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School-Wide Literacy at NVJH



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  • Jess
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  • Trish
  • Ann
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  • Kari
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  • 1. Understanding School-Wide Literacy at North View Junior High
    August 31st, 2010
    Trish Van Horn, Ann Evenson, Kari Vollrath, Jessica Crooker
  • 2. Today’s Outcomes
    • I can define the term “school-wide literacy” and explain what it means in my classroom.
    • 3. I can identify the three specific focus areas to enhance school-wide literacy.
  • 4. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”   Thomas Edison  (1847-1931)
  • 5. Knowledge Rating Scale
    An assessment for learning
    Teacher selects essential vocabulary related to topic/unit of study
    Students reflect on their level of understanding
    Can be extended to get students out of their seats
    Formative Assessment
  • 6. MYTH or TRUTH?
    MYTHS about SWL…
    TRUTHS about SWL…
    requires all teachers to assign formal essays
    requires teachers to emphasize grading grammar and spelling
    refers only to reading
    is part of the training in becoming an English teacher
    is subject matter that needs to be taught in addition to your content
    describes HOW we teach, not WHAT we teach
    is necessary for students of all ages and ability levels
    uses reading and writing to help students master content
    can enhance student performance
    relevant in all content areas
    Literacy is…
    "The ability to read and write and use numeracy, to handle information, to express ideas and opinions, to make decisions and solve problems, as family members, workers, citizens and lifelong learners.”
    School-wide Literacy means…
    …all staff intentionally and actively elevate students’ literacy skills in order to increase content learning.
    Metaphor alert!
    Metaphorical thinking provides two benefits:
    More readily able to reach deeper levels of comprehension
    Repeated practice enables students to generate their own metaphorical connections, thus sharpening higher-level thinking skills (Gallagher 2004, pg. 125)
    Our goal= to help students cross the bridge
    Identifying Sim. & Diff.
  • 9. But what is lurking UNDER the bridge…?
  • 10. Piranhas?!
    What literacy challenges do students encounter when trying to master your content?
    In other words, what makes learning (i.e. crossing the bridge) difficult for students?
    Please post your fish
    during the break.
  • 11. Write-Pair-Share
    Summarizing/Note-taking &
    Writing Break— (prompts: choose 1 or more)
    What do you notice about this graphic?
    What are you thinking?
    Questions, thoughts, comments, ideas, concerns…
    Turn to a person next to you and discuss your thoughts
    Can read a part of your response or simply paraphrase for your partner
    Post-discussion—an opportunity to share out with the large group
  • 12. Outcome #1
    I can define the term “school-wide literacy” and explain what it means in my classroom.
    On the second Knowledge Rating Scale, place an X in the column that best describes your understanding of school-wide literacy.
  • 13. Narrowing the School-wide Literacy Focus
    Focus on three major instructional techniques
    Research shows high return for investing in these techniques:
    Content Area Vocabulary Instruction
    Write to Learn
  • 14. Metacognition—what is it?
    learners' automatic awareness of their own knowledge and their ability to understand, control, and manipulate their own cognitive processes;
    refers to the ability to reflect upon the task demand and independently select and employ the appropriate reading, writing, math or learning strategy
  • 15. Metacognition—why does it work?
    Moves students from dependent to autonomous
    Students are better able to access strategies best suited to their purpose
    Students become active, flexible thinkers, capable of responding to a variety of:
    (Harvey, Goudvis 2007)
  • 16. Metacognition—what does it look like?
    Knowledge Rating Scale*
    Exit card reflecting on the “I can” statements*
    Groenke’s learning targets (1-5 scale)*
    Post-it notes; text annotation*
    KWL chart
    Think Alouds (teachers & students)
    Double-entry journals
    Journals, quick writes
    TURN & TALK: What have you heard about metacognition that affirms your teaching practices?
    Post-its: In what ways have you used metacognition in your classroom?
  • 17. Content Area Vocabulary Instruction—what is it?
    Direct and explicit instruction of vocabulary related to your specific content area
    Instruction takes place within the appropriate context
    Only for words expected to be made part of students’ permanent lexicon
    “My teacher says our school has tough new standards and I need to improve my vocabulary. What’s vocabulary?”
  • 18. Content Area Vocabulary Instruction—why does it work?
    Background knowledge is more important to understanding of reading than IQ.
    Vocabulary instruction in specific content-area terms builds up student’s background knowledge in the content area.
    Side note…
    Academic Language for most teachers IS our everyday language, which makes it hard to notice and, therefore, hard to teach.
    Zwiers, p. 39
  • 19. Support for Direct Instruction
    Marzano, 2004, p. 69
  • 20. Content Area Vocabulary Instruction—What does it look like?
    Limit 2-3 per week, per class
    Marzano suggests:
    Instructor explanation, choral pronunciation
    Collaboration & discussion
    Non-linguistic activities
    Revisiting the words regularly
    “Play” with the words, ask students to use the words
    TURN & TALK: What have you heard about direct vocabulary instruction that affirms your teaching practices?
    Post-its: In what ways have you used direct vocabulary instruction in your classroom?
  • 21. Write To Learn—what is it?
    • Using writing as a tool for thinking
    • 22. Writing to find out what is in our minds
    • 23. Play with ideas, move them around, make connections
    • 24. WTLs come in many forms
    • 25. Short
    • 26. Spontaneous
    • 27. Exploratory
    • 28. Informal
    • 29. Personal
    • 30. One draft
    • 31. Unedited, ungraded—but can be used to give feedback
    Daniels, Zemelman, Steineke 2007, p. 20-25
  • 32. Write To Learn—why does it work?
    In order for learners to understand & remember ideas, they must act upon them
    Requires students to put new learning in their own words (unlike some note-taking or fill-in-the blank activities)
    Pushes students to think beyond factual recall (lower level thinking)
  • 33. Write To Learn—what does it look like?
    TURN & TALK: What have you heard about write-to-learn that affirms your teaching practices?
    Post-its: In what ways have you used write-to-learn in your classroom?
    Exit/Entrance Slips*
    Writing Break*
    Drawing and Illustrating
    Written Conversation
    Carousel Brainstorming
    Nonstop Write
    Reflective Write
    Teacher-Student Correspondence
  • 34. OUTCOME #2
    I can identify the three specific focus areas to enhance school-wide literacy.
    Complete the second Knowledge Rating Scale
    Also, please fill out the exit slip
    Tear your paper along the dotted line & leave lower portion on your table