Effective Literacy Instruction ED 757 Lisa HaugenIt is my hope that this Power Point reflects how I use a variety ofinstructional techniques, strategies, and practices to show how I manageand monitor student learning.
There are several “keys” to developing effective literacy instruction.Some of which include:• Valuable rapport with students• Learning centered classrooms• Differentiated instruction• Explicit reading and writing instruction• Explicit comprehension instruction• Student centered classrooms• Flexible grouping• Multiple assessment tools
Student/Teacher Rapport “Vital to the classroom is the quality of teacher-studentrelationships” (Morrow, 2011, p. 181). When students feelsafe, cared for, and valued they are more motivated. Thisrelationship also increases participation and engagement inactivities. This is exceptionally true for students who are consideredto be at-risk, and those with special needs. Students who feel more supported by their teachers selfreport on being more active, more involved, and moreconcerned with doing well. Those who indicated they did nothave such a rapport reported just the opposite.
Some ways teachers can develop a rapport with students include:• Providing students with choices• Providing clear expectations• Providing specific feedback• Simply getting to know students personal likes, dislikes, andinterests• Helping students find value and relevance in what they arelearning• Letting students know they are respected and valued
Learning Centered Classrooms Although we should strive to make learning fun, weshould never take our eyes off the true goal: educatingchildren. “Expectations of success are critical to long-termreading growth and the development of lifelong readinghabits” (Rasinski, Padak, & Fawcett, 2010, p. 66). This sounds easy enough but teachers are often so overburdened with testing, standards, and evaluating that wenever truly reflect on our teaching. In no way do we take thetime we need to see if we are teaching what really matters, orif we are simply trying to get through the curriculum.
Differentiated InstructionOne way to ensure your instruction remains studentcentered is to ensure you are differentiating.Differentiation can be based on students interests,abilities, learning styles, gender, cultural values and more.
Sharon Taberski (2011) has a few solutions.• First she indicates her philosophy with the heading “It’s better to dofewer things well than many things superficially” (p. 17). This refersto the fast paced frenzied teaching that teachers find themselvesin, and yet are also overcome with feelings of failure and exhaustionbecause we are doing lots of things, but we are not really doing anyof them well.• Secondly, Taberski simply sets several comprehensive goals. Thesefew, but specific/intentional goals help her stay focused on the keyelements she wants to cover. Then with these goals always at theforefront of her thinking she can flesh out how to best achieve themwith each particular class of students depending on individual needs(p. 17).
To further emphasis Effective Literacy Taberski hasrestructured the five pillar format. This new way of thinking putscomprehension as the over-arching goal. A concept that hasoften been neglected in past models. If students are not readingfor comprehension, if they are not reading for meaning then thereading is in vain. The foundation for this new mode is comprised of skillsand experiences that engage students’ learning and compre-hension. Combined with time to read, write and talk which givesstudents an opportunity to share what they know and what theyare learning. Thus further developing their language abilities. The support pillars then become readingfluency, background knowledge, oral language and vocabularydevelopment, connecting reading with writing, and a vastknowledge of skills and strategies. (Taberski, pgs. 4-5)
New Thinking on the Pillars of Reading Comprehension Fluent Background Oral Reading Repertoire Reading Knowledge Language Writing of and Connections Strategies Vocabulary Time to Talk Time to Write Time to Read Experiences and skills that cultivate children’s comprehension Taberski, p. 5
Fluency “We want students to read words accurately withappropriate speed, intonation, and emphasis so that theyunderstand what they’re reading” (Taberski, p. 8). When students’ fluency is compromised so is theirunderstanding. When students struggle to decode words,their mental efforts are not centered on comprehension, andremember comprehension is our overall goal. Words such as “quick,” “with expression,” “goodphrasing,” and “in a meaningful way,” are words used tovalidate reading fluency (Rasinski, et al. p. 117).
Rasinski, Padak, and Fawcett go on to state three criticalaspects of negotiating printed language. •Fluent readers read the words in text accurately. Most commonly addressed during decoding or word recognition. •Fluent readers read text automatically and almost effortlessly. This allows them to use their limited cognitive resources to build meaning, not struggle through decoding. •Fluent readers read with expression. Reading with expression gives clear evidence that readers are making meaning and that they are phrasing the text into meaningful parts (p. 117).
Background Knowledge Because reading is such an interconnected process students’ background knowledge is crucial for reading success. Sufficient background knowledge aides reading in two ways:• It increases the level of inference a reader brings to the text.• It decreases the need to reread a text in order to make connections (Willingham, 2006 as cited in Taberski, 2011 p. 9). Obviously the more a student knows about the topic the easier it is to read, thus increasing enjoyment, and understanding.
Oral Language and Vocabulary Developing oral language and vocabulary ties in greatly tothe foundation of Tabeski’s model: Time to read, time totalk, time to write. Students need time to share their ideas with others.They need to learn how to articulate these ideas both inspoken format and in writing. Furthermore, the more words a student knows easily andreadily the better their fluency will be.
Reading and Writing Connections Reading and writing are two very important componentsin effective literacy instruction. These two components are very closely related, andmany children who are “good” readers are often consideredto be “good” writers. Explicit instruction in both reading and writing is essentialin building effective literacy instruction.
A Closer Look at Reading There are many ideas on how to effectively teachreading, but some prove to be a “better practice” than others. For example, silent reading or DEAR time. In the pastduring this time students were expected to sit quietly and donothing but read. However, research has shown that aReaders Workshop format is much more effective. In theworkshop format students can talk quietly, but freely abouttheir books. At times students may even read in pairs or smallgroups. Talking about your book is highly encouraged(Taberski, p. 29). This type of “active” learning increasesmotivation and learning.
Another example is the change in group instruction. Havingstudents sit facing forward in nice neat rows as the teacher gives aphonics lesson, or a skill and drill worksheet to the whole class is athing of the past. Through better evaluation, we are gaining clearerideas of who needs what type of instruction and who does not. Thusteachers develop a better way to address the needs of the individualrather than the masses. Some of these practices include:• Direct Instruction• Mini Lessons• Reading Conferences• Centers Whole group instruction can be used but is reserved for thosetimes when the majority of the class is struggling with a particularskill or strategy. VS
A Closer Look at Writing “Writers need direct intentional instruction in writing as well as time to write” (Tompkins, 2007 as cited in Morrow, 2011, p. 303). As important as reading is, writing is as equally important. Thus we need to ensure students have time to write, and time to share their writing with both the teacher and their peers. Ways to help motivate writers include:• Giving students ample time to write• Let students choose their topics• Give specific and relevant feedback• Give clear and explicit teaching on skills relevant to them
Repertoire of Strategies Taberski supports a repertoire of strategies that studentscan use when reading comprehension begins to break down.These strategies are taught through explicitteaching, modeling, and the scaffolding approach. Taberski also supports the ideas that1) There should be a limited number of strategies focusedupon each year.2) These strategies should be taught throughout the gradelevels to ensure cohesive and developmentally appropriateinstruction for the students (pp. 10-11)
Some of my favorite strategies include: • Setting a purpose •Drawing on background knowledge • Predicting • Preteaching vocabulary • Visualizing • Draw a picture • Read then say something • Monitoring for meaning • Asking questions • Summarizing
The Comprehension Connection “The point is that it’s all about comprehension. Eachgoal, each strategy, each skill, each facet of our teachingshould be helping students refine their ability to make senseof what they read and write” (Taberski, p. 18). If all of the reading, and all of the skills and all of thestrategies, do not lead to good comprehension, then it was allin vain. If a student walks away from a text with nounderstanding over and over, that only makes them morefrustrated. Whether reading for information or reading forfun comprehension must be the goal we aim for.
Student Centered Classrooms This speaks directly to the classroom environment and learning that is taking place within the classrooms.Some ideas for building a student centered environment include:• Fun, enjoyable learning • Students have a choice in their• Engaging activities reading and writing• Cooperative learning • Feedback is positive and• Visually welcoming environment constructive not vague or arbitrary• Classrooms filled with learning • Flexible schedulingmaterials • High expectations Books • Learning is relevant Well stocked writing centers • Differentiated Instruction Theme based units and centers
Some ideas for building a student centered learning include: • Balanced literacy • Formative assessments • Scaffolding learning according to • Error analysis students needs Direct instruction • Classrooms filled with learning Modeling materials Teacher assistance weans as students get stronger • Use high interest materials Students work independently • Students work cooperatively • Explore the use of centers • Develop a positive rapport • Accommodate different learning stylesIdeas summarized from Morrow, Rasinski, et. al, and Taberski.
Ways to manage group settingsOne on One Instruction Independent Reading• One on one instruction is vital • Students are given ample time in pin pointing student to read. difficulties. • Text is at students’• This type of instruction is independent reading ability. good for targeting individual • Text is one that is chosen by deficits that do not need the student. whole group attention. • Students are provided a• Can be done comfortable place to read. with both reading and • Reading environment is quiet writing. and free from distractions.
Small Groups Whole Group Instruction• Small groups take place at a and Sharing table where students can sit • Whole group instruction comfortably and see things and sharing looks up close. somewhat different at the• Students can work directly high school level, but the with the teacher or with same concepts apply. fellow students. • The teacher often has to• Students can work on present whole group larger projects requiring material at a centralized more space. area where technology such as overheads, smart boards, or projectors are located. • Students’ focus is on the speaker.
Multiple Assessment Tools• Teachers understand the value of using multiple tools to assess student performance/progress• These include but are not limited to: Formative and summative assessments Teacher observations and anecdotal notes Chapter tests, reviews, discussions, writing projects and presentations State and district assessments
Some ways I organize my assessment data: Woodcock Johnson Test of AchievementStudent Name Current Month WWJIII WWJIII WWJ III Current Date WWJIII WWJIII WWJ III Grade Year Math Reading Written Grade Year Math Reading Written (SS) (SS) Lang. (SS) (SS) (SS) Lang. (SS)MC 12AE 9EG 10EK 11AT 12JT 12AR 12KW 12
District MAP testStudent Name Current Date Math Reading Lexile Written Current Date Math Reading Lexile Written Grade Year Range Lang. Grade Year Range Lang.EGEKARMNATJTKWAE
District MAP test with data showing gains and lossesStudent Name Current Date Math Gain + Gain + Written Gain + Grade Year Loss – Loss – Lang. Loss – Same Same SameMC 12 4/17/12 223 +9 198 +3 199 SameAE 9 4/17/12 197 +4 209 +5 213 +25EG 10 4/17/12 205 +14 198 -9 209 -4BH 11 4/17/12 201 -1 202 +10 199 +7EK 11 4/17/12 204 +3 187 +4 207 +15MN 9 4/17/12 214 +12 194 +1 191 +16ML 12 4/17/12 204 +7 208 +11 207 +5AR 12 4/17/12 208 +10 203 +6 205 -1AT 12 4/17/12 215 +3 207 +6 215 SameJT 12 4/17/12 211 +8 203 -7 204 -1KW 12 4/17/12 194 -2 198 -4 216 +17
• I also have a score sheet for the San Diego Quick readingassessment and one to compare student IQ’s.• Student IQ’s are relevant when determining eligibilityrequirements and progress. I also like to see if those withlower IQ’s are out performing those with higher IQ’s. Thishelps clear up some of the “can’t vs. wont” debate allteachers have.• I use this data as a quick reference when filling out IEPgoals, progress reports and making recommendations forsummer school or Extended School Year ESY services.• Obviously these are not the only assessment tools I use,but when it comes to qualifying data I like to keep itorganized and handy.
ReferencesBeers, K. (2003). When kids can’t read what teachers can do: A guide for teachers 6-12. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Mandel Morrow, L., & Gambrell, L. (2011). Best practices in literacy instruction (4th ed.). New York: Guildford.Rasinski, T., Padak, N., & Fawcett, G. (2010). Teaching children who find reading difficult (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyan & Bacon, PearsonTaberski, S. (2011). Comprehension from the ground up: simplified, sensible instruction for the K-3 reading workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Tompkins, G.E. (2007). Teaching writing. Balancing process and product (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Willingham, D.T. (2006). “How Knowledge Helps: It Speeds and Strengthens Reading Comprehension, Learning-and Thinking.” In American Educator (Spring) pp. 30-37.