Facilitating Choice Within Curriculum Constraints - NCTE 2012


Published on

Slideshow on Facilitating Choice in reading material in the E/LA/R classroom. Presented at NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) 2012 Annual Convention by Jillian Heise, Sarah Andersen, Danielle Kuluwiak, & Mindi Rench.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Facilitating Choice Within Curriculum Constraints - NCTE 2012

  1. 1. Facilitating ChoiceWithin CurriculumConstraintsTwo middle school & two high school teachersshare their methods for student choice in reading
  2. 2. Our Understandings•  More reading = improved skills, increasedvocabulary, & higher test scores(Allington, 2001; Krashen 2001 and Stanovich, 2000 as cited in Allington, 2002; Nippold et al., 2005)•  Move from teacher-chosen 4 books/year, tostudents actively reading more at own level.Less "stuff" & more real reading every day.(Allington, 2001; Ivey & Broaddus, 2001; Miller, 2009; Worthy, Turner, & Moorman, 1998)•  As students grade level, reading attitude .Need engagement & interest to motivation.(Turner, 1995 as cited in Allington, 2002; McKenna, Kear, and Ellsworth, 1995; Pitcher et al., 2007; Guthrie et al., 2006)•  Allow choice = meet these requirements(Allington, 2005)
  3. 3. Every Child, Every Day(Allington and Gabriel, 2012)From Six Elements for Every Child•  Books: Choice, accuracy, understanding•  Talk: with peers about reading•  Listens: fluent adult read aloud•  Writes: personally meaningful topics
  4. 4. Research-Based Recommendations forEffective Adolescent Literacy InstructionResearch on the practices of highly effective adolescent literacy teachers reveals anumber of common qualities. These qualities, in order of importance, include thefollowing:1) teaching with approaches that foster critical thinking, questioning, studentdecision-making, and independent learning;2) addressing the diverse needs of adolescents whose literacy abilities varyconsiderably;3) possessing personal characteristics such as caring about students, being creative andcollaborative, and loving to read and write;4) developing a solid knowledge about and commitment to literacy instruction;5) using significant quality and quantity of literacy activities including hands-on,scaffolding, minilessons, discussions, group work, student choice, ample feedback,and multiple forms of expression;6) participating in ongoing professional development;7) developing quality relationships with students; and8) managing the classroom effectively (NCTE Adolescent Literacy Policy Research Brief, 2007)
  5. 5. What do the Common CoreState Standards Say?What to read and who decides:•  Through reading...students are expected to build knowledge, gain insights,explore possibilities, and broaden their perspective.•  At a curricular or instructional level, within and across grade levels, textsneed to be selected around topics or themes that generate knowledge andallow students to study those topics or themes in depth. (CCSS ELA page 58)•  The standards appropriately defer the many remaining decisions aboutwhat and how to teach to states, districts, and schools.A focus on results rather than means(CCSS ELA page 4):Teachers are thus free to provide students with whatever tools and knowledgetheir professional judgment and experience identify as most helpful formeeting the goals set out in the Standards.
  6. 6. What do the Common CoreState Standards Say?Text complexity and the growth of comprehension (CCSS ELA p.8):Whatever they are reading, students must also show a steadily growing abilityto discern more from and make fuller use of text, including making anincreasing number of connections among ideas and between texts,considering a wider range of textual evidence, and becoming more sensitiveto inconsistencies, ambiguities, and poor reasoning in texts.Distribution of types of reading (CCSS ELA page 5):8th grade 45% Literary & 55% Informational12th grade 30% Literary & 70% InformationalThe percentages on the table reflect the sum of student reading, not just reading inELA settings. Teachers of senior English classes, for example, are not required todevote 70 percent of reading to informational texts. Rather, 70 percent of studentreading across the grade should be informational.
  7. 7. Individual Choice & TextSets in place of the WholeClass NovelJillian Heise, 7th & 8th grade Language ArtsIndian Community School of Milwaukee, WI
  8. 8. With one book, how manystudents benefit?Teacher-chosen book who does real reading?These 7arent at allinterestedin this topic.These 4 arent readyfor this level of textyet.These 4would havechosen thebook on theirown.These 5are readyfor morecomplextext.These 6 already readthe book.These 2 areinterested &at the rightability levelfor this book.
  9. 9. Which do you like better?Which motivates you to read more?Why would it be any different for your students?
  10. 10. Choice vs.One Whole Class NovelWhich would entice you to want to read?Mythology-relatedbook choices
  11. 11. Text Sets = Guided ChoiceTheme/Topic/Genre or FormMysteryWWII / HolocaustDystopianGraphic NovelsNovels in Verse
  12. 12. Why it worksMeets students needs•  Interest/Background Knowledge•  Skill Level•  Teacher Trust in Student•  Affective Domain
  13. 13. Individual ChoiceStudents choose based on interest, ability, & recommendations.*adapted the 40 Book Challenge (Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer)
  14. 14. Choice leads to…engagement & motivationequaling more time spent in real reading
  15. 15. What am I really teaching?I teach reading;I dont teach booksWhat is the curriculum?the book or the skillWhat is my goal?think like I do or think for selfanswering questions or critical thinkinggiving same answer as all or giving support for own answer
  16. 16. What to do with the booksREADGet rid of the "stuff" and let them read!•  Confer with Teacher•  Respond in Writing•  Big Questions•  Book Talks•  Share Favorites•  Discussions with Classmateso  Students still talk about what theyve read§  Same book groups§  Different book groups
  17. 17. How to get a commonexperience with textWhat was your purpose for the whole class novel?Did all students access & benefit from the text?Can you meet that same purpose in a new way?Try a Read Aloud
  18. 18. How do students find thebooks?Create,build,organize,andcurate aclassroomlibrary
  19. 19. What the students sayabout having a choice"This year I learned so much about myself when I read books. Ithas made me a lot more interested in book genres that I nevereven knew existed. My perspective has changed of books thisyear. I enjoy them so much more than I used to.""There was never a time this year that I read a book I wasntinterested in. It inspires me to continue reading this summerand throughout my time at the high school.""Reading the books I like actually got me to read for fun. I wouldonly read because I had to, but then when I started readingbooks I liked, I would read just because I wanted to & it wasinteresting."
  20. 20. What more students sayabout having a choice"This year I found great books I like that I really connected with.""I did relate to so many books this year. Theyre not just forlosers. Books made me glad to say that I read a lot this year.""Next year Ill keep looking for books that interest me. I think allreaders should have a voice in reading like I had a chance tothis year.""Finding books that I liked resulted in reading more at home & inschool, therefore improving my reading habits."
  21. 21. Sarah Andersen, Clio High SchoolThematic Connections:Pairing YA Novels withClassic Texts
  22. 22. BackgroundIn 2009 I wrote the curriculum for a YoungAdult Literature elective.Students read three novels as a class & choosethree novels to read for a choice project.Since 2010, theres been enough interest to fillthree classes per year!
  23. 23. Proposing My Idea•  YA Lit offers choice & high interest reading.•  Freshmen discover a (new/renewed) love ofreading through SSR.•  Proposed incorporating a YA thematic unit tothe English 9 curriculum because of thesuccess of YA Lit & SSR.
  24. 24. Creating the Unit•  With administrative support, I worked withmy department to create a unit that connectsthematically with To Kill a Mockingbird.•  We decided to branch out beyond racismand also include topics such as maturity,homosexuality, religious prejudice, etc.
  25. 25. The Novels•  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian bySherman Alexie•  A Light at the End of the Tunnel: Stories of MuslimTeens by Sumaiya Beshir•  Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupula
  26. 26. The Novels (cont.)•  Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg•  Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork•  Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
  27. 27. Introducing the UnitBefore reading To Kill a Mockingbird, studentswere informed that theyd be reading a YAnovel that thematically connects with theclassic.
  28. 28. Introducing the Unit (cont.)Our goal is to help our students build strongerconnections with To Kill a Mockingbird anddevelop a deeper understanding of the story.Before beginning, the students are prepared towork individually and collaboratively, with lessdirect teacher instruction.
  29. 29. Choosing the NovelsSince were working with a variety of novels,the students sampled each of them with abook pass.
  30. 30. Choosing the Novels(cont.)We had a limited budget, which resulted infewer quantities of each title.After the book pass, each student rated his/hertop 3 choices.I went through their choices, tallied them, andassigned books accordingly.
  31. 31. Teaching the Unit•  Majority of the class period was spentreading because of limited resources.•  The other part of class time was spentworking collaboratively with their bookgroups.•  We wanted the groups to feel like bookclubs.
  32. 32. Teaching the Unit (cont.)Harvey Daniels Mini-Lessons for LiteratureCircles proved to be an invaluable resource.The students responded well to his mini-lessonideas and engaged in thoughtful discussions.Many days they came into class alreadydiscussing their books!
  33. 33. Spine PoemsI learned about spine poetry through Twitter, courtesy ofDonalyn Miller, Paul W. Hankins, and Travis Jonker.A spine poem is created using the titles on the spines ofnovels.Students were asked to work w/their book groups to createspine poems based on a topic, character, issue, etc.from their choice novel.
  34. 34. Spine Poems (cont.)The spine poems served as an alternative assessment toshow understanding and comprehension. Students wroteexplanations for each spine poem.This was one of the most engaging reading activities Ivedone in class. My students loved it & created morepoems than required!
  35. 35. Final AssessmentPart of their group work involved findingexamples from To Kill a Mockingbird andtheir choice novel to use as support in theirfinal assessment.The students wrote an essay comparing theirYA choice novel to the classic. This wasdone as a timed essay test.
  36. 36. Student Responses•  Tyler: “My favorite books I’ve read this year are A LongWay Gone and Out of the Pocket. Both of these books Igot to choose to read and I liked them very much. Theyboth interested me and weren’t hard to read. I’velearned a lot about myself as a reader. If I get to pickthe book, I will most likely enjoy the book. However, if Iget forced to read a book there isn’t a good chance thatI will enjoy it too much or finish it.”•  Jake: "I have learned that if you have a good book,reading is great. I may not be an avid reader, but I reada little more now. Being able to choose my book madea big difference."
  37. 37. Understanding by Designand Differentiation ofReading InstructionDanielle Kulawiak, Mount Olive High School
  38. 38. Background•Our district curriculum focuses mainly on teachingskills using excerpts from longer texts; focusingprimarily on older texts that have lost their punch.•How do we foster a love of reading while alsosending the message that it is not necessary toread a book in its entirety?•How to give the students choice but also fulfill therequirements of a prescriptive curriculum.
  39. 39. UbD•McTighe/Wiggins•Understanding by Design–Backwards design (begin with the end in mind)–SWUT vs. SWBAT–Skills vs. content•Use common texts to introduce skills, usestudent selected texts to apply anddemonstrate mastery of those skills.
  40. 40. Developing Life Long Readers•The majority of my students claim to dislikereading and do it as infrequently aspossible.•I believe that if we can match a student withthe right book, he or she will learn thatreading can be fun, not simply a chore.
  41. 41. What is More Important?•Is it more important that all my students read thesame book or that I give them the skills necessary totackle any reading, from newspapers to novels?•“Assessment becomes responsive when students aregiven appropriate options for demonstratingknowledge, skill, and understanding. In other words,allow some choices—but always with the intent ofcollecting needed evidence based ongoals.” (Tomlinson and McTighe)
  42. 42. Reading Workshop•If I want to develop students who willbecome life long readers and who will beable to independently navigate texts, Ineed to give them a chance to apply theirskills.•Reading workshop and independentreading projects allow me to do this.
  43. 43. Structure of ReadingWorkshop•Teacher uses SRI data and conversations with students to help guidestudents to books that would be a good fit.•Students submit a selection sheet that includes the title, author,synopsis, why they chose that book, and parent/guardian approval.•Students are allowed to change their minds after the first session ofreading workshop.•Class starts with a mini-lesson and then students have time to read•Students have during and after reading assignments to showcaseunderstanding of the skills practiced.
  44. 44. Independent ReadingProjectThe reading workshop sessions culminate in theIndependent Reading Project.Example Unit: FictionEssential Question: How do authors use fictionalcharacters and situations to help readers make sense ofthe real world?Example Unit: Autobiography/MemoirEssential Question: What can we learn about ourselves byreading about others?
  45. 45. Sample Student Selected Texts(Fiction Unit)
  46. 46. Sample Student Selected Texts(Autobiography/Memoir Unit)
  47. 47. What happens if they onlywant to read Hunger Games?Directing Students to MoreSophisticated TextsMindi Rench, Literacy Coach, NorthbrookJunior High, Northbrook, Illinois
  48. 48. Whats the deal with textcomplexity?With new emphasis on the Common Core StateStandards, teachers are expected to havestudents reading more complex texts atearlier ages.In Appendix A, we see this graphic:
  49. 49. The Danger of LexilesIf we stuck just to Lexiles, students in highschool would be discouraged from reading:•  Night by Elie Wiesel (570 L)•  Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (630 L)•  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald(1070L)•  A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway(730L)
  50. 50. What about reading level?o  Reading levels are a guide to appropriatetext, and have their uses when groupingstudents for small group instruction.o  Not everything a student reads should beon their grade level. Students should beable to (and be encouraged to) readwidely across texts!
  51. 51. Think About Ideas!When considering text complexity, consider thebig ideas in a book....What are the struggles the characters face?How intertwined are the relationships?How mature are the themes?
  52. 52. Think About "Ladders"Teri Lesesne talks about ReadingLadders when considering textcomplexity. As students findbooks they enjoy, suggest they readUP a ladder!For example....Students who enjoyed Hatchet by Gary Paulsen because ofthe adventure and survival might also like Take Me toThe River by Will Hobbs or First Descent by PamWithers. Both are adventure/survival stories, but are abit more complex and ladder with Hatchet.
  53. 53. Another Ladder:Dystopian:•  Among The Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix•  City of Ember by Jeanne Du Prau•  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins•  The Giver by Lois Lowry•  1984 by George Orwell
  54. 54. How Do I Suggest ALadder?o  Ask: “What was the last thing you readthat you really liked? What was it that youliked?”o  Use that as your starting point to find“read alikes” that will get the reader going.o  Dont limit yourself to topic ladders. Thinkauthors, themes, word plays, formats, etc.
  55. 55. How Do I Know WhatBooks to Suggest?Theres only one way.....You have to READ!A Lot!Find out what to read by checking outGoodreads, Twitter, and the Centurions onFacebook, or ask your school librarian forrecommendations!
  56. 56. Allowing students choices meansthey have access to books.Richard Allington states:•  Higher-achieving schools have more booksin classroom library collections than arefound in lower-achieving schools.•  Classrooms with a larger supply of bookshave kids who read more frequently.•  Classrooms with a larger supply of booksusually have more kids reading books theycould read successfully.
  57. 57. Allowing students choices meansthey have access to books.Allington goes on to recommend thatclassrooms have at least 500 books, splitevenly between fiction and nonfiction andabout equally between books that are on ornearly at grade level and books that arebelow grade level.
  58. 58. Where do I start?o  Build your classroom library.§  Use the Scholastic Book Club to get free/cheap books. Also,check out their warehouse sale.§  Go to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store to findbooks.§  Look for teacher discounts atbookstoreso  Share your reading life with your students.Talk about the books you love (and even thosethat you dont). Talk about where you getreading ideas. Talk about how you make timeto read.
  59. 59. Books that Hook AdolescentsMiddle School§  The Strange Case of Origami Yoda(Angleberger)§  The Unwanteds (McMann)§  Runner (Deuker)§  Percy Jackson & the Olympians (Riordan)§  The Hunger Games (Collins)§  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-TimeIndian (Alexie)§  I Am Number Four (Lore)§  The One and Only Ivan (Applegate)§  Wonder (Palacio)§  I Heart You, You Haunt Me (Schroeder)§  Speak (Halse Anderson)§  What My Mother Doesnt Know (Sones)§  Smile and Drama (Telgemeier)§  The 39 Clues series§  Mike Lupica sports books§  Kate Messner books§  Out of My Mind (Draper)§  13 Reasons Why (Asher)§  Tommy Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading(Greenwald)§  Perfect Chemistry (Elkeles)§  Divergent (Roth)§  Clarity (Harrington)§  Legend (Lu)§  The Rangers Apprentice series (Flanagan)§  The Alex Rider series (Horowitz)§  Gordon Korman books§  The Fourth Stall (Rylander)§  Sidekicks (Santant)§  Zita the Spacegirl (Hatke)§  Amulet series (Kibuiski§  Stargirl (Spinelli)§  Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (Kinney)§  Among the Hidden series (Haddix)§  The Maze Runner (Dashner)§  The Last Thing I Remember (Klavan)
  60. 60. Books that Hook AdolescentsHigh School§  13 Reasons Why (Asher)§  Perfect Chemistry (Elkeles)§  Divergent (Roth)§  The Mockingbirds (Whitney)§  Clarity (Harrington)§  Legend (Lu)§  Crank (and other Ellen Hopkins books)§  Living Dead Girl (Scott)§  Twisted (Halse Anderson)§  Hush, Hush (Fitzpatrick)§  Page by Paige (Gulledge)§  Right Behind You (Giles)§  Purple Heart (McCormick)§  Swim the Fly (Calame)§  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Hodkin)§  THE DUFF (Keplinger)§  The Warrior Heir trilogy (Williams Chima)§  Stupid Fast (Herbach)§  Wake trilogy (McMann)§  Paranoid Park (Nelson)§  Jumping Off Swings (Knowles)§  Before I Fall & Delirium (Oliver)§  House of Night series (Cast & Cast)§  Tell Me a Secret (Cupula)§  Refresh Refresh (Percy)§  Anna Dressed in Blood (Blake)§  Catching Jordan (Kenneally)§  Unwind (Shusterman)§  Hold Still (LaCour)§  Variant (Wells)§  Blue is for Nightmares series (Stolarz)§  Gym Candy (Deuker)§  Crackback (Coy)§  Breathing Underwater (Flinn)§  Hex Hall series (Hawkins)§  Cracked Up to Be (Summers)§  Sweethearts & How to Save a Life (Zarr)§  Twenty Boy Summer (Ockler)§  The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Chbosky)
  61. 61. Next Steps forImplementing in Your Room•  Build your classroomlibrary•  Work with yourlibrarian to get booksinto kids hands•  Find related themes& books for novelsyou currently teach•  Start small-chooseone unit to try it•  Read. A lot. (Learn titlesand themes and which books willconnect with which students)•  Be a model reader(students need to see you as anauthority and see your reading life)•  Be a book talker(think of it as being an advertiser)•  Do read alouds(Be the fluent example & share goodbooks that students might miss)•  Be a book pusher(never miss an opportunity torecommend a book to a student)
  62. 62. Following Up & Contacting UsSlideShare: www.slideshare.net/mindi_rTwitterJillian - @heisereadsMindi - @mindi_rSarah - @yaloveblogDanielle - @mymercurialmuseEmailJillian - heisereads@gmail.comMindi - mrench@northbrook28.netSarah - lovingyalit@gmail.comDanielle - dkulawiak@gmail.comBlogsJillian - www.heisereads.comMindi - http://nextbestbook.blogspot.comSarah - www.yaloveblog.comDanielle - www.mymercurialmusings.com