What is “Literacy Across theCurriculum”?Literacy across the curriculum meansthat students are learning literacyskills while learning other contentareas like math, science, socialstudies, art, and music.Jane
Why is literacy across the curriculumimportant? Learning in any subject area requires the use oflanguage; therefore, reading and writing are used astools for learning that subject area. Connecting literacy learning to other content areasreinforces learning in all areas. http://mason.gmu.edu/~cwallac7/TAP/TEST/ comprehension/4.htmlIsabella
There is no question that reading, writing, speaking,and listening are interconnected skills that developsynergistically. They are also the key to teachingthinking.The more fluent students become as readers, writers,speakers, and listeners, the clearer, more coherent,and more flexible their thinking will become. Terry Roberts and Laura Billings Thinking is Literacy, Literacy Thinking Educational Leadership/February 2008Isabella
Reading transcends the mere transmission ofinformation: It fosters an imaginative dialoguebetween the text and the reader’s mind that actuallyhelps people to think. Stratford P. Sherman, Author of “AmericaWon’t Win Till It Reads More”Learning to read is critical to a child’s overall well-being. If a youngster does not learn to read in aliteracy-driven society, hope for a fulfilling productivelife diminishes. G.Reid Lyon, Chief of Child Development and Behavior Branch of the National Institute of Child health andHuman DevelopmentPaul
Historical View of Reading Research Base Traditional Views New Definition of Behaviorism Reading Cognitive sciences Goals of Reading Mastery of isolated facts Constructing meaning and and skills self-regulated learning Reading as Process Mechanically decoding An interaction among the words; memorizing by rote reader, the text, and the context Learner Role/Metaphor Passive; vessel receiving Active; strategic reader, knowledge from external effective strategy user, sources cognitive apprentice Figure is from Teaching Reading in the Content Areas by Rachel Billmeyer, Ph.D. and Mary Lee Barton, M.Ed., page 2Melissa & Jessica
Why is literacy across the curriculumimportant in middle school?Middle school students are required to read andunderstand "information-heavy" textbooks,especially in their middle school science andsocial studies classes. It is important for them tolearn how to read a non-fiction book.Wayne
What does an effective literacy programlook like?Effective literacy programs are those that donot exist in a vacuum.Teaching reading and writing skills must notbe reserved solely for language artsclassrooms.Students need multiple opportunitiesto learn reading and writing strategiesin a variety of class settings.Paul
What are the characteristics of an effective literacy program? ● is student-centered ● responds to students needs ● includes ongoing practice; regular inclusion of reading and writing activities ● focuses on positive outcomes ● incorporates a variety of reading and writing strategies http://teachingtoday.glencoe. com/howtoarticles/promoting-literacy-across-Jessica the-curriculum-in-the-middle-grades
Our Team/Our ThemeChildren will be more motivated to learn when they are presentedwith material in an authentic manner. This means that topics oflearning are connected to things that are meaningful to the students.This can happen when topic areas are connected to experiencesthat students have outside of school, as well as, inside school.Melissa
Our Plans Jen: To develop Jane & and/or increase Jessica: To motivation in develop reluctant writing skills readers in science Melissa: To stimulate interest in reading and improve reading Paul: To comprehension develop an by using a variety understanding of high interest texts, both in print Literacy across of main idea and media format. the Curriculum Wayne: To Isabella: To develop encourage more more effective independent readers and writers. reading through technology (ex. Kindles, Glogster).Jen
Jane & Jessica’s ProjectQuestion: Can student thinking in science be deepened and can studentwriting skills improve through meaningful and authentic writingassignments?I am placing a special focus on student writing this year through the use ofinteractive science notebooks, lab reports, science literature reports, andcontent writing assignments.We are collaborating, and I am providing the technical and pedagogicalsupport. Our hope is to improve student writing and deepen student thinkingin science through content area writing. Students work is being graded oncontent as well as grammar and usage using a Writing Across theCurriculum checklist. Assignments are followed up with a writer’s reflectionsheet, which allows the students to analyze their finished products and thegrades they received.The idea for this question came from http://writingfix.com/WAC/sciencefix.htm
PAUL’S PROJECTQUESTION: CAN I HELP STUDENTS UNDERSTAND NON-FICTION READING WITH ACLEAR FOCUS ON MAIN IDEA? This question came about after I realized my students were struggling withresearch and text reading. It is an issue I have seen become more apparentover the last two years. This year I decided to perform some guided readingswith a focus on main idea before we started the Foundations of Democracyunit. I am looking to learn if student focus on the main idea of historicaldocuments can help them understand their meaning and importance to modernlife.
Isabella’s ProjectQuestion: Will the use of reading/thinkingstrategies help my students construct a betterunderstanding of science concepts?Beginning with the 2010 – 2011 school year, I includedreading /thinking strategies as part of my warm upactivities. This year I am continuing to implement thesestrategies on a more consistent basis. I am doing this inan effort to improve comprehension of science text andsupport students as they construct understanding of themain concepts presented in my science class.I would like to determine if these reading/thinkingstrategies make an impact on student understanding ofscience text, including the textbook, science articles, non-fiction picture books, and excerpts from science -basedfiction books.
Resources for Strategies:● But I’m Not the Reading Teacher (Amy Benjamin)● Strategies to Engage the Mind of the Learner (Rachel Billmeyer)● Teaching Reading in the Content Areas (Rachel Billmeyer and Mary Lee Barton)● Thinking Strategies for Science (Sally Berman)● The Strategic Teacher (Harvey F. Silver, Richard W. Strong and Matthew J. Perini)
Jen’s ProjectQuestion: How can I, as an effective teacher, increase anddevelop motivation in reluctant readers? I strongly feel that in today’s “texting generation”, motivatingstudents to read is harder than ever. With all the other forms ofmedia out there, it is difficult to engage students in reading without astruggle. One of the main complexities in getting students to read isgetting them to do it without making reading a punishment. Whilethis may “get the job done”, it creates a disdain for reading, and thus,negates our goal of motivating students to WANT to read.Throughout the year, I play on focusing in on increasing students’motivation and desire to read.
Jen’s Project Continued: Throughout my research of motivating students to read, I found two common pieces of advice: ●Provide a choice in what students read ●Motivate by example: show students that you love to read! “Engaged readers want to choose their own books. Choice is vital to reading engagement. As children learn to self-select their reading materials, they become discriminating and independent readers.” - Susan E. Snell, Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Jen’s Project Continued: Plans: Increasing Motivation in Reading1. I will assign multi-genre monthly book reports (fiction, science-fiction, mystery, Newberry Award Winner, historical fiction,fantasy/adventure, biography/autobiography, and a “choice” book).I feel that by assigning the students a different genre to read fromeach month- it will increase the chances of each student, especiallythose who “hate reading”, of finding a book or a genre that theyactually enjoy. For each genre, I will also make suggestions of mypersonal favorites to show my love of reading, as well.2. It’s all about advertising: Book Trailers! Hundredsof best-selling young adult books have book trailermovie clips to advertise them and motivate studentsto read them. These trailers spark an interest in thebook, and create a feeling of suspense in the viewers.
Melissa’s and Wayne’s Project● Through two grants, Wayne was able to purchase a total of 5 Kindles along with a number of ebooks. The purpose is to see if we could increase reading by reaching out to those students who are reluctant readers. The main focus will be with students in resource rooms. Will this new technology help to motivate reluctant students to read? Will this motivate those students to do more reading? Students will be asked to complete a short survey after reading a book with their Kindle.
Wayne’s Project ● I am looking at different ways to promote reading in the library. This will be through brochures, special displays with advertisements, online technology (Glogster) http://wrush. edu.glogster.com/science-fiction-booktrailers/, and book trailers on digital frames. Will these ways help increase reading among our students?
Melissa’s ProjectQuestion: Can students be motivated to independently readfiction and non-fiction by exposure to a variety of current, highinterest print text and multi-sensory media formats? ● Kindle ● High-interest Teen Magazine ● Book Trailers Using PhotoStory 3 ● SmartBoard
Our GoalLiteracy learning throughout the middleschool curriculum is integral to producingliterate adults.As students see that reading and writingproficiency is valued in allsubject areas, they areencouraged to becomelife-long learners.Jen
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