The Academy of
Saint Matthias the Apostle

Small Classes, BIG Results!

Author Donalyn Miller Meets with Saint Matthias Teachers

Educator and Author Donalyn Miller met today with teachers at The Academy of Saint Matthias the Apostle. Miller, author of “The Book Whisperer” and “Reading in the Wild” shared her passion for student-driven reading choices with the staff, which is emulating her philosophy. Miller is a former elementary teacher who currently works for Scholastic to promote reading choices.

The Academy of Saint Matthias the Apostle utilized the choice reading in three classes last year: 3rd grade, 7th grade and 8th grade. Two of the classes, currently in 4th and 8th grade, scored in the top 15% of the nation in Reading as of their fall assessment. As a school community, 80% of all Saint Matthias students were assessed at or above grade level in reading this fall The school made a 29% gain in reading scores during the 2013-2014 school year. The program has now expanded to other grades.

Middle school students at Saint Matthias utilize the Edmodo website to share and exchange reading ideas. This online educational component started as a summer reading program and has continued in to the academic year because of the participation and success. Teachers are also a part of this secure, online community of readers, sharing their young adult book reviews. Students in lower grades also had choice-driven summer assignments designed to engage in a conversation about books and learning.

Throughout the school, teachers post outside their classroom what book they are currently reading. Saint Matthias also has two separate library spaces, one designed for preschool to third grade, and one for fourth to eighth grade students. Each classroom also has a library of reading choices for students. With a BYOD program, students are able to access text in whatever way they feel most comfortable.

The Academy of Saint Matthias the Apostle is a preK-8th grade Catholic school located in Lanham, Maryland. With a 90% acceptance rate into local Catholic High Schools, Saint Matthias prides itself on its honest, academic product. They are a Responsive Classroom school. For more information, contact Vivian Richards, Director of Admissions vrichards@stmatthias.org (301) 577-9412

 

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