Benchmark Education Motivates Students to Read with New Program to Advance ALL Striving Readers and English Learners

Industry News
Print and digital classroom program for grades 2–6 accelerates students’ progress to higher reading levels

NEW ROCHELLE, NY, Jan. 31, 2018 — Educational publisher Benchmark Education Company (BEC) released Advance ALL, a new series motivating students to read with literary and informational reading text sets. The program provides dynamic features for striving readers and English Learners (ELs) in grades 2–6+ to help them accelerate to higher reading levels. The series is an essential resource that helps teachers and reading specialists meet the newest standards. In addition to an illustrated leveled text that provides engaging, grade-appropriate literary, science and social studies content, each book contains a text at a higher level with extra support to expedite students’ achievement. Appropriate titles also feature a “How Language Works” section, which focuses students on grammar and vocabulary, and then checks their comprehension. Award-winning BEC created this series of scaffolded, high-interest/lowreadability books in response to the overwhelming need in schools for materials that address the unique instructional needs of ELs and striving readers in Grade 2 or higher who are reading at Emergent to Early/Fluent levels. Known as “high low” books, they are a proven strategy to motivate students to read. Advance ALL incorporates this popular motivation method with BEC’s signature scaffolding in modern books, available in both print and combination print and digital formats.
 
Advance ALL combines outstanding illustrations with carefully-leveled text to enable students reading at lower levels to comprehend on-grade science, social studies and literary content. Academic language is developed and expanded with visual aids and glossaries. Also, the “Read to Advance” pages near the end of each book promote student progress and advancement to higher reading levels. Each book is a part of a topic set that contains three to four texts at progressively higher reading levels to support and extend reading progress. Each of the topic sets is part of a knowledge strand that progresses sequentially across the grade levels, deepening students’ mastery and understanding across grade levels.
 
According to the most recent “National Assessment for Education Progress Report Card,” almost two thirds of American students in both fourth and eighth grades were reading below the Proficient level. In fourth grade, almost half of those below the Proficient level were also below the Basic level. Studies conducted by literacy expert Richard Allington support the notion that
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    students reading below grade-level must receive a significant amount of instruction appropriate to their level to increase their reading proficiencies.
 
“Benchmark Education’s new Advance ALL’s high-interest, low-readability texts not only provide access to grade-level content, but feature innovative scaffolds for literacy and language development,” said Tom Reycraft, Benchmark Education Company Founder and CEO. “This comprehensive series motivates students to read and fast-tracks emerging readers as they progress to grade-level texts.”
 
Features Advance ALL is designed for flexible use in a variety of settings, including small-group differentiated instruction, independent reading practice, and targeted intervention. The complete program consists of 50 topic sets with three or four books each, for a total of 170 dynamic titles. The three-book topic sets support initial reading progress, with the first book at Levels A–B, the second at Levels C–D, and the third at Levels E–G. The four-book topic sets span a larger range of levels to close the literacy and language gap, with the first book at Levels A–C, the second at Levels D–F, the third at Levels G–I, and the fourth at Levels J–M.  
 
Each book engages students with motivating, age-appropriate illustrations and photographs, and direct connections between the images and the text aid comprehension. The leveled-text provides a meaningful context in which students can develop both informal and academic vocabulary. All books also contain a glossary. Levels A–I books have picture glossaries and Levels J–M books have standard glossaries with no pictures. The J–M books are also different in that they include a “How Language Works” page. This special feature helps older students analyze sentence structure, explain vocabulary and also sends students back to the text to check their understanding.
 
In addition to the main text, each book also features a Read to Advance text that is designed to stretch readers to a higher level. Each Read to Advance text is about two reading levels higher than the book’s main text. The Read to Advance text is ‘chunked’ with pictorial support to help scaffold readers up the staircase of complexity.  
 
Each leveled-book comes with a matching Teacher’s Guide, providing both guided reading and language support for the main text, as well as for the Read to Advance text. Teacher’s Guides also include Picture Word Cards and Blackline Masters to facilitate guided, partner, and independent practice. Text Evidence Question Cards with reproducible questions also accompany each title to help teachers develop students’ evidence-based answers. There is a Program Overview to tie everything in this comprehensive program together.
 
The combination print and digital format edition of Advance ALL includes access to Benchmark Universe online with 24/7 digital access to Advance ALL content, as well as planning and management tools. Through the online subscription, accessible on any computer or mobile device, teachers can create and assign customized “bookshelves” to meet students’ individual needs. Students can write close-reading notes on either margin in e-books to facilitate text-based comprehension. Both teachers and students can insert new pages into an e-book to embed videos, paste images, add links, and much more. Synchronized audio and highlighting links text to
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    sounds, building listening comprehension. Additionally, in their digital formats, the back cover of each book is followed by an interactive learning game that reinforces content and checks students’ comprehension.  
 
Availability All 170 Advance ALL titles and matching teacher support materials are available now in a print only or combination of print and digital format. Purchase options include the complete program, grade-level sets, individual topic sets, as well as individual title six-packs to meet specific learning or curriculum needs. The price for the complete program for one school site is $7,625 for print only and $8,325 for print with an online subscription. Individual topic sets can be purchased for as low as $135, and individual title 6-packs can be purchased for as low as $46. For information or to place an order, educators can visit www.benchmarkeducation.com or call BEC at 877-236-2465.
 
Benchmark Education Company Since inception in 1998, Benchmark Education (www.BenchmarkEducation.com) has endeavored to provide PreK–12 classroom-tested solutions that help educators differentiate instruction in English, Spanish and Simplified Mandarin. Many educational publishing companies say their literacy programs are the best, but third-party field research proved unequivocally that Benchmark Education programs boost reading proficiency under Common Core as well as new state standards. In addition to extensive educational use in the USA, Benchmark Education materials are also used in schools and education centers in the Middle East, Canada, South and Central America, and Asia.  # # # #

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