Literacy in Content Area Classes Presented by Melanie Kahler, Literacy Consultant, Ingham Intermediate School District October 28, 2014.
Introduction My daughter Anna Steve and I love Mackinac Island Justine and Nate are expecting a son in November We have 3 dogs and 4 cats! I like to photograph flowers
Agenda • Welcome, Learning Targets and Group Expectations • Setting the Stage • Motivation and Engagement • Vocabulary and Content instruction • Wrap Up • Setting the Stage for Day 2
Learning Targets At the end of today you will be able to: • Understand the unique needs in literacy instruction for adolescents and what that means for your classroom • Know how to use incorporate direct instruction techniques to increase literacy skills • Know the literacy content indicators recommended by the Center on Instruction • Focus on increasing motivation and engagement for adolescents, including struggling readers • Focus on increasing vocabulary and content knowledge for adolescents, including struggling readers • Use embedded strategies so that struggling readers can be more successful in content area classes
Group Expectations • To make this day the best possible, we need your assistance and participation • Be Responsible • Attend to the “Come back together” signal • Active participation…Please ask questions • Be Respectful • Please allow others to listen • Please turn off cell phones • Please limit sidebar conversations • Share “air time” • Please refrain from email and Internet browsing • Be Safe • Take care of your own needs
The Beginning-- • Find a partner and decide who will be Partner #1 and who will be Partner #2 • Find another pair to form a small group of four • Plate Activity • Get out Note Page from packet
Adolescent Literacy is Different! For adolescents, literacy is more than reading and writing. It involves purposeful social and cognitive processes. It helps individuals discover ideas and make meaning. It enables functions such as analysis, synthesis, organization, and evaluation. It fosters the expression of ideas and opinions and extends to understanding how texts are created and how meanings are conveyed by various media, brought together in productive ways. A Policy Research Brief, Produced by The National Council of Teachers of English; April, 2006
And… Adolescent literacy is necessarily interdisciplinary because middle and high school students must read and write in such fields as science, mathematics, and social sciences as well as English. This means that they need to learn the forms, purposes, and other textual demands specific to multiple disciplines (Kucer, 2005). A Policy Research Brief, Produced by The National Council of Teachers of English; April, 2006
Focus should be on the skills that students are expected to master, rather than on what information students should know • An example might be that high school ELA classes in 9th grade read English Lit, 10th grade reads World Lit and 11th grade reads American Lit. • A mind shift would be “What do my students need to know, understand and be able to do in order to show mastery of the standards?” • Texts are selected and utilized as materials appropriate for teaching the standards. Craig & Sarlo, 2012
Why Introduce Good Literacy Practices Using the Adolescent Literacy Walk-Through for Principals (ALWP) • It has a specific focus on effective, research-based academic literacy instruction that should be observed in reading and/or intervention classrooms. This includes content-area classrooms with a disciplinary focus on science, social studies, math or literature.
Content-area teachers have the best knowledge of the reading, writing, listening, discussion, and deep thinking skills that are required to understand texts in their content area. • “While it is clear that content-area teachers cannot be expected to teach struggling readers basic reading skills, they can help students develop the knowledge, reading strategies, and thinking skills to understand and learn from increasingly complex text in their content areas.” Adolescent Literacy Walk-Through for Principals; Center on Instruction, 2009
Adolescent Literacy Walk-Through for Principals (ALWP) Center on Instruction; 2009 Looking at your classroom—
Follow-Up Points for Vocabulary and Content Instruction • The probability that students will learn new words while reading is relatively low—about 15 percent. • Explicit vocabulary instruction can be divided into two major approaches • Direct instruction in word meaning • Instruction in strategies to promote independent vocabulary acquisition skills • Students also learn vocabulary through rich discussion of text Kamil, Borman, Dole, Krale, Salinger & Torgeson; Improving adolescent literacy: Efffective classroom and intervention practices; A Practice Guide, 2008
Follow-Up Points for Comprehension Strategy Instruction • The active participation of students in the comprehension process makes the most difference on students’ comprehension • It appears that multiple-strategy training results in better comprehension than single-strategy training • Direct and explicit instruction is a powerful delivery system for teaching comprehension strategies Kamil, Borman, Dole, Krale, Salinger & Torgeson; Improving adolescent literacy: Efffective classroom and intervention practices; A Practice Guide, 2008
Follow-Up Points for Discussion of Reading Content Indicators • The theory of using discussion-based approaches to improve reading comprehension is based on the idea that students can, and will, internalize processes experienced repeatedly during discussions • Students mentioned explicitly that practicing making predictions, clarifying confusions and paraphrasing in small groups was a useful way to stimulate high-quality discussion of texts • Classrooms that were more discussion-oriented produced higher literacy growth than those where sustained discussions were less frequent Kamil, Borman, Dole, Krale, Salinger & Torgeson; Improving adolescent literacy: Efffective classroom and intervention practices; A Practice Guide, 2008
Follow-Up Points for Discussion of Motivation and Engagement Indicators • It is possible to be motivated to complete a task without being engaged because the task is either too easy or too difficult • Students respond better to teachers that strive to increase the amount of information that students remember and understand, rather than teachers that emphasize good grades • Studies have consistently shown that students that have learning goals are more motivated and engaged than students that have performance goals Kamil, Borman, Dole, Krale, Salinger & Torgeson; Improving adolescent literacy: Efffective classroom and intervention practices; A Practice Guide, 2008
Expectancy x Value: Theory of Motivation • Expectancy Rate 10 x Value Rate 10 = 100% Motivation • Expectancy Rate 10 x Value Rate 0 = 0% Motivation • Expectancy Rate 0 x Value Rate 10 = 0% Motivation Where does the student fall on this table?
Learning Goal vs. Performance Goal Learning Goal-A statement of what students will know and be able to do. Marzano; 2009 Performance Goal-(1) a goal focused on gaining favorablejudgments or avoiding unfavorablejudgments by others; (2) a goal that specifies the achievement of an end product of performance that is relatively independent of the performance of other people, such as running a race in certaintime rather than beating others. The FREE Dictionary, by Farlex
Partner Work using Precision Partnering • Designated roles-both partners responding • Listener has clear job/role • Partners actively build on peers ideas (elaborating, agree/disagree & why, etc.) • Academic Language structured (sentence frames/vocabulary words) • Thinking is structured (time to think, clear cognitive focus, modeling) K. Feldman, 2014
Practicing Precision Partnering Get out handout for Frayer Model, a good way to increase vocabulary skills
Think about your assigned goal for two minutes, putting the definition in your own words and coming up with an example and nonexample Write in on your paper Partner 1-tell your partner the definition using the words, “My definition for a ______ is…” and “An example of a _____ would be…” A nonexample of a ______ would be…”
Partner 2-tell your partner if you understood the definition and if the example was clear. Explain why or why not, using the words, “I did/did not understand the definition of ______ because…” and The example for _____ was clear/not clear to me because…” • Partner 1, make any changes on the Frayer Model to refine your use of this vocabulary word • Reverse roles, discussing the other goal and using the Frayer Model again
Notice, these four things are what all of the areas of Literacy in Content Areas have in common!
Why? Look at John Hattie Effect Sizes in Visible Learning for Teachers
The Need for Explicitness, even at High School • The connections between literacy instruction and content area learning must be explicit especially for struggling readers. • Provide explicit reading and writing instruction with multiple opportunities for practice within authentic and relevant reading and tasks. Improving Adolescent Literacy; Craig & Sarlo, 2012
Explicit Instruction=Modeling Modeling There are eight essential components of this instructional technique: • Concept/skill is broken down into critical features/elements. • Teacher clearly describes concept/skill. • Teacher clearly models concept/skill. • Multi-sensory instruction (visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic) • Teacher thinks aloud as she/he models. • Teacher models examples and non-examples. • Cueing • High levels of teacher-student interaction
First Steps- Student-Teacher Interactions/Motivation and Engagement Indicators Why? Look at John Hattie Effect Sizes in Visible Learning for Teachers
The Care and Support of Teenagers “We can help middle and high school students deal with the pressures of adolescence by giving them strong bonds with teachers, a sense of community, and consistent routines.” “The Care and Support of Teenagers” by Colleen SwainEducational Leadership, Online June 2011, Volume 68
Suggested Building Blocks • Learn students’ names during the first week of school (if you can’t master that show them that you are trying) • Welcome students as they enter your classroom • Help students think about long-term goals • Have students make a career list and list their role models for their chosen careers. Integrate this into classwork. • Celebrate the culture of each student (in addition of ethnicity you could talk about music, art, literature preferences)
Build a sense of classroom community • an example could be setting norms for learning with the class (See handout from Reading for Understanding) • Help students get to know one another • Walkabout Bingo • Set common goals • Establish and teach procedures and routines • How to enter and leave the classroom • How to submit and retrieve papers • How to ask and answer questions “The Care and Support of Teenagers” by Colleen Swain, Educational Leadership, Online June 2011, Volume 68
Back to Our Checklist Motivation and Engagement Indicators
Focusing students on important and interesting learning goals Learning goals convey to students the destination for the lesson—what to learn, how deeply to learn it, and exactly how to demonstrate their new learning. In our estimation (Moss & Brookhart, 2009) and that of others (Seidle, Rimmele, & Prenzel, 2005; Stiggins, Arter, Chappuis, & Chappuis, 2009), the intention for the lesson is one of the most important things students should learn.
Regardless of how important the content, how engaging the activity, how formative the assessment, or how differentiated the instruction, unless all students see, recognize, and understand the learning target from the very beginning of the lesson, one factor will remain constant: The teacher will always be the only one providing the direction, focusing on getting students to meet the instructional objectives. The students, on the other hand, will focus on doing what the teacher says, rather than on learning. “Knowing Your Learning Target” by Moss, Brookhart & Long Educational Leadership, 68(6), 66-69
Non-Example of Directions with Embedded Learning Goals Today, as you read the next chapter, carefully complete your study guide. Pay close attention to the questions about Bertha— Mr. Rochester's first wife. Questions 16 through 35 deal with lunacy and the five categories of mental illness. The next 15 questions focus on facts about Charlotte Brontë's own isolated childhood. The last 10 items ask you to define terms in the novel that we seldom use today—your dictionaries will help you define those words. All questions on Friday's test will come directly from the study guide.“Knowing Your Learning Target” by Moss, Brookhart & Long Educational Leadership, 68(6), 66-69
Example of Directions with Embedded Learning Goals Today we will learn more about how Brontë uses her characters to explore the theme of being unwanted. Remember, a theme is an underlying meaning of the story. Yesterday, we examined Jane Eyre's life experiences as they relate to the theme of being unwanted. Today we will do the same for Adele, Mr. Rochester's ward. As you read, find examples of Adele being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, or forgotten. Then, in your learning groups, discuss your examples and your reasons for choosing them. At the end of class, use your notes to draft a short paragraph that answers the question, How does the character of Adele deepen Brontë's theme of being unwanted in the novel Jane Eyre? “Knowing Your Learning Target” by Moss, Brookhart& Long Educational Leadership, 68(6), 66-69
Provides a range of activity choices Topics Order of activities Outcomes/assignments (blog, multimedia projects, articles, etc.) Type of assessment Some ways to provide choice to middle and high school students— • Books • Magazines • Photographs • Internet resources • Newspaper articles • Leveled texts
Provides interesting texts at multiple reading levels The following text attributes contribute to a student’s experience of text difficulty or accessibility. Thoughts to ponder: • Language-think about the density of unfamiliar, abstract, multisyllabic and technical words • Sentence length and complexity-long sentences are measured as harder to read than short sentences, but complex sentence structure also affects difficulty
Conceptual difficulty-the difficulty of a text depends on how abstract its ideas are and the amount of background knowledge that is required • Idea density-textbooks often pack in and relate ideas for maximum coverage, contributing to the reading difficulty of the text • Relevance-how relevant and interesting the topic, the easier it is for students to read and understand Adapted from Reading for Understanding; Schoenbach, Greenleaf & Murphy, 2012
Practice with Multiple Reading Levels Read each of the selections quickly Choose the easiest and most difficult paragraphs with your group Discuss each of the text attributes in relation to the chosen paragraphs
Meeting the needs of students at varied reading levels should include: Vertical Text Sets-- A vertical text set presents information about the same topic in a variety of reading level ranges. An example of a Vertical Text Set is an article on a specific topic from the World Book Encyclopedia used in conjunction with an article on that same topic from the Encyclopedia Britannica's Macropaedia. Both articles are on the same topic, but the World Book article will have less detail and be easier to read and understand than the article in the Britannica.
Here are the steps for using Vertical Text Sets: • Collect a set of materials (4 to 6 texts in sets) on a single topic from your text. Choose examples at different levels of difficulty and complexity. • Give the students time in class as a group to read and discuss the texts. Ask the students to read and discuss the following questions: • Incomparing the texts in the set, what makes the text difficult to understand and why? • What are the specific text features that help or hinder their comprehension and engagement?
Ask the students to document this on a poster. Then, ask the students to choose the text that they feel most at ease in reading and which one would be a stretch for them to comprehend. • Debrief as a whole class, working from group to group talking about their text discoveries.
Horizontal or Thematic Text Sets-- A horizontal or thematic text set introduces different perspectives, supplementary content and/or different genres. This results in text that is more accessible than a core text, and builds schema that makes the core text more accessible and meaningful. Horizontal text sets can be used to build interest, background knowledge and vocabulary. Adapted from Reading for Understanding; Schoenbach, Greenleaf & Murphy, 2012
Practice with Text Sets Each group member should read their assigned text Write down the information you learned about evolution When prompted, discuss what you learned with the other members of your group Write at least three facts on the poster paper and put it on the wall