About Morningside Press
Morningside Press is the publishing arm of Morningside Academy, a nonprofit school and training agency founded in 1980.
The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction lies at the heart of our entire enterprise.
Morningside Press applies instructional design principles to design our own instruction and fluency materials in reading, writing, and mathematics. Many of our books are supplementary practice materials to be used in conjunction with other commercially available materials.
In support of teaching and learning
The practice materials are designed to have learners become fluent, that is both accurate and automatic in their performance. We also sell several books that can be used by educators and psychologists to help guide teaching practices informed by the science of human learning.
The materials presented here are used by the students and guide the teaching process of the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction. The sections entitled Reading, Writing, and Mathematics includes both component and composite instructional curricula. The section entitled Instructional Design provides educators with the philosophy and procedures that underlie the methodology.
All of Morningside’s curricula and teaching methods are research based and/or evidence based. By research based, we mean that the curriculum materials and teaching methods are built from research on effective learning. By evidence based, we mean that the materials and methods have published evidence that student achievement improves with their use.
The Morningside Model assesses entry repertoires, and success is built by placing students where a student can be challenged, yet work at an instructional level. Fluency, the outcome arising from deliberate timed practice in all academic areas, results in foundation skills that can recombine and free the learner. If the learner has gaps in skills sets, the assessments allow for a prescription for those gaps to be filled. Performance measured in small quantities of time allow for rapid and enduring individual improvement that lead to accurate and automatic performance.
Learning success provides the opportunity for teachers to provide lots of positive feedback, as well as giving the learner an immediate and authentic sense of growing accomplishments.
Reading, Writing and Mathematics
The comprehensive reading program includes basic prerequisites such as print awareness, phonemic awareness through auditory blending and segmenting, and the alphabetic principle. Basic foundations in decoding are emphasized, including sound-symbol correspondence, textual blending and segmenting strategies, and reading fluency. Comprehension is facilitated by this solid foundation.
The comprehensive writing program includes mastery of “rubrics” – features and steps that define many different genres, including descriptive, narrative, explanatory and persuasive writing styles. Students master key component skills in handwriting, keyboarding, word processing, transcription, dictation, grammar, and mechanics; as well as organizational strategies such as selecting a topic, brainstorming details, and logically sequencing them in sentences, paragraphs, and essays. Morningside Press practice material is currently available to complement several published programs that provide component instruction. Rubrics will be available soon.
The comprehensive mathematics program includes mastery of counting and the numerical system; math facts and calculation skills; math concepts; and math vocabulary. To develop the language of speaking and writing about math, we use the retelling methods we employ when teaching reading. We also teach math thinking, reasoning, and problem solving skills. In each area of study, we first focus on teaching component skills and concepts, and then bring them together in a real-world context.
Direct Instruction provides the opportunity for teachers and students to volley many times a minute with their questions and answers. Teachers praise and correct student responses until all children are accurate. The explicitness and careful progression of Direct Instruction lessons assures that students develop flawless skills very quickly. Over 100 Direct Instruction programs are currently published. All instruction is delivered using the “demonstrate,” “guide,” and “test” steps of direct instruction.
Following successfully completed lessons, students practice their freshly learned skills until they become fluent or automatic, using Lindsley’s Precision Teaching method. Having fluent prerequisite skills makes learning subsequent, related skills faster and more successful. Students usually practice building skills to fluency in pairs, although sometimes they practice alone or in trios. During practice, students time themselves and each other until they can perform quickly, effortlessly, and accurately, like people who practice in sports or music do. Our classrooms are said to look like academic gymnasiums! Students practice with specially designed fluency materials until they can perform a certain amount-accurately, smoothly, and without hesitation-in a certain amount of time.
Students record their timed performance on specially designed charts, called Standard Celeration Charts. A specific minimum rate of improvement is indicated on these charts. As students practice, they plot their own improvements and compare their progress to the minimum rate lines. Their comparisons tell them whether they are making sufficient progress, or whether they need to call the teacher or another student for help. Practice is spaced and cumulative in order to maximize its effectiveness. The Precision Teaching practice method assures that students permanently retain the skills they are taught; can perform them for extended periods; can perform them in distracting circumstances; and can easily apply them, both to new learning requirements, and in the course of living life.
With Precision Teaching, students learn important goal setting, self-monitoring, self-management, organizational, and cooperative learning skills. Students also learn self-management and self-determination through freedom to take their own performance breaks and still meet their expected goals, skip lessons when they can demonstrate mastery, move through the curriculum at their own pace, select their own arrangement of tasks to accomplish in a class period, choose their own free time activities, and give themselves support card points.
Application and Adduction
Even with Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching, educators cannot possibly teach everything that needs to be learned to become an effective, independent person. Mastery and fluency of curriculum with DI plus PT would not do the trick. Learners must demonstrate generativity. They learn to engage in behavior they learned in the classroom context under a vastly wider variety of stimuli and contexts than those presented in the classroom. We call this kind of generativity application. They also engage in new, untaught blends and recombinations of behavior when new stimuli and contexts occur that were not previously presented in instruction that we call adduction. Such behavior illustrates maximum generativity. If students can engage in both application and adduction, their current relevant repertoires will survive under the constantly evolving novel natural circumstances that prevail in the real world.
To promote generative behavior, we teach students to think, reason, problem solve, and generate questions. Whimbey and Lochhead’s Think-Aloud Problem-Solving (TAPS) method provides the evidence-based procedures ofthis instruction. Originally designed for college students, our principal has created a program called Learn to Reason with TAPS: a Talk Aloud Problem Solving Approach that is used with learners as young as those in elementary school. This generative method is the core learning-to-learn technology used in our program. To purchase instructional material to develop the TAPS repertoires please visit this site: www.talkaloudproblemsolving.com.