NEW! SOLO® Writing Coach & Literacy Suite Improves Writing Process For At-Risk Students

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Scientifically-based writing instruction and intervention framework, delivered via supportive technology, will help educators "scaffold" the writing process for struggling learners. Increased gains shown in 2006 independent research study for average and low performers. Aligns with the 11 key writing elements found in the Writing NEXT report.

This intervention model demonstrates the effective combination of technology and self-regulated strategy to close the achievement gap for struggling learners. It provides students with the support they need to improve core literacy and independent writing skills. And gives educators a manageable process to reach larger student populations and attain higher academic outcomes.

Don Johnston, The Leader in Intervention Solutions, has released its SOLO® Writing Coach; a writing implementation framework designed to address the growing number of at-risk students who, according to the Nation's Report Card (NAEP, 2002), are writing at or below proficiency levels. This instructional framework will support struggling learners in any writing curriculum in a school or district's Title I or IDEA initiative through the use of the SOLO® Literacy Suite, a reading and writing scaffolding technology.

The SOLO Writing Coach was developed by Dr. Karen Erickson, Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. It is based on Dr. Steven Graham and Dr. Karen Harris' research on Self-Regulated Strategy Development, (SRSD), which proved that strategy instruction had the highest effect of delivering the eleven key elements found in Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Schools.

The SOLO Writing Coach offers a Response to Intervention (RTI) solution and guides educators to explicitly teach the key writing strategies of summary writing, goal setting and paragraph writing. It was developed as a result of a 2006 grant by the National Center for Technology Innovation (NCTI) in which Dr. Erickson performed a quasi-experiment with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and saw dramatic results in just six weeks. Students using writing strategy instruction alone saw only a 2.7% gain. Students using strategy instruction, plus SOLO writing technology, experienced 9.8% gains for average performers and 46.8% for low performers. The program includes three lesson books, a CD with writing assignments for independent practice, an administrator's walkthrough and a step-by-step implementation guide.

Dr. Erickson said, "This intervention model demonstrates the effective combination of technology and self-regulated strategy to close the achievement gap for struggling learners. It provides students with the support they need to improve core literacy and independent writing skills. And gives educators a manageable process to reach larger student populations and attain higher academic outcomes."

The SOLO Writing Coach requires the SOLO Literacy Suite, including Don Johnston's award-winning technologies: Co:Writer®, a linguistic word prediction program used in thousands of schools; Write:OutLoud®, a talking word processor, a graphic organizer Draft:Builder®, and Read:OutLoud®, a digitized text reader that will provide "access to the general curriculum" by reading NIMAS files to comply with the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard. Teacher Central guides teachers to assign individual student preferences to provide differentiated learning according to specific learning styles. Teachers can also quickly create effective student data reports. SOLO pricing for school-wide bundles includes the multiple SOLO Writing Coach kits and the SOLO technology starting at $3,399/site (under $35 per student). Customized bundles are available to meet specific budgetary needs for any school or district.

Don Johnston Incorporated empowers educators with supplemental instruction and intervention solutions to help struggling learners build core literacy skills with confidence. Don Johnston has partnered with literacy experts, psychologists, teachers, researchers, and scientists since 1980 to develop over a dozen educational technology products. The company also publishes Start-to-Finish™, a collection of paperback, audio and computer books to engage struggling readers and ESL learners. Call 1-800-999-4660 or visit http://www.donjohnston.com to schedule a demonstration.

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Valerie Chernek
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