Content Literacy


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This is a product of a book study on Improving Adolescent Literacy (Doug Fisher). Presented by a literacy group to Sparta Middle School, January 2006 in Sparta, Michigan.

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  • How to read content area books? Who teaches that? Varied types of reading requires multiple literacies. Not suggesting every content teacher must become a ‘reading teacher’—every secondary teacher can assist in the literacy development of adolescents.
  • Content Literacy

    1. 1. Content Literacy Improving Adolescent Literacy Book Study LeAnn Kitson, Margaret Peters, Penny Christensen, Nelli Koster
    2. 2. Sparta Middle School <ul><li>Building School Improvement Goal for 2005-2006 School Year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve student skills in content specific literacy </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Why Literacy in the Content Areas? <ul><li>Learning is language-based. </li></ul><ul><li>Textbooks are not longer the only source of information in content area classes. </li></ul><ul><li>Students learn with texts, not from texts. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why can’t English teachers take care of the literacy needs of students? <ul><li>Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Viewing are critical in all courses; how they are applied differs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication needs in all areas. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Texts vary in structure in content courses. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Varied types of reading requires multiple literacies. </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Literacy is the vehicle to teach for understanding. <ul><li>Student achievement and literacy levels are linked to professional development of teachers. (Darling-Hammond,1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers help students increase literacy skills through content areas with specific instructional approaches. </li></ul>
    6. 6. How can I fit literacy strategies in when I have all this content to teach? <ul><li>These identified strategies are transportable across content areas. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They should also be transparent.(content more important) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anticipatory Activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read Alouds and Shared Readings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Questioning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Notetaking and Note Making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphic Organizers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vocabulary Instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing to Learn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reciprocal Teaching </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Notetaking and Note Making <ul><li>Notetaking is created from lectures. </li></ul><ul><li>Note Making is created from text. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Better notetakers generally do better in school and specific types of notetaking produce better results. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Faber, Morris, & Lieberman, 2000; Kiewra, Benton, Kim, Risch, & Christensen, 1995) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires both a process and product function </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Process: recording the notes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Product: reviewing notes later </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Both produce results of improved comprehension and retention of material. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. The Cornell Notetaking Strategy <ul><li>BE A STAR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>S = Set up the format. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>T = Take text or lecture notes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A = After class, revise your notes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R = Review and study your notes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How does it work? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up format: Draw line down the length of the paper about a third of the way in to create space for notes in the right hand column, questions or main ideas on the other side, and a space for a summary of key ideas at the bottom. </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Cornell Notetaking (How Does It Work?) continued <ul><li>Take text or lecture notes: Paraphrase the text or lecture in the right hand column. Teacher should model for students. </li></ul><ul><li>Revise your notes: Go back through notes and develop questions or main ideas that your notes would answer. </li></ul><ul><li>Review and study your notes: Use your notes and questions to summarize the main ideas in two or three sentences at the bottom of the page. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember the goal of notetaking instruction is to teach the usefulness of the process and the product. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Questioning: Student and Teacher <ul><li>Used more than any other method of developing comprehension. </li></ul><ul><li>Key is knowing when to ask questions and the type </li></ul><ul><li>Helps the teacher assess understanding (Durkin, 1978-1979) </li></ul><ul><li>Often dominated by teacher questioning, limiting student-generated questions. (Bushing,1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Often focused at the literal level, especially when teaching struggling readers. (Allington, 1983) </li></ul>
    11. 11. Questioning Habits of Teachers <ul><li>Dominated by Initiate-Respond-Evaluate cycles (Mehan, 1979; Cazden, 1986) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>T: Why was the battle of Gettysburg important? (Initiate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S: The Union army defeated the Confederate army. (Respond) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>T: Good. (Evaluate) Why else was it important? (Initiate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you doubt the pervasiveness of this pattern, listen to young children “playing school”! </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Creating Quality Questions <ul><li>Goal of restructured questions is to guide the ways students construct and examine meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>Serves as a way of scaffolding information </li></ul><ul><li>Use of questioning models can assist in constructing questions. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Questioning Models <ul><li>Bloom’s Taxonomy (Bloom, 1956) </li></ul><ul><li>ReQuest (Manzo, 1969) </li></ul><ul><li>Question the Author (Beck, Mckeown, Hamilton, & Kucan, 1997 </li></ul><ul><li>DR-TA (Stauffer, 1996) </li></ul><ul><li>Question-Answer Relationships QAR (Raphael, 1986) </li></ul><ul><li>SQ#R (Robinson, 1946) </li></ul><ul><li>SQRQCQ (Fay, 1965) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Question the Author (Beck et al.,1997) <ul><li>Students build meaning by analyzing author’s purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher’s role is to facilitate, not dominate </li></ul><ul><li>Record student responses to use as discussion points </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent device for teaching point of view. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Goals of QtA <ul><li>To construct meaning of text </li></ul><ul><li>To help the student go beyond the words on the page </li></ul><ul><li>To relate outside experiences from other texts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The students’ answers are not evaluated in this procedure because QtA is designed to engage the readers with the text, not to rate the accuracy of their responses. </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Questioning the Author Prompts Did the author tell us that? Did the author give us the answer to that? Encourage students to refer to the text because they have misinterpreted, or to help them recognize that they have made an inference. Does that make sense? Is that said in a clear way? Did the author explain that clearly? Why or why not? What do we need to figure out or find out? Identify difficulties with the way the author has presented information or ideas? That’s what the author says, but what does it mean? How does that connect with what the author already told us? What information has the author added here that connects or fits with __________? Focus on author’s message Linking information What is the author trying to say? What is the author’s message? What is the author talking about? Initiate Discussion
    17. 17. How Do We Know That Literacy Instruction in All Content Areas Matters? <ul><li>Shared Characteristics include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>School wide focus on achievement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agreed upon curriculum choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistency of a plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It takes time an collegial conversations to develop a shared vocabulary of teaching and learning. (Fisher, 2001) </li></ul></ul></ul>