. Gene Kerns. And bookmark our Product Updates Blog for the last Renaissance news and resources.

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