1December 8 & 10, 2009 Presenter: Julie Meltzer It Takes a District—Developing and Implementing an Effective Literacy Action Plan that Gets ResultsDecember 8 & 10, 2009Presenter: Julie Meltzer
2To discuss WHY we need to focus on literacy Today’s goalsTo discuss WHY we need to focus on literacyTo describe WHAT we need to do to improve student literacy and learning K-12To provide practical tools, approaches, and ideas about HOW to do it
3Today’s agendaWelcome and Opening RemarksKeynote: It Takes a DistrictBreakout Sessions: 4 Approaches to School- based Literacy Action PlanningThe HILL Keys to LiteracyPCG Education SchoolRiseLUNCHPanel DiscussionClosing Session
4The goal of a K–12 school experience To graduateLITERATE ADOLESCENTS who have the capacity to be COMPETENT, INDEPENDENT, LIFELONG LEARNERS
6RAND Report: Meeting Literacy Goals Set by NCLB Conclusion: Unless we, as a nation, are prepared to focus attention and resources on this issue, our schools are likely to continue producing students who lack skills and are ill-prepared to deal with the demands of post-secondary education and the workplace…The costs of inattention are very high, in both personal and economic terms.RAND Research BriefMeeting Literacy Goals Set by No Child Left Behind: A Long Uphill RoadAvailable at 1/RAND_RB pdf
8UNESCO definition of literacy The “ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute, and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.”
9Definition of “adolescent literacy” Adolescents who are fully literateKNOW and USEreading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinkingstrategies to learn across all content areasandCAN DEMONSTRATE/COMMUNICATEthat learning to others who need to knowCAN TRANSFERtheir learning to new situations.
13The BIG question…Do you want your students to be a reader/writer like you were?!!!!?If the answer is YES – a collective concerted effort is required.If the answer is NO – a collective concerted effort is required.Either way, working together on this is how to make it happen!!!!
14Who needs literacy support? Non-readersStruggling readers and writersReluctant readers and writersAverage readers and writersExcellent readers and writersEnglish language learners who may be any of the above
15Why does the whole school need to get involved? If they learn to read in elementary school won’t they be set?Can’t students just take a reading class or get extra help?Can’t the English teachers take care of it?
16Systems thinkingReally good teachers working on their own can make some difference.Really good teachers working collectively can make ALL the difference!
17Goal: Get rid of Swiss cheese The problem is NOT the parents, the teachers or the studentsThe issue is that throughout our schools and districts we have “Swiss cheese” literacy programming
19Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model ComponentsTaking Action onAdolescent Literacy:An ImplementationGuide for SchoolLeadersASCD, 2007Meeting the Challengeof Adolescent Literacy:Practical Ideas forLiteracy LeadersIRA, 2009Taking the Lead onAdolescent Literacy:Action Steps forSchool-wide SuccessCorwin Press, 201019
20Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model Student Motivation, Engagement, and Achievement20
21Literacy Engagement and Instruction Cycle Provide instruction,modeling, and guidedpractice of literacy supportstrategies in context.Engage studentsin literacy tasks thatare meaningfuland purposeful.Improve student confidence,competence, and efficacy.
22Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model Integrating Literacy and Learning22
23Asking the right question Not“Everyone a reading teacher?”but“How will students become better readers, writers, speakers, and thinkers of this content (English language arts, math, science, health, geography, etc.) as a result of being in your class?”23
24Content literacyHow, why, and what you READ and WRITE in a particular content areaHow and why you SPEAK/PRESENT in a given content areaTypes of THINKING required by a specific disciplineApplicable vocabulary, formats/text structures, and discourse elements
25What do we mean by “literacy demands”? CROSS CONTENT literacy demandsStudents need to strategically read, write, speak/listen, present, and think across content areas (however these may need to be APPLIED in different ways to each discipline of study)Examples: Activating prior knowledge, setting purpose for reading, clarifying, questioning, predicting, summarizing, visualizing, deductive and inductive thinking, brainstorming, responding
26What do we mean by “literacy demands”? DISCIPLINE-SPECIFIC literacy demandsSpecific ways of reading, writing, speaking/listening, presenting, and thinking WITHIN each discipline of study are more applicable to some disciplines as opposed to othersExamples: Rules of evidence, text types and structures, presentation formats, conceptual vocabulary, technical vocabulary
27Content of the English language arts classroom Literary genres and formats: Poem, essay, short story, play, biography, memoir, novel, letterLanguage usage: Grammar, technical and conceptual vocabulary related to the study of literatureWriting: Narrative, persuasive, and expository writingEnglish language arts is heavily dependent on reading and writing for success BUT teachers may not know how to support literacy development, especially in the area of reading
28Content of the math classroom Literary genres and formats: Word problems, textbooks, proofs, articles, graphs and chartsLanguage usage: Operations, terminology with precise meanings, conceptual vocabularyWriting: Problem write-ups, manuals, proofs, statistical analysis, response to problematic situations, notes combining symbols and textMath is heavily dependent on critical thinking, vocabulary/concept development, and the ability to learn from dense concise text BUT teachers may not know how to support literacy development
29Content of the science classroom Literary genres and formats: Articles, lab reports, textbooks, websites, graphs, charts, diagramsLanguage usage: Process words, terminology with precise meanings, conceptual vocabularyWriting: Lab reports, analytical essays, notes, research projects, summaries, evidence-based conclusionsScience is heavily dependent on reading and research skills, critical thinking and vocabulary/concept development for success BUT teachers may not know how to support literacy development
30Content of the social studies classroom Literary genres and formats: Primary sources, textbooks, articles, nonfiction texts, maps, historical photographs, graphs, charts, artifactsLanguage usage: Conceptual vocabulary, debateWriting: Analytical essays, opinion essays, I-search and research projects, summaries, evidence-based conclusionsSocial Studies is heavily dependent on reading, critical thinking, vocabulary/concept development and writing for success BUT teachers may not know how to support literacy development
31Reading, writing, and learning as processes Before reading, writing, or learningActivate prior knowledge, teach vocabulary, set purposeDuring reading, writing, or learningAsk and answer questions, monitor comprehension, make inferences, make connectionsAfter reading, writing, or learningSummarize, make connections, evaluate, apply, synthesize
32What are literacy support strategies? When integrated into content area instruction, literacy support strategies can help struggling readers learn the habits and skills of strong readers, writers, and thinkers.
33Why are strategies important? You return from vacation and a week’s worth of mail has accumulated in your absence.Discuss what strategy you would use to deal with the pile of mail.
34What if students are struggling as readers or writers? They will need core program literacy support AND strategic literacy interventions.Strategic literacy interventions are supports put into place to accelerate the progress of struggling readers and writers.Strategic literacy interventions can be offered in multiple formats: One size does not fit all.Tiered systems of instruction and intervention seem to have great promise.
35Eight ways to be a struggling reader I can read it, but I don’t “get it.”If the answer is “right there,” I’m okay.I never see pictures when I read.I have trouble sounding out the words.I read very slowly.I don’t know a lot of the words.I like real stuff, not Shakespeare.I like stories, not textbooks.
36What does this look like in grades K-2? Universal screening/benchmark assessmentsTier 1: Focus on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension using a strong core programModeling; whole and small group instruction; ample guided and independent practice; differentiated instructionWriting and word work in conjunction with reading50/50 fiction and nonfictionFocus on critical thinking and metacognitionTiers 2 and 3:Flexible grouping and interventions as neededUse of appropriate progress monitoring tools
37What does this look like in grades 3-5? Universal screening/benchmark assessmentTier 1: Focus on fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension using a strong core programModeling, small group instruction (guided reading), guided and independent practice, differentiated instructionWriting and word work in conjunction with reading50/50 fiction/nonfictionFocus on critical thinking, metacognition and goal settingTiers 2 and 3:Flexible grouping and interventions as neededUse of appropriate progress monitoring tools
38What does this look like in grades 6-8? Universal screening/benchmark assessmentsTier 1: Strong content literacy instruction in all content areasFrequent reading, writing and vocabulary development in all content areasFocus on writing to communicate as well as writing to learnFocus on critical thinking, metacognition and goal settingTiers 2 and 3:Intervention classes and support as neededUse of appropriate progress monitoring tools
39What does this look like in grades 9-12? Universal screening/benchmarksTier 1: Strong content literacy instruction in all content areasFrequent reading, writing, and vocabulary development in all content areasFocus on writing to communicate as well as writing to learnFocus on critical thinking, metacognition and goal settingTiers 2 and 3:Intervention classes and support as neededUse of appropriate progress monitoring tools
40Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model Sustaining Literacy Development40
41Sustaining literacy development School culture, policies, and structuresParents and communityDistrict support
42Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model 5 Action Points42
43Five action points Implement a Literacy Action Plan Support teachers Use dataBuild capacityAllocate resources
44Focus on the role of the district Developing an effective District Literacy Action Plan
45What do we know about successful districts? Systems thinkingUse of dataAlignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessmentOngoing teacher professional developmentIntense focus on instructionVision and communicationClarity and accountabilityWidespread participation
46Key district supports and practices District structuresProfessional developmentResource allocationPolicies and procedures
53The heart of the District Literacy Action Plan Section 4Establish an overall literacy improvement goalDevelop literacy goals related to each key area of practice that will support progress toward the overall literacy goalSection 5Develop a Goal Action Map for each of the literacy goals
54Goal Action Map Action Step 1 Action Step 2 Action Step 3 1. Timeline2. Lead Person(s)3. Resources Needed4. Specifics of Implementation5. Measure of Success6. Check in/ review date
55Creating a visionIf our literacy improvement effort was successful, how would our district be different?What would students be doing?What would teachers be doing?What would the environment be like?How would school leaders be supporting the effort?
56Getting people on board Reasons why some teachers are reluctant to get on board with a literacy improvement initiativeStrategies for getting people on board –-The 4 EsEnvironmentEngagementExpectationsEncouragement
57Goal: Build an effective SYSTEM of literacy support
58To build a sturdy structure Requires intentional designRequires collaboration and focusRequires common language and approachesRequires good reinforcement and scaffoldingRequires vertical integrityRequires horizontal integrityRequires use of the right materialsRequires ongoing maintenance
59Can we do this?If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.--Henry Ford
60By learning and working together… YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!
61Literacy is NOT something added to the plate… Literacy IS the plate
62For more information…This presentation was developed for the Massachusetts Office of Literacy by Dr. Julie Meltzer from PCG Education’s Center for Resource Management (PCG-CRM), December 2009Contact information:Julie Meltzer, Ph.D.Senior Advisor for Strategy, Research and DesignPCG Education’s Center for Resource Management200 International Drive, Suite 201Portsmouth, NH 03801