It's time to Zero in on Attitude and Performance: ZAP Classes

By on March 17, 2015

Seven years ago, a Title 1 coordinator at my former high school asked me to design a course that would develop students' character and academic skills. The plan was to run all of the 10th grade students through this class. I knew that the curriculum for the course would need to focus on teaching reading, speaking, and writing skills, but I needed a name. I wanted something catchy that communicated a clear mission. To my delight, the name ZAP came to me quickly. I wrote it down on a piece of paper, shared it with my colleagues, and began defining the class.

ZAP--Zeroing in on Attitude and Performance--is an academic elective class. The purpose of the class is to accelerate students' reading, speaking, and writing skills, improve their study habits, strengthen their critical thinking and problem solving skills, and build confident students with outstanding character.

ZAP was very successful and widely admired by students and staff. Unfortunately, with budget cuts and changing bell schedules, ZAP classes were limited to specific groups of students on campus. Since its creation, I have worked very hard to improve this course and broaden its mission to include all students on campus.

Today, LiteracyTA offers ZAP for elementary, middle, and high school students. Unlike other support classes, ZAP can help all students achieve. ZAP, for example, is used to support academic skill development for AP exams. ZAP is also used to prepare students for the new Smarter Balanced and PARCC performance tasks. ZAP classes can also target skill development for students who are behind. And for our English language learners, we have a ZAP EL that schools use as their language development class or extra hour of English instruction. Take a look at our ZAP Teacher Guides for middle, high school, and EL.

It's time to get ZAP classes in your school!  To get a personalized demonstration of ZAP classes, contact Laura Harvey at

This summer at LiteracyTA University you can explore the teaching practices and skills that are the foundation of our ZAP classes.

Do you love LiteracyTA?  Now is the time to get your friends to fall in love with LiteracyTA too.

During the month of March, we want to reward you for spreading the word about how much you love LiteracyTA.  When your friends purchase our online TA, have them enter the coupon code FRIEND and write your email in the notes section on the checkout screen.  Your friends will receive $25 off their 1 year membership and you will get an additional 3 months of membership for free.

**Valid only on new 1 year memberships.

Remember to contribute to our National Professional Learning Team (NPTL) writing project. We want to compile a list of amazing short writing prompts for teachers to use all over the country. Don't worry about format, one of the team members will come through and make sure every slide looks amazing. Want to know more? Check out the eCoach.

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Literacy Standards In Action

We've mapped our literacy lessons and reading, speaking, and writing skills to state standards, Common Core, and NGSS. The standards are "the what" to teach. Our lessons are "the how" to meet the expectations defined by the standards. Click on the links below to view our quick reference table that maps standards to literacy lessons.

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