Elissa Johnsrud is promoting reading this year through several initiatives at the Chatfield school.
Elissa Johnsrud is promoting reading this year through several initiatives at the Chatfield school.
Elissa Johnsrud is coordinating the action framework.

"I have taught kindergarten and first grade at Chatfield Elementary and this year I coordinate the Action 100 framework and ADSIS Reading Research Labs, along with other reading initiatives at CES (Chatfield Elementary School)," said Johnsrud, who supports the teachers and coordinates the facilitation of this framework with them.

Action 100 is a reading curriculum written by American Reading Company, and Johnsrud is a teacher on special assignment, charged with sharing the tenets of the curriculum.

She elaborated, "It is a framework that helps every child read at their independent reading level. It supports our current reading curriculum and is aligned with the common core standards. It is for every student in preschool through sixth grade. The preschoolers and kindergarteners read 15 minutes every day during Action 100 time. The first graders through sixth graders spend 30 minutes a day reading at their independent reading level. Students will talk about what they read and will be accountable in answering comprehension questions daily."

Johnsrud explained how Action 100 works, saying, "Students conference with teachers individually each week. The data on their conferences is recorded on an online assessment database where we can monitor student progress and look at areas they need to have instruction in. Using this information, they are given a power goal which is the next step they need to learn to be able to master their current level and move onto the next level."

Since Action 100 is a new curriculum in the district, the teachers are also re-learning how to teach students to read.

"The most difficult part is learning as we go," Johnsrud added. "We are all new to Action 100 this year and we're all learning the ins and outs together. The staff has been great at being flexible, looking at something new and working so hard this first month to get off to a great start. Trista Stamness is our American Reading Company trainer and has done a phenomenal job working with me in the setup and implementation of Action 100, and has gone into classroom to model this program for the teachers. She has done a wonderful job helping us and is a great resource for our staff."

Johnsrud expressed her excitement at being the teacher on special assignment to unpack Action 100 reading skills curriculum.

"I am looking forward to watching the growth of every student at Chatfield Elementary. We will have data on every child, and we will be able to respond to their needs directly and watch students make great progress this year," she explained.

According to the Action 100 information, students improve 2.66 grade levels per year per 60 minutes per school day they spend reading trade books.

"I am looking forward to seeing all the progress of our students this year," she continued. "It is so exciting to be coordinating Action 100. Action 100 is a great reading system that allows teachers to meet students at their individual reading level and teach them the skills to move to the next level. It is data-driven and gives teachers instant feedback as to how their students are progressing."

Johnsrud also explained the program gets parents involved in their child's education by giving them coaching cards to bridge the home-to-school connection.

"I have the opportunity to see Action 100 in every grade level," she said. "It is exciting walking into the different classrooms to see teachers meeting every child's need and students already learning and growing academically."

Chatfield Elementary School recently hosted an evening Action 100 parent orientation event that offered a tutorial on the curriculum.

"It was great seeing the parental support of our school and such a great turnout for our Action 100 night. Action 100 will succeed in our school because we have teachers and parents who are dedicated to doing the best for our children," Johnsrud stated. "We need to remember that each child doesn't just have one teacher that is concerned about his or her progress, but a whole school of administration, teachers, support personnel in the classroom, the reading research teachers, and parents who all want to help every child succeed this year. It is powerful to know so many people are working with our students to help them learn and succeed."

Johnsrud advised parents on how to make Action 100 reading part of daily home life. "Read every night with your child. Curl up with a book, read for at least 30 minutes, use the home coaching cards and enjoy a great story together. If you have any questions or concerns about Action 100, please feel free to call or email me," she concluded.

Johnsrud may be reached by e-mail at ejohnsrud@chatfield.k12.mn.us.