Literacy Leaders Newsletter - Issue 1


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Maryland IRA Council - 21st Century Literacy Leader: The Inaugural Issue.

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Literacy Leaders Newsletter - Issue 1

  1. 1. Volume 1, Issue 1 – Inaugural Issue February 1, 2013 21 s t Centu ry Literacy Leaders State of Maryland International Reading Association Council (SoMIRAC) 21 s t Century Literacy Leaders By Anitra ButlerINSIDE THIS readability demands The purpose of this According to ACT:ISSUE: and university text newsletter is to provide  Reading demands in is increasingWhat is Close specialized information to Maryland’s literacy the workforce, (Williamson, 2008,Reading? 2 leaders. As our state’s college, and life p. 618; ACT 2011)Town Hall for schools build teacher have held steady orDigital Learning 3 capacity in preparation for increased over the Hence, this newsletter will the Common Core State last half century, yet provide bi-monthly updatesLinguistics Standards, it is essential K-12 texts have on literacy issues and serveAnyone? 3 that Maryland’s literacy declined in as an optimal source of leaders understand theThe Authentic sophistication information to state leaders,Literacy Model 4 demands of these standards and keep (CCSSI, 2010, district leaders, curriculumSave the Date/ abreast of the best Appendix A, p. 2) writers, school-basedResources 5 approach, methods, leaders, teachers, and and/or practices that will  This gap between support service personnel get our students career the end of high because it takes a village to and college ready. school text educate a child. Digital Learning Day – Wednesday, February 6, 2013Special pointsof interest: The Alliance for Excellent sign-up TODAY to join Education is the proud tens of thousands of host of Digital Learning educators in a wave of Digital literacy is the Day - a national campaign innovation sweeping ability to effectively and that celebrates educators across our nation’s critically navigate, and the potential of schools. evaluate and create technology in education. Participation is free and information using a The national event is open to all interested 1201 Connecticut range of digital taking place on parties. This is a great Avenue NW, Suite 901 technologies. Wednesday, February 6, opportunity to highlight 2013 and local events are teachers doing great Washington, DC 20036 Literacy of the 21st popping up all over the things and your efforts to Century today depends country with more than promote the effective use Phone: 202 828 0828 on understanding the 17,000 teachers already of technology in multiple media that signed up to participate education. Take a look at Fax: 202 828 0821 make up our high-tech representing more than http://www.digitallearning reality and developing 3.3 million students. We for the skills to use them urge you to make plans to ideas on ways you can effectively. host local activities and participate.
  2. 2. Page 2 21 s t Century Literacy Leaders What is Close Reading? By Dr. Sheron Brown If you have been keeping sentence by sentence. This that can transfer for later up with the Common means that students engage use. The third level of Core, in particular ELA, with a very meaty piece of close reading asks the you have heard the term text and the text is short. It reader to analyze the close reading a few times also means that teachers text. This analysis follows and may have asked have to decide on the most a structured format. The ―what is close reading?‖ important portion of text as format is referred to as In the last year I’ve it relates to the content they the eight elements of participated in several want the students to engage thought (purpose, sessions where attendees in for the day. At this point questions, information, have asked this same of the definition, teachers inferences, concepts, question. The presenters and leaders tend to respond, assumptions, implications attempted to define close ―Yes BUT, what about my and point of view.) Every reading, but none of them struggling readers? They lesson may not provided the clarity don’t know the words in the necessarily require needed to help a teacher text.‖ After I ask, ―have students to engage in all really understand what to they been taught the elements, but students do in the classroom. I necessary vocabulary, ‖their should be familiar with heard one presenter say answer is a gaze toward the how to interact with all to have the students read heavens. A lack of eight elements of the text slowly. I’ve heard understanding of the thoughts and should be another say have them academic language is one asked to use them re-read the text multiple major reason struggling regularly.“The fellows at times. My favorite was learners struggle. So if your The fourth level of close when a presenter said question is how can I getthe Critical reading asks students to ―have them hold the text struggling learners toThinking evaluate. Evaluation close to their eyes.‖ That grapple with complex text, requires critiquing and/orFoundation was hilarious! But one major response is teach judging. When one judges unfortunately, neither of them the vocabulary theydefined close those descriptions could need for the day. they need standards, and in this case the standardsreading for us help teachers support The second level of close are the foundation’s students as they grappleyears before with complex text, and so reading involves intellectuals standards. summarizing a piece of text, They include clarity,the Common the question is beckoned: paragraph by paragraph. precision, accuracy, logic,Core even what is close reading? The foundation suggests the breadth, relevance,existed.” A clear definition of close following format for significance, and fair- reading exists for us all. summarizing: state your mindedness. I’ve heard The fellows at the Critical understanding of the text; teachers ask, ―but how do Thinking Foundation elaborate on your I teach these standards defined close reading for understanding; provide an everyday?‖ I would us years before the example of the meaning of suggest that you don’t. Common Core even the text; and illustrate the Instead, look at your unit existed. According to their meaning of the text with an plan or lesson and clear definition, close analogy or metaphor (SEEI). determine what reading has five levels This process sounds rather intellectual standards are and each level supports easy, but actually doing it is most appropriate in students with determining a challenge–even for the relation to the text you the meaning behind adults I’ve observed. are using and your complex texts — yes, Nevertheless, it is still a learning goals. Developing even struggling learners great exercise because it proficiency in this too. The first level deepens comprehension, professional exercise involves students improves mental capacity takes time, but it’s time paraphrasing the text and supports the well spent. understanding of concepts
  3. 3. 21 s t Century Literacy Leaders Page 3What is Close Reading? Continued… Figure 1. PARCC Model Content FrameworkThe more you develop as reader must have already forth, and close read.a practitioner in using deeply considered thethese tools, the better concepts and perspective of Figure 1. Draft ELAyou’ll become and the the author. The previous Framework thatbetter your students will levels of close reading recommends close readingbecome. The last level of provides the opportunity for for every grade level.close reading involves the deep consideration. Click on the figure for a fullplacing yourself in the Each level is built on the explanation of theposition of the author. previous level, and so, this framework.This level requires model of close readingstudents to engage in provides the cognitiveempathy and to consider scaffolds that studentsanother’s perspective by need for success. This article is courtesy of © 2012. Shethinking the way theauthor might think. In So there you have it–a can be reached at sheron.brown@edsolutionsbydesign.comorder to do this, the practical definition of close reading. Now you can go “The Digital TownTown Hall for Digital Learning Hall will focus onYou can join Gov. Bob students, schools, and this digital event live and how great teaching,Wise and the Alliance for districts that are more than 3,500Excellent Education for implementing digital combined with educators participated inThe Digital Town Hall on learning in innovative and the live chat to share effective technology,February 6, 2013 from successful ways, including1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. resources and best makes a positive Dysart Unified School(ET). The Digital Town practices. impact on improving District (Surprise, AZ andHall will focus on how El Mirage, AZ); America’s schools,great teaching, combined Sign up now to watch the Quakertown Community particularly thosewith effective technology, live simulcast of the Digital School Districtmakes a positive impact that serve high-risk (Quakertown, PA); and Town Hall aton improving America’sschools, particularly those Cajon Valley Union School http://digitallearningday.ev and high-poverty District (El Cajon, CA). populations.”that serve high-risk andhigh-poverty populations. Last year, more thanIt will profile teachers, 40,000 people watchedLinguistics Anyone?By Anitra Butler―[A]ll educators need service teachers need to standardized American Hence, instructors mustknowledge and tools to be sensitive to the English, vernacular make room in theirunderstand their students’ linguistic differences of variances, and coursework thatlanguage differences and their learners in order to sociolinguistics will ―incorporates learningvariations, address the support the support the pedagogy of exercises that helplanguage-related developmental needs of educators by allowing students examine how talkchallenges they may face, students as they acquire them to scaffold their standardized American shapes social life‖ andand support their students’ linguisticeducational development English for academic competence and academic academic achievementand academic progress‖ purposes. Knowledge of language acquisition. (Mallinson, 2009, p. 302).(p. 1). In other words, in- . References: Charity Hudley, Anne H., and Christine Mallinson. Understanding English Language Variation in U.S. Schools. New York: Teachers College Press. (2011)
  4. 4. Page 4The Authentic Literacy ModelBy Dr. Sheron Brown and Anitra ButlerWhen reading instruction for What is Authentic Close Reading - Close readingstruggling readers focuses on Literacy Model? is a technique that deliberatelyremediation and requires conscious reading on thesimplification of text, it can ALM is a constructivist part of the reader. In particular,create a vicious cycle of literacy approach that the Elder-Paul (2008) version ofstudents disengaging from requires students to actively close reading demands a deeptexts they find irrelevant and build their knowledge of a analysis of text during readingteachers answering with discipline. The model and has 5 levels with specificfurther simplification and involves four components: behaviors for each.remediation. This paper explicit vocabulary instructionpresentation will highlight the (or word study), close Inquiry Text Talks (ITT) - TheAuthentic Literacy Model reading, inquiry text talks function of the Inquiry Text Talk(ALM) which is an approach (ITT), and substantive is to create a community ofto literacy instruction that writing. Essentially, the learners who are free to shareuses rich powerful texts to components of ALM have all ideas about the text and theirprovide students with the individually demonstrated the questions related to the textopportunity to grapple with ability to increase student while developing oral language.complex, ambiguous, and learning through providing the supports that struggling Substantive Writing - Becauserelevant ideas. Through the learners require when reading and writing are reciprocalauthentic literacy model, grappling with complex texts. processes, ALM has studentsreading is repurposed as an doing close reading andexperience students partake Word study - Word study is substantive writing to study words, discuss the back bone to the model. This enhances deeper readingtexts, close read texts, and Word study builds students’ comprehension and improvedsubstantive written oral language and supports written compositions.expression. their acquisition of text by first understanding the This article is courtesy of Dr. Sheron language. Brown and Ms. Anitra Butler © 2012
  5. 5. Page 5 21 s t Century Literacy Leaders Save the Date – February 9, 2013 T H E 2 1S T C E N TU RY L I T E R A CY LE A DE R S Maryland ASCD invites you to join us for a Super Saturday Professional development opportunity to Lead, Learn, and COMMITTEE Teach with the Common Core. Yvette Rivers, Chair, Buck Lodge Middle School Maryland’s Education: Setting a New Course for Success for the School Leader, Teacher, and Student Anitra Butler, Assoc. Professor, Prince George’s Keynote Speaker: Community College Dr. Lillian Lowery, MSDE State Superintendent Gloria Darlington, Robert Goddard Montessori When: Feb. 9 (snow date- Feb.23) Elementary School Cost: $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers Brenda Davis, William Wirt Time: 8:30-3:30 Middle School Place: Anne Arundel Community CollegeAgnes Fatokun, Buck Lodge Middle SchoolJennifer Johnson, Templeton Continental Breakfast and Box Lunch included! Elementary School Earn 1 CEU and/or 1 CPD credit Kweli Powell, University of Maryland, Doctoral Candidate For further information call: Chris Sparr at 440-465-4134 or Carolyn Seubert, PhD, Templeton Elementary e-mail: School See us at: Resources links: T H E 2 1S T C E N TU RY L I T E R A CY LE A DE R S Newsletter for middle schoolers, published by local Author Jennifer Keats C urtis,SHALL COMMUNICATE WITH powered by SoMIRAC ADMINISTRATORS, SUPERVISORS, COORDINATORS, AND Common Core State Standards DIRECTORS IN MARYLAN D TO INFORM THEM OF THE PURPOSE OF SOMIRAC, Alliance for Excellent Education websiteMAKE THEM AWARE OF NEW TRENDS IN THE AREA O F READING AND LANGUAGE Local educational online resourceARTS AND UPDATE THEM ON NEW FEDERAL AND STAT E LEGISLATION AND ITS A blog site dedicated to literacy, language, and culture IMPACT ON SCHOOLS. See us at: A blog site where Dr. Brown shares, reflects, and inspires Anitra Butler serves as the Publisher and Editor of the 21st Century Newsletter. She can be reached at