McGraw-Hill Education Announces LEAD21, Transforming K-5 Literacy Instruction for 21st Century Classrooms

Groundbreaking reading program engages students at all skill levels with innovative approach and digital offerings, helping them achieve proficiency

Apr 26, 2010, 10:40 ET from McGraw-Hill Education

NEW YORK, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- "My classroom is more diverse than ever before. How can I be sure that I'm teaching and motivating all of my students to read?" This question is echoed by teachers everywhere as they struggle with achievement gaps, resources that aren't age- and grade-appropriate for all of their students, and issues with classroom management. To help teachers more effectively reach a new generation of readers, McGraw-Hill Education's Literacy and Humanities Center is introducing Wright Group LEAD21, an all-new literacy program that helps students not only make progress but achieve proficiency.

LEAD21 will launch at the International Reading Association's 55th annual convention on April 25-28 in Chicago, and will be the first education program made available on the Intel-powered convertible classmate PC. The classmate PC, based on the Intel® Learning Series and designed specifically for elementary education, combines the features of a netbook and touchscreen tablet to create a personalized learning experience for students.

"McGraw-Hill Education is dedicated to providing innovative learning solutions that meet the needs of the 21st century classroom," said Stephen Mico, senior vice president of McGraw-Hill School Education Group's Literacy and Humanities Center. "Through its innovative approach to differentiation and acceleration and its wealth of digital resources, LEAD21 engages students at all reading levels and changes their own expectations, creating a learning experience that is truly transformational."

The program features classroom differentiation, blending whole group and small group instruction with independent practice; a built-in acceleration plan to ensure students read at or near grade level by the end of the program, and digital offerings that make instruction engaging and efficient to manage.

Digital offerings enhance teaching and learning

LEAD21 provides every learner with easy access to digital tools, such as an Online Coach, ePractice activities and more – helping students manage and extend their own learning. And while the print component is essential to the LEAD21 experience, every book in the program is available as an ebook.

Additionally, the program equips teachers with flexible digital tools that make instruction effective and easy to manage, such as the Group Manager, which coordinates the placement of students for differentiated reading and inquiry groups, and the ePractice Activity Reporting Tool and Assessment Handbook, which help monitor progress toward proficiency.

Differentiation redefined

A key element of the LEAD21 program is its approach to classroom differentiation. By blending whole group and small group instruction with independent practice, LEAD21 creates a community of learners with equal access and voice.

In whole group instruction, students use big books and theme readers to learn the same concepts, theme vocabulary and literacy skills. Students then move on to small group instruction, where they work with carefully crafted text sets known as Differentiated Readers that go beyond typical leveled books. LEAD21's Differentiated Readers offer age- and grade-appropriate word counts, font size and spacing, art and text features, and concepts and vocabulary – respecting students at all proficiency levels and removing the stigma of being "struggling readers."

After practicing and extending skills and strategies through independent reading and practice, students come back to whole group instruction, where they build on what they've learned through cross-text sharing. And because students have used readers with similar themes and features but at different reading levels, everyone can participate in class discussion.

Built-in acceleration plan

LEAD21 defines student success as proficiency, not just progress. While the program helps make gains for all students over the course of the year, it features an increased acceleration plan for struggling readers designed to get them reading at or near grade-level by the end of the program.

Innovative instruction

LEAD21 provides tools to help teachers effectively manage instruction and daily small group rotation, ensuring that all students remain engaged throughout the program. In the program, students who are not in teacher-led instruction are actively engaged in meaningful independent application, practice and extension.

A key feature is the gradual transfer of responsibility from teacher to student that occurs over the course of the program, with students gaining independence as the year progresses. LEAD21 equips students to develop self-initiated, self-regulated literacy skills.

For more information on LEAD21, please visit:

About McGraw-Hill School Education Group

The McGraw-Hill School Education Group, a unit of McGraw-Hill Education, is a leading innovator in the development of 21st century teaching and learning solutions for K-12 education markets, offering traditional and digital instructional, assessment, and reference content and tools for teachers and students. The School Education Group addresses critical areas in primary and secondary education through Learning Solutions Centers focused on improving student learning outcomes and promoting digital innovation in literacy, STEM, college and career readiness, and intervention and special needs education. All of McGraw-Hill's content for elementary schools and secondary schools is available in digital form. McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 65 languages. Additional information is available at

About McGraw-Hill School Education Group Literacy & Humanities Center

Literacy and civic skills develop critical thinking and are the foundation of educational success. The McGraw-Hill Education Literacy & Humanities Center helps students establish these skills as well as expands their knowledge of literature, social studies, and world languages. A variety of proven PreK-12 programs and digital platforms combine to improve students' literacy skills and build a strong foundation for success.

SOURCE McGraw-Hill Education