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Leadership for Advancing Adolescent Literacy

Leadership for Advancing Adolescent Literacy

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Leadership for Advancing Adolescent Literacy

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  1. Leadership for Advancing Adolescent Literacy RESA-I 21st Century Education Leadership Series October 21, 2008 Terry Reale, WVDE Coordinator Reading English Language Arts

  2. What do you think about literacy?

  3. Do adolescents read and write well enough? • Approximately 70-75 % of students in grades 4-12 are low-achieving writer (Persky et al., 2003) • Only 31% of 8th graders meet the NAEP standard of reading “proficiency” for their grade level. (NCES, 2005, 2003) • High school students’ ability to read complex texts is strongly predictive of their performance in college math and science courses. (ACT, 2006) • Between 1971 and 2004, the reading levels of 17 year-olds showed no improvement. (NCES, 2004) • Among the 8 million students in grades 4-12 who read below grade level, most are able to sound out words-the challenge isn’t to teach them to decode text, but, rather, to help them comprehend what they read. (Biancarosa & Snow, 2004)

  4. Goals for Literacy • Improve overall levels of reading proficiency. • Ensure that all students make at least expected yearly growth in reading ability each school year. • Accelerate struggling readers’ development.

  5. Instruction required to meet the goals: • Instruction in content area classes • Instruction for struggling readers

  6. A successful middle school principal explained: Teachers use reading strategies in all their classes…Science teachers have a tremendous science vocabulary program. Vocabulary development is embedded in the content across the curriculum in all classes. Social studies teachers directly teach reading strategies as part of the social studies. Improving Literacy Instruction in Middle and High Schools, Florida Center for Reading Research, 2007

  7. A successful high school principal observed: Reading instruction in the content areas is expected of all of our teachers, whether it be culinary or industrial electricity. The reading coach has conducted professional development with all of our teachers on different reading strategies and on the importance of reading. Improving Literacy Instruction in Middle and High Schools, Florida Center for Reading Research, 2007

  8. Instruction in Content-Area Classes • Comprehension strategies • Discussion • High Standards • Reading-writing connection • Motivation and engagement • Content learning

  9. While it is clear that content-area teachers cannot be expected to teach struggling readers basic skills, they can teach strategies, use appropriate instructional routines, lead and facilitate discussion, raise standards and create engaging learning environments that help students improve their ability to comprehend text.

  10. Instruction for Struggling Readers • Whatever they have had in the past has not been strong enough to help them meet grade-level expectations; • They have probably not been doing very much reading for some time, and are likely to be very discouraged about being able to read well; and • They are a very diverse group who struggle to meet grade-level standards in reading for many different reasons.

  11. Two Groups of Struggling Students • Group 1 – This group is generally between 1 to 2 years below grade level and has primary needs in the area of reading comprehension. • Group 2 – This group is usually smaller than group 1 and contains students with severe and pervasive reading difficulties. The problems seem to be with reading accuracy (usually caused by weak phonics/word analysis skills), weaknesses in content knowledge, thinking/reasoning skills, reading strategies and vocabulary.

  12. Group 1 Students • Tier II students • Time: Scheduled time outside the reading block with flexible groupings of students (middle school) • Time: Delivery of interventions during or outside the classroom depending on individual needs (high school) • Strategic tutoring • Flexible groupings during or after school • Supportive instruction from all the content-area teachers • Instruction in vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing

  13. Group 2 Students • Tier 3 students • Intensive instruction in appropriate setting within the school, such as reading intervention classroom or other specialized instructional setting (middle school & high school) • Time for delivery of interventions during or outside the classroom depending upon the individual needs • Staffing: reading specialists, special educators, interventionists

  14. Literacy Action Plan • Leadership Activities • Using Data to Guide Instruction • Appropriate and Effective Instructional Materials

  15. Leadership Activities • Determine the school’s capacity for literacy improvement. • Establish a school literacy leadership team. • Develop a schoolwide organizational model that supports extended time for literacy instruction. • Address the professional development needs of the teachers. • Provides principal oversight and supervision activities. • Demonstrate your commitment to the literacy program.

  16. Principal Oversight “If you expect it, then you need to inspect it.” Use the Adolescent Literacy checklist.

  17. Staffing plan to meet the needs of all students: • Key staffing challenge is having the right people to provide intervention…involves thinking in new ways. “When I came here, there were a few reading teachers in the Language Arts Department. I have created a Reading Department separate from Language Arts.”

  18. Literacy Action Plan • Leadership Activities • Using Data to Guide Instruction • Appropriate and Effective Instructional Materials

  19. Putting Assessment in the Driver’s Seat • Become an assessment-savvy leader. • Use data from assessment wisely and in a balanced fashion. • Establish a school culture that utilizes data to a guide a literacy program designed to meet the needs of ALL learners.

  20. Assessment for learning and of learning Informal Assessments: • Content area literacy assessments • Teacher observations • Student interest and attitude surveys • Teacher developed rubrics for performance assessment Formal Assessments: • Gray Oral Reading Tests • Woodcock-Johnson Reading Mastery • Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test 4 • Degrees of Reading Power

  21. Literacy Action Plan • Leadership Activities • Using Data to Guide Instruction • Appropriate and Effective Instructional Materials

  22. Instructional Materials • Using books, magazines and other documents to enhance literacy instruction • content-area teachers • intervention teachers • Instructional programs and materials • computer programs • Intervention programs • professional development books and articles

  23. Final Thoughts Change begins with a vision-a vision that grows out of the mind of the school leader and into the hearts of others. Take a few minutes to imagine your school as it might appear with a fully functional literacy plan in place.