INTRODUCTION TO ABRACADABRA
What is ABRACADABRA?
ABRACADABRA (A Balanced Reading Approach for all CAnadians Designed to Achieve Best Results for All) is an online, highly interactive, evidence-based literacy tool designed for students, teachers, educators, and parents.
For decades, researchers and practitioners worldwide have been searching for the key to unlock the mysteries of how children learn to read and write. To date, considerable evidence has been collected that suggests that children must not only be exposed to a variety of instructional methods, but that these experiences must be presented in explicit and systematic ways if literacy is to be fully attained.
In addition, research shows that children’s engagement and motivation affect their academic success. While skills and drills are important components to literacy achievement, these exercises must be done in meaningful ways for learners. This involves providing appropriate opportunities, real texts, and activities wherein students can learn and apply what they have learned.
How up-to-date is ABRACADABRA?
ABRACADABRA is now in its third transformation: a direct result of a multidisciplinary team of educational professionals who continue to guide its development. This team consists of researchers, policy makers, school administrators, language arts consultants, and teachers from across Canada who gives input and helps steer the overall direction of this project. The CSLP continues to practice its policy of working with the educational community, partnering with ABRACADABRA stakeholders to develop the best possible resource for the field.
Is ABRACADABRA good for me?
ABRACADABRA is developed based on evidence from research and feedback from the field. Research conducted within Quebec schools during the 2004-2005 school year yielded results that helped guide the development of new instructional activities within ABRACADABRA. This included expanding the instructional module to include more challenging material as well as, additional children’s stories. Dr. Robert Savage, the Literacy Theme Leader, Dr. Philip Abrami and all other team members have established strong partnerships with local schools in order to investigate the efficacy of our software with classroom students. Using the findings gathered from these trials, we have infused ABRACADABRA with a much stronger content base, refined the tool, and made it ready for further research that was conducted between January and May 2006. This second investigation yielded extremely positive results in both grade one and kindergarten classrooms.
For more details on the 2005-2006 research study results please visit: http://doe.concordia.ca/cslp/ICT-ABRACADABRA.php
The 2006-2007 version has been completely visually redesigned based on the latest evidence and feedback from the field. The recommendations from the National Reading Panel and other front-runners in the field of language and literacy have remained the foundation of the software and have contributed to this revision also. We hope to integrate ABRACADABRA into the language arts curriculum by placing it in the hands of teachers and letting the flexibility and fun of the tool work its magic… ABRACADABRA…