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Literacy in Every Classroom


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Shelton Intermediate School has initiated a Literacy Team to promote active literacy in every classroom for all students across the disciplines. This presentation is based on current research and provides a framework and strategies to promote literacy practices building wide across every discipline.

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Literacy in Every Classroom

  1. 1. Building Based Literacy Strategies Across the Content Areas SIS Professional Development November 4, 2008 Provided by the SIS Literacy Team
  2. 2. The SIS Literacy Team Sue Albright, Math Michele Bonitatibus, Science Johanna Capria, Special Education Annine Crystal, Language Arts Supervisor Joan Fazo, Language Arts Lillian Hannon, UA Carolyn Ivanoff, Housemaster Terry McCabe, Media Specialist Sheila Persson, Social Studies Wendy Stowe, UA Dedicated to providing building based instructional literacy strategies to our teachers and students at SIS to improve student learning and performance.
  3. 3. Goal: Closing the SIS Achievement Gap With Direct Vocabulary Instruction Techniques and Tools to Improve Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Development Across the Content Areas
  4. 4. Workshop Objectives: 1. Understand the research behind effective vocabulary instruction 2. Six Steps of effective vocabulary instruction 3. Close the achievement gap by building background knowledge through direct vocabulary instruction 4. Tools and Strategies for effective instruction and learning
  5. 5. And the researchers are…  Robert J. Marzano  Eric Jensen  Building Background  Brain Based Knowledge for Learning Academic  Jane K. Doty Achievement  Teaching Reading  Building Academic in the Content Vocabulary Areas  Classroom Instruction  Belinda Williams that Works  Closing the  Debra J. Pickering Achievement Gap  Building Academic Vocabulary  Classroom Instruction that Works
  6. 6. Closing the gap with our low performing students  The research is very clear that students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and others with limited academic background knowledge are at a great disadvantage in our schools because they do not have the background knowledge required for successful learning and academic success.  Analysis of SIS AYP gap reflects the need to support special needs sub-group, economically disadvantaged sub-group, and assist our ELL students in vocabulary acquisition.
  7. 7. Closing the gap with our low performing students Building academic background knowledge for students is essential if they are going to link new learning to what they already know. Direct vocabulary instruction is key.
  8. 8. The Necessity of Core Vocabulary Instruction – The Learning & Context Threshold  If a student does not know enough of the words of what is being read they cannot learn from context.  If a student a student does not know enough of the words of what is being read they cannot comprehend what they are reading.  Students need a vocabulary of about 3000 words, or 95% coverage, before they can learn from context with simple text. Liu Na & Nation, 1985
  9. 9. Miscues, Context and Concepts (Some writing samples about the ocean…They’ve got the concept, but what about the vocabulary?)  This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles……(Kelly, age 6)  If you are surrounded by ocean you are an island. If you don’t have ocean all round you, you are incontinent. (Wayne, age 7)  A dolphin breaths through an a_ _hole on the top of its head. (Billy, age 8)  When ships had sails, they used the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes when the wind didn’t blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind come. My brother said they would have been better off eating beans. (William, age 7)  Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and I like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? (Helen, age 6)  Some fish are dangerous. Jelly fish can sting. Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves into chargers. (Christopher, age 7)  Divers have to be safe when they go under the water. Divers can’t go down alone, so they have to go down on each other. (Becky, age 8)  I’m not going to write about the ocean. My baby brother is always crying, my dad keeps yelling at my mom, and my big sister just got pregnant, so I can’t think what to write. (Amy, age 8)
  10. 10. Closing the gap with our low performing students One of the most effective ways to build this academic background knowledge is through effective “direct” vocabulary instruction. •GOAL: Assist all students in all classes to know and understand the SIS Common Core Vocabulary Words. •Assist all students in all classes to “look up words.” Utilize electronic tools for the dictionary and thesaurus. (handout)
  11. 11. The Thesaurus for middle school students….  Encourage students to “look up” words they don’t know as they read.  Help them develop VERSATILE context clues for words that allows them to understand the word in the RIGHT context.  Electronic thesaurus and dictionaries will provide meanings, synonyms, antonyms, and will “pronounce” words audibly. They will also help kids look up words they may not be able to immediately spell.  Check for understanding by giving students multiple opportunities to use words in the necessary context to successfully attain and demonstrate and embed vocabulary learning.
  12. 12. SIS Word Wall Thesaurus Sampling – looking up can be hard to do…..  Brief: Short, concise, succinct, inform, tell, and instruct. Could it also mean underwear, tighty whities perhaps?  Support: Hold up, prop up, sustain, aid, assist, provide for, take care of, funds, funding, backing, back-up, confirm, verify, corroborate, prove, endorse, confirm, prove  Evidence: Proof, prove, confirmation facts, data, indication, sign, mark, show, demonstrate, verify, substantiate  Justify: Give good reason for, give explanation for, validate, rationalize, excuse, defend, substantiate, align, adjust, straighten up  Information: Tell, notify, let someone know, bring up to date, enlighten, update,  Note when using the electronic thesaurus the word information, even without spaces, was interpreted as: In order, in sequence, in turn, in rank, in row! (i.e., even without spaces it was read as in formation) What’s a middle schooler to do with that?  Describe: Explain, portray, depict Illustrate, express, tell.  Mainly: Mostly, largely, chiefly, for the most part, primarily, principally, generally, essentially, above all, predominantly  Discuss: Talk about, argue, converse, confer, chat about, thrash out….What? Take the trash out?
  13. 13. And the research says, direct vocabulary instruction works… Building Academic Vocabulary, 2005
  14. 14. What the Academic Research Says, “…one compelling fact: what students already know about the content is one of the strongest indicators of how well they will learn new information about the content.” Robert J. Marzano, Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement
  15. 15. What the Brain Research Says Orstein found that prior exposure to information speeds up learning. The brain looks for places to “compartmentalize” or “categorize” information… and Donchin found that the “greater amount of ‘priming’ stimulus, the more the brain extracted and ‘compartmentalized’ the information. Eric Jensen, Brain Based Learning
  16. 16. What the Brain Research Says Information is stored both linguistically and non-linguistically. It is the combination of both of these that makes learning perdurable. Eric Jensen, Brain Based Learning per·du·ra·ble (p r-d r -b l, -dy r -) adj. Extremely durable; permanent. Thesaurus: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms Adj.1.perdurable - very long lasting; quot;less durable rocks were gradually worn away to form valleysquot;; quot;the perdurable granite of the ancient Appalachian spine of the continentquot; undestroyable, indestructible, durable imperishable - not perishable
  17. 17. The Matthew Effect  In research on reading and language disabilities. The quot;Matthew Effectquot; refers to the idea that in reading (as in other areas of life), the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  When children fail at early reading and writing, they begin to dislike reading. They read less than their classmates who are stronger readers. And when children with disabilities do not receive adequate remediation, they read less – and learn less from reading - than non-disabled children.  As a consequence, they do not gain vocabulary, background knowledge, and information about how reading material is structured. In short, the word-rich get richer, while the word-poor get poorer. This is called quot;The Matthew Effectquot;.
  18. 18. How important is vocabulary size?  5 to 6 year olds have a working vocabulary of 2,500 to 5,000 words. (Beck & McKeown, 1991)  Whether a child is near the bottom or top of that range depends on their literacy skills coming into first grade. (Graves, 1986; White, Graves & Slater, 1990)  Therefore, by first grade, the vocabulary of the disadvantaged student is half that of the advantaged student and over time the gap widens. (The Matthew Effect)  The average student learns about 3,000 words per year in the early school years – that’s 8 words per day (Baumann & Kameenui, 1991) but vocabulary growth is considerably worse for disadvantaged students than it is for advantaged students (White,Graves & Slater, 1990)
  19. 19. Effect of Vocabulary Size Imagine how much harder learning would be if you didn’t understand half of the words you currently know. Imagine if reading the front pages of a newspaper was like this: “While hortenting efrades the populace of the vanderbee class, most experts concur that a scrivant rarely endeavors to decry the ambitions and shifferings of the moulant class. Deciding whether to oxant the blatantly malighed Secting party, most moulants will tolerate the subjugation of staits, savats, or tempets only so long as the scrivant pays tribute to the derivan, either through preem or exaltation.”
  20. 20. Direct Vocabulary Instruction  Research shows the best approach to teaching vocabulary is to teach strategies for learning the meaning(s) of the words in context.  Direct instruction involves talking about the definitions and contextual meanings of words, focusing on synonyms and antonyms and providing examples and non-examples. (Kuhn & Stahl)  Students also NEED to encounter words frequently in a variety of contexts at least 12 times to internalize them. (McKeown, Beck, Omanson, and Pople)
  21. 21. Review  For information to be stored in long term memory (background knowledge) it has to find a ‘compartment’ or category in the brain to reside. (We often call these “concepts.”)  Low achieving students generally lack these categories or compartments because they have not been exposed to enough stimuli (linguistic and non- linguistic)
  22. 22. So how does this work?  Let’s watch your brain at work.  What categories do you use to store information?  Do your students have the same ones? Rote does note mean the W was left off!
  23. 23. What do “your” categories tell you to do with this information? In the early 1860’s a R________issued the Emancipation ___________. This order freed millions of s________. The C_______ had the authority to enforce this order. Emancipation alone did not give the former ________ a new life. Decades of e_________ hardship and unequal rights continued. A______________ Plan was supported by many R____________.
  24. 24. What do “your” categories tell you to do with information? In the early 1860’s a Russian issued the Emancipation Manifesto. This order freed millions of serfs. The Czar had the authority to enforce this order. Emancipation alone did not give the former serfs a new life. Decades of economic hardship and unequal rights continued. Alexander’s Plan was supported by many Russians.
  25. 25. Let’s try another easy one… The questions that p______ face as they raise ch______ from in______to adult life are not easy to an______. Both fa______ and m______ can become concerned when health problems such as co______ arise any time after the e______ stage to later life. Experts recommend that young ch______ should have plenty of s______ and nutritious food for healthy growth. B______ and g______ should not share the same b______ or even sleep in the same r______. They may be afraid of the d______.
  26. 26. Well? The questions that poultrymen face as they raise chickens from incubation to adult life are not easy to answer. Both farmer and merchants can become concerned when health problems such as coccidiosis arise any time after the egg stage to later life. Experts recommend that young chicks should have plenty of sunshine and nutritious food for healthy growth. Banties and geese should not share the same barnyard or even sleep in the same roost. They may be afraid of the dark. How did you do?
  27. 27. So, what can we do?  We as teachers must make sure that our students are going to the right categories to make the right connections and create the right hooks to hang new knowledge.  We need to build these categories with good vocabulary instruction and stuff them full of good vocabulary terms.  VOCABULARY IS KEY!!
  28. 28. Our Goal – The Power of Words • Build background knowledge through research based strategies that effectively help our students increase, and understand, categories to store new information. • Utilize direct vocabulary instruction in all classes for all students to assist their ability to make connections in context and provide them with “Vocabulary Hangers and Hooks” to attach new concepts and knowledge. • Close the Matthew Effect. • Teach our students to fish with words so they can feed/learn for themselves forever.
  29. 29. THE 2009 SIS BUILDING DUAL LITERACY CHALLENGE Every administrator, teacher, adult and student at SIS will participate in this challenge within the context of their subjects and classrooms. Everyone at SIS is a Literacy Leader.  Every student at SIS will know their times tables.  Every student at SIS will know and be able to use the SIS Common Core Vocabulary
  30. 30. Now, to the “How To”…
  31. 31. Five Statements from current research about Vocabulary . . .  Students need to be exposed to a word a minimum of six times (twelve is best) in context before they have enough experience with the word to ascertain its meaning and make it perdurable.  Even superficial instruction in new words enhances the probability that students will understand the words when they encounter them.  One of the best ways to learn a new word is to associate a mental image or symbolic representation with it.  Direct vocabulary instruction works. Teaching new vocabulary directly increases student comprehension of new materials.  Direct instruction on words that are critical to new content produces the most powerful learning. Selecting these words that are “critical” is essential. Jane K. Doty, MCREL
  32. 32. Six Steps to Effective Vocabulary Instruction 1. Provide description, explanation or example of the new term 2. Students restate the explanation of the new term in their own words 3. Students create a nonlinguistic representation of the term 4. Students periodically do activities that help them add to their knowledge of vocabulary terms (Comparing Terms, Classifying Terms, Generating Similes / Metaphor, Nonlinguistic Representations) 5. Periodically ask students to discuss the terms with one another 6. Periodically engage students in games that allow them to play with the terms Marzano, 2005
  33. 33. Provide a description, explanation, or example of the new term. E m a n c ip a t io n To free someone from bondage Czar Alexander “emancipated”, or freed the Russian serfs in 1861. Abraham Lincoln “emancipated”, or freed the slaves in the south in 1863.
  34. 34. Ask students to restate the description, explanation, or example in their own words. Emancipation To free someone from bondage Notes: Emancipation became the law when the 13th Amendment freed the slaves after the Civil War
  35. 35. Ask Student to Compare with a Venn 1. Can co-exist with 1. Often perceived as representative police states. government. Forms of government Government dominated 2 Not uncommon for 2. Not uncommon for by a single person people to show great ruler to be hated or affection for the ruler. feared. History has examples 3. Usually come into power of rulers who were 3. Usually come into power through heritage. considered by many as through coercion or force. tyrants. Term: Monarchy Term: Dictatorship
  36. 36. Periodically ask students to discuss the terms with one another. Think Pair Share Let’s do a Frayer!
  37. 37. Think, Pair, Share with Frayer  Think: Provide a few minutes of quiet “think time” to allow students, individually, to review their own descriptions and images of the targeted terms in their notebooks.  Pair: After students have had a chance to think about the targeted terms, organize them into pairs and ask them to discuss their descriptions and pictures of the terms with their partners.  Share: Invite students to share aloud with the whole class any new thoughts or understandings they have discussed in their pairs. Have students make additions and revisions to their Frayer’s. Monitor their work to ensure that their additions and revision are accurate.
  38. 38. The Frayer Model
  39. 39. De f init ion Charact e rist ics C u lt u r e is C u s to m s , th e to ta l b e lie f s , s o c ia l fo rm s a n d p a tte rn o f m a t e r ia l t r a it s huma n o f e t h n ic , b e h a v io r r a c ia l , a n d it s b y - r e lig io u s a n d Exampleu c t s Cultureia l g r o u p s p ro d s s oc Non- Example s In t h e M id - E a s t W e liv e in a ma ny me n w e a r h o u s e . We ro b e s to w o rk . w e a r c lo t h e s . M a n y p e o p le in W e e a t r ic e . A s ia e a t w it h c h o p s t ic k s .
  40. 40. The Frayer Model Achievement Gap
  41. 41. Involve students periodically in activities that allow them to learn terms. Vocabulary Charades Name That Category Draw Me V o c a b u la r y J e o p a r d y ( W h a t is t h e Q u e s t io n ? ) O t h e r P o w e r P o in t Ga me s
  42. 42. Vocabulary Jeopardy and other PowerPoint Games
  43. 43. Review  Review the Six Steps The Six Steps: to Vocabulary 1. Provide description, Instruction explanation or example of the new term 2. Students restate the  Identify which is the explanation of the new term in their own words most important step 3. Students create a nonlinguistic for your students and representation of the term explain why this is so 4. Students periodically do activities that help them add to to your table mates. their knowledge of vocabulary terms 5. Periodically ask students to discuss the terms with one  Be prepared to share another with the whole group. 6. Periodically engage students in games that allow them to play with the terms
  44. 44. Building Essential Vocabulary Lists What have we done and where do we go from here?
  45. 45. What we have:  School-wide, common core, interdisciplinary words for CMT in word wall format  Strategies in this presentation for direct vocabulary instruction  Departments developing relevant lists for their disciplines and curriculum
  46. 46. So how do we decide what to put on our list? How many words need to be identified as “critical” or “essential” for each grade level by subject? How many words are optimum for embedded learning?
  47. 47. FIGURE 7.1 Estimated Number of Terms That Can Be Taught at Various Grade Levels Grade Level Number of Total Words Cumulative Words Per in 32 Weeks Total Week K 0 0 0 Marzano, 1 1 32 32 Building Background 2 3 96 128 Knowledge for Academic 3 4 128 256 Achievement 4 5 160 416 5 10 320 736 6 15 480 1,216 7 20 640 1,856 8 20 640 2,496 9 25 800 3,296 10 25 800 4,096
  48. 48. Power of Average Retention Rate Collaboration After 24 Hours 5% Lecture Reading 10% Audiovisual 20% Demonstration 30% Discussion Group 50% Practice by Doing 75% Teach Others / Immediate Application 90%
  49. 49. So how do we decide what to put on our lists? Selecting words that align to:  CT State Curriculum  SPS District Departmental Committee  SIS Departmental Committee  Ranking system (Example) 1. The word is critical for State Frameworks 2. The word is critical for “X” grade 3. The word is important to the curriculum/unit 4. The word will be learned indirectly
  50. 50. What do we do with our lists? a. Break it down by unit/grading period for each grade level b. Supply each teacher with a copy c. Have a stated expectation that these words will be taught “directly”
  51. 51. So how do we decide what to put on our list? Resources – a. C-FB Online Vocabulary Lists b. C-FB Curriculum Resource SS c. MCREL Content Knowledge Site d. Tennessee’s Academic Vocabulary Site e. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Glossary
  52. 52. Other versions of Vocabulary Building Templates Where can I find these templates? Others and some more… Go to the SIS LMC Website / Teacher’s Toolkit
  53. 53. Review and Reaffirm  Of the strategies that we just reviewed, which one(s) do you think you would like to try in your class?  Explain to your group.  Be prepared to share
  54. 54. Concept Definition Mapping
  55. 55. Comparisons Democracy
  56. 56. Verbal and Visual Word Association
  57. 57. Visual Re pre se nt at ion Latitude De f init ion Pe rs onal Associat ion or Charact e rist ic
  58. 58. Reading Quest / Making Sense in Social Studies
  59. 59. Word: In my own words: Picture: __________________________________ _______________ _ is a synonym. _______________ _ is an antonym. Texas Region 13 Education Resource Center
  60. 60. The Frayer Model (To become more durable) To ingrain in my memory so well that I will not forget it. Perdurable
  61. 61. Application Activity  Working with your group/department, discuss five other vocabulary activities you use that contribute to a rich, robust, interactive vocabulary environment in your classroom.  Be prepared to share with the large group