"Research shows that students need at least 90 minutes of uninterrupted reading instruction per day in order for sufficient student reading development, and that this instruction must be dense: systematically delivering explicit teacher directions; scaffold over time; and differentiated instruction across the classroom."
90 minute of English Language Arts and Marshallese Language Arts was introduced last year. This year several schools have piloted the 90 minute English Language Arts and 90 minute Marshallese Language Arts.
The changes made were to extend the contact hour from 60 minutes to 90 minutes due to the fact that students continued to fall behind their grade level expectations both in Marshallese and English literacy. The extended time from 60 to 90 is still a challenge to a lot of teachers. Throughout the school year, several trainings were conducted around the 90 minute block. More trainings are scheduled this summer for outer island teachers. Another problem teachers are facing during 90 minute Marshallese Language Art are the resources. Most of the centers are primarily in English. Although most stories and activities are written in English, our teachers utilized resources that are available: creating their own stories, writing sentences in Marshallese. This summer teachers will work with ISC Media to record stories in Marshallese so that the students will listen to more stories narrated in their native tongue.
Every day, students spend 90 minutes in either English Language Arts and 90 minutes in Marshallese Language Arts. Students, based on assessments, are split in groups and assigned to work in a center. There are several different centers: reading center, listening center, writing center, spelling center, and sentence-building center. Each group spends fifteen minute on a center. Towards the end of the 90 minute language block, the students come together so the teacher can assess what they learned. Instruction and activities that are well-planned and organized are delivered most successfully.
Pictured are Delap Elementary School 1A students with teacher Lilly Abon during their 90 Minute Marshallese Language Art.
Gumm, Ruth & Turner, Sheryl. 90-Minutes Plus [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.fcrr.org/staffpresentations/Ruth/90MRBfinal2.pdf