Teachers who implement SREB’s Powerful Literacy Instructional Practices advance students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and content achievement in every discipline.

Our professional development and coaching services help teachers in grades three through 12 create literacy-based assignments that engage students in reading and demonstrating their understanding of diverse texts in discussions and written products.


Powerful Literacy Practices

SREB’s Powerful Literacy Instructional Practices help teachers build meaningful, literacy-based assignments that align with standards and engage students in deeper learning.

When fully integrated into planning, instruction and assessment, these practices create literacy-based classrooms that are built on deep student understanding rather than coverage of material.

What Do the Practices Look Like?

Our Powerful Literacy Instructional Practices Rubric offers examples of teacher and student behaviors and learning artifacts found in classrooms that embrace these practices:

  1. The literacy-based assignment includes an authentic written product in which students cite evidence from reading complex texts that are aligned to the depth of knowledge of the standards.
  2. The lesson sequence supports or scaffolds the learning of literacy and content standards through explicit instruction.
  3. Clear and measurable learning targets are established and communicated to the students and assessed by the teacher.
  4. Literacy strategies or mini-tasks involving reading, writing, speaking and/or listening are embedded into lessons to support the learning of skills and content.
  5. Student discourse is integrated to support student ownership of learning.
  6. Formative and summative assessments are used in all aspects of the learning process.

Customizable Design and Delivery

We offer professional learning support that is never one-size-fits-all.

SREB’s leadership and instructional coaches partner with district- and school-based leaders to conduct an initial curriculum and instruction review or consultation to inform the scope and sequence of a customized professional learning plan.

In a typical implementation, districts or schools undertake a cycle of professional learning and face-to-face or virtual coaching. After each cycle, SREB’s coaches work with school leaders to review and revise the professional learning plan based on classroom observations, teacher and principal conversations, and other data.

Our approach builds capacity and sustainability by developing local expertise to spread the practices to new and existing teachers.

Publication Feb. 201818 pages18V03

Engaging Students in Deeper Learning Through Powerful Literacy and Mathematics Assignments

Too many students graduate high school without the foundational literacy and math skills needed to succeed in postsecondary education and careers. This can change if students are exposed to literacy and math practices that expose them to the types of grade-level assignments that will advance their achievement and prepare them for college and careers.

SREB offers professional development to teachers in powerful literacy and math practices that produce positive results. Read about survey results of more than 37,000 students.

Blog post Samantha Durrance, Policy Analyst, SREB

Diverse needs create a challenge for kindergarten teachers
How can states help their kindergarten teachers meet students where they are and boost learning for all?

Kindergarten is an important transition to the early grades. In fact, more and more teachers say kindergarten is the new first grade. Recent research by Bassok, Latham and Rorem backs this up. In 2016, these researchers examined differences in kindergarten expectations and teaching practices between 1998 and 2010.

Blog post Dave Madden, Guest Blogger
Bodies of Water graphic

Seven Literacy-Based Assignments for Social Studies Classrooms

Dave Madden

Last year, while teaching at Lakeside Middle School in Anderson County, South Carolina, my colleague Keri Compton and I came up with seven strategies specifically for social studies teachers. These mini-tasks, based on our Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) training, use hands-on activities to build confidence and help students reflect on their learning while they’re improving their reading and writing skills. Here they are:

People, Objects, Settings, Engagement and Relationships

Blog post Anna Hasenkamp, Guest Blogger

Raise the Rigor
Strategies to Promote Reading Comprehension

Anna Hasenkamp

As a middle grades social studies teacher in Florence School District 1 — an area of South Carolina along I-95 known as the “Corridor of Shame” for its poverty and low-performing students — I have a theory. I believe all students benefit from rigorous, literacy-based classroom instruction, and students from poverty benefit the most. The ability to read and understand complex texts is the best way to distinguish students who are college and career ready from those who are not.

Remember, rigor doesn’t mean hard. Rigor means challenge.

Blog post Quinton Granville Originally posted on the blog.

Building Life Skills in a Middle School Classroom

Quinton A. Granville was a seventh-grade social studies and reading teacher for Atlanta Public Schools when this blog entry was written. He is now a literacy consultant at SREB. 

Quinton Granville has been using the Literacy Design Collaboration framework in his seventh-grade classroom for nearly a year. He says he’s come a long way since he was introduced to LDC through a districtwide initiative.


Alabama Science Teacher Sets Higher Expectations Using Literacy Strategies

Reese Woytek Why did the deer cross the road? The usual answer to the joke is “to get to the other side.”

That question serves as a prompt for seventh-grade science students to start looking for answers through data-driven research and in-depth writing. Their teacher, Reese Woytek at Slocomb Middle School in Geneva County, Alabama, is using the instructional framework of the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC). He received his LDC training in 2015. The Southern Regional Education Board is training teachers across Alabama, and Woytek’s experience is a perfect example of how LDC strategies can change teacher focus and impact students.

Publication Gene BottomsDecember 201554 pages(14V10-R15)

Students Step Up When Teachers and Leaders Transform Classrooms
Literacy Design Collaborative and Mathematics Design Collaborative

This publication describes how schools and teachers are using literacy and math strategies to engage students and prepare them for college and careers. Teachers and school leaders give first-hand accounts of their classroom experiences and share data on student achievement.