System 44 and Newcomer Students

Hello all, My name is Greta, I am a Teacher on Special Assignment, working with the English Learner department in my school district. I have a question: Has anyone used System 44 with Newcomer students, grades 4-6, with CELDT levels of 1-2 (Beginning-Early Intermediate)? Newcomer students are those who are new to the U.S. schools (less than 12 months). If you have or are using System 44 with this student population, I would very much like to know how it is working out for you. Thanks!

Posted on: February 01 2010
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  • Hello Greta, I teach ELL in high school.  I am currently teaching two System 44 classes for high school ELL students.   I am not using System 44  with my very beginning newcomers.  I think they need to be able to understand what is being said on the software program as well as understand the books and teacher instruction.  However, I probably have some  students who qualify as early intermediate that have been able to use the program.  Their comprehension scores are lower and they are moving slower through the program, but it is definitely helping them.   Cindy

    I have not seen or heard about System 44. Is it better for ELL students than diving into the READ 180 Stage B Curriculum?


    Hi Greta! Last month Scholastic held a National System 44 Advisory Board, and two of our members were teachers of Newcomer groups. Both teachers were finding that System 44 was working wonders with thier Newcomer students. One incredilby moving moment during the meeting was when one of our advisors, told us of a student she didn't know how to help, and that thanks to System 44, she is more prepared to help newcomers with literacy - "Every year I think I can’t get kids who are any lower, and every year they do; 4 kids in my current class have never been in a classroom before at age 12. I teach them from 7:30am – 2:30pm and am responsible for all topics; S44 is 90-minutes of 3 group rotations– one group does computers, small-group, or aided review of other content. My first Burmese student arrived 3 years ago and I didn’t know how to teach her, and I failed her. I had no idea how to teach foundational skills. Seeing her every day was frustrating because I knew I was failing. S44 gave me the tools to use with my kids. It was a gift to my class. I have a master’s in ESL but we assume with ESL skills that they have literacy in those other skills and they don’t.”


    Struggling readers/English language learners vary in their particular strengths and challenges. It is important to screen students for entry into System 44 and READ 180 to ensure that the instruction is appropriate for their specific skill needs. Both programs support students who are ELL, but it is important to determine if the language deficiency also includes a decoding deficiecy. Students who are candidates for System 44 may have scored 400L (elementary), 600L (Middle and High School) or lower. These students may also struggle with: • Basic phonemic awareness • Decoding and word recognition • Word-level fluency • Strategies for reading unfamiliar words • Reading text two or more years below their grade reading level. Students who are candidates for READ 180 are reading text two or more years below their grade reading level, but do not struggle with: • Basic phonemic awareness • Decoding and word recognition READ 180 and System 44 both come with screening measures to help you determine which intervention is most suitable for your students.

    Thanks for the informative responses.  I do have a variety of ELL's on my campus.  Students are coming in from Iran, Pakistan, China, India and Korea.  I entered all of those students right into READ 180 after they scored a BR (0) on the intitial SRI.  They are improving.  But, I am not even thinking about putting a new girl from Columbia into the program.  She just entered our classroom in April and can only say "Thank You" in English.  Fortunately, I speak fluent Portuguese and am redirecting the differences in the two languages to communicate with her.  When she returns in the fall, I will let her take an SRI.  I want to look into System 44 but am not sure that I will have any funding for it.  Let's keep these ELL chats going!

    I haven't offically had ELL students in Read 180.  What I mean by that is that we (the school counselors and I) decided to place six students into the program last year that were in my English classes.  It was highly successful for all but one of the students.  I still am unsure why I wasn't able to help the one.  I tried several different avenues, but he failed to try.  I mean it.  He really didn't even try.  He did leave my class speaking better English, but he didn't seem interested in reading or writing no matter what motivational techniques I employed.  Also, he didn't pass any of his classes last year.  Have any of you encountered this problem in your schools?  If so, were you able to reach the student and how?


    Are any of you using the LBook?   Designed by Dr. Kate Kinsella and Tonya Ward-Signer to be used in whole and/or small group, the LBook prepares and supports students for the age-appropriate, motivating, and leveled content in the rBook. The LBook ensures all READ 180 students, especially ELLs at different language proficiency levels are able to access the academic language, word learning strategies, and grammar required to participate in accelerated instruction toward ELA grade-level standards. The LBook: Prepares ELLs with the academic and oral language development, comprehension, writing, and grammar skills required for rBook content; Supports ELLs by addressing skills that are transferable from their primary language to English, including grammar, sound-spellings, the use of cognates that relate to academic vocabulary, morphology, and prefixes/suffixes; Extends rBook instruction by scaffolding access to text through multiple readings of rBook passages as well as one additional passage and provides opportunities to practice and apply newly acquired vocabulary and comprehension skills.

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