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It Takes a District Developing and Implementing an Effective Literacy Action Plan that Gets Results December 8 & 10, 2009 Presenter: Julie Meltzer.

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Presentation on theme: "It Takes a District Developing and Implementing an Effective Literacy Action Plan that Gets Results December 8 & 10, 2009 Presenter: Julie Meltzer."— Presentation transcript:

1 It Takes a District Developing and Implementing an Effective Literacy Action Plan that Gets Results December 8 & 10, 2009 Presenter: Julie Meltzer

2 Page 2 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Todays goals To discuss WHY we need to focus on literacy To describe WHAT we need to do to improve student literacy and learning K-12 To provide practical tools, approaches, and ideas about HOW to do it

3 Page 3 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Todays agenda Welcome and Opening Remarks Keynote: It Takes a District Breakout Sessions: 4 Approaches to School- based Literacy Action Planning The HILLKeys to Literacy PCG EducationSchoolRise LUNCH Panel Discussion Closing Session

4 Page 4 © PCGs Center for Resource Management The goal of a K–12 school experience To graduate LITERATE ADOLESCENTS who have the capacity to be COMPETENT, INDEPENDENT, LIFELONG LEARNERS

5 Page 5 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Numerous reports stress that literacy is key

6 Page 6 © PCGs Center for Resource Management RAND 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 Brief Meeting Literacy Goals Set by No Child Left Behind: A Long Uphill Road Available at 1/RAND_RB pdf

7 Page 7 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Does Massachusetts need to worry about this?

8 Page 8 © PCGs Center for Resource Management UNESCO 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.

9 Page 9 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Definition of adolescent literacy Adolescents who are fully literate KNOW and USE reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking strategies to learn across all content areas and CAN DEMONSTRATE/COMMUNICATE that learning to others who need to know and CAN TRANSFER their learning to new situations.

10 Page 10 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Are gaps narrowing fast enough?

11 Do we know how to do this? Question: If we wanted to address this issue, do we know what it will take? Answer: YES

12 Page 12 © PCGs Center for Resource Management What were you like as a reader in high school?

13 Page 13 © PCGs Center for Resource Management The BIG question… If the answer is YES – a collective concerted effort is required. If the answer is NO – a collective concerted effort is required. Do you want your students to be a reader/writer like you were?!!!!? Either way, working together on this is how to make it happen!!!!

14 Page 14 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Who needs literacy support? Non-readers Struggling readers and writers Reluctant readers and writers Average readers and writers Excellent readers and writers English language learners who may be any of the above

15 Page 15 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Why does the whole school need to get involved? If they learn to read in elementary school wont they be set? Cant students just take a reading class or get extra help? Cant the English teachers take care of it?

16 Page 16 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Systems thinking Really good teachers working on their own can make some difference. Really good teachers working collectively can make ALL the difference!

17 Page 17 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Goal: Get rid of Swiss cheese The problem is NOT the parents, the teachers or the students The issue is that throughout our schools and districts we have Swiss cheese literacy programming

18 Page 18 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model

19 Page 19 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Model Components Taking Action on Adolescent Literacy: An Implementation Guide for School Leaders ASCD, 2007 Meeting the Challenge of Adolescent Literacy: Practical Ideas for Literacy Leaders IRA, 2009 Taking the Lead on Adolescent Literacy: Action Steps for School-wide Success Corwin Press, 2010 Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model

20 Page 20 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model Student Motivation, Engagement, and Achievement

21 Page 21 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Provide instruction, modeling, and guided practice of literacy support strategies in context. Improve student confidence, competence, and efficacy. Engage students in literacy tasks that are meaningful and purposeful. Literacy Engagement and Instruction Cycle

22 Page 22 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model Integrating Literacy and Learning

23 Page 23 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Asking 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?

24 Page 24 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Content literacy How, why, and what you READ and WRITE in a particular content area How and why you SPEAK/PRESENT in a given content area Types of THINKING required by a specific discipline Applicable vocabulary, formats/text structures, and discourse elements

25 Page 25 © PCGs Center for Resource Management What do we mean by literacy demands? CROSS CONTENT literacy demands Students 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

26 Page 26 © PCGs Center for Resource Management What do we mean by literacy demands? DISCIPLINE-SPECIFIC literacy demands Specific ways of reading, writing, speaking/listening, presenting, and thinking WITHIN each discipline of study are more applicable to some disciplines as opposed to others Examples: Rules of evidence, text types and structures, presentation formats, conceptual vocabulary, technical vocabulary

27 Page 27 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Content of the English language arts classroom Literary genres and formats: Poem, essay, short story, play, biography, memoir, novel, letter Language usage: Grammar, technical and conceptual vocabulary related to the study of literature Writing: Narrative, persuasive, and expository writing English 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

28 Page 28 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Content of the math classroom Literary genres and formats: Word problems, textbooks, proofs, articles, graphs and charts Language usage: Operations, terminology with precise meanings, conceptual vocabulary Writing: Problem write-ups, manuals, proofs, statistical analysis, response to problematic situations, notes combining symbols and text Math 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

29 Page 29 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Content of the science classroom Literary genres and formats: Articles, lab reports, textbooks, websites, graphs, charts, diagrams Language usage: Process words, terminology with precise meanings, conceptual vocabulary Writing: Lab reports, analytical essays, notes, research projects, summaries, evidence-based conclusions Science 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

30 Page 30 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Content of the social studies classroom Literary genres and formats: Primary sources, textbooks, articles, nonfiction texts, maps, historical photographs, graphs, charts, artifacts Language usage: Conceptual vocabulary, debate Writing: Analytical essays, opinion essays, I-search and research projects, summaries, evidence-based conclusions Social 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

31 Page 31 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Reading, writing, and learning as processes Before reading, writing, or learning Activate prior knowledge, teach vocabulary, set purpose During reading, writing, or learning Ask and answer questions, monitor comprehension, make inferences, make connections After reading, writing, or learning Summarize, make connections, evaluate, apply, synthesize

32 Page 32 © PCGs Center for Resource Management What 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.

33 Page 33 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Why are strategies important? You return from vacation and a weeks worth of mail has accumulated in your absence. Discuss what strategy you would use to deal with the pile of mail.

34 Page 34 © PCGs Center for Resource Management What 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.

35 Page 35 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Eight ways to be a struggling reader I can read it, but I dont get it. If the answer is right there, Im okay. I never see pictures when I read. I have trouble sounding out the words. I read very slowly. I dont know a lot of the words. I like real stuff, not Shakespeare. I like stories, not textbooks.

36 Page 36 © PCGs Center for Resource Management What does this look like in grades K-2? Universal screening/benchmark assessments Tier 1: Focus on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension using a strong core program Modeling; whole and small group instruction; ample guided and independent practice; differentiated instruction Writing and word work in conjunction with reading 50/50 fiction and nonfiction Focus on critical thinking and metacognition Tiers 2 and 3: Flexible grouping and interventions as needed Use of appropriate progress monitoring tools

37 Page 37 © PCGs Center for Resource Management What does this look like in grades 3-5? Universal screening/benchmark assessment Tier 1: Focus on fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension using a strong core program Modeling, small group instruction (guided reading), guided and independent practice, differentiated instruction Writing and word work in conjunction with reading 50/50 fiction/nonfiction Focus on critical thinking, metacognition and goal setting Tiers 2 and 3: Flexible grouping and interventions as needed Use of appropriate progress monitoring tools

38 Page 38 © PCGs Center for Resource Management What does this look like in grades 6-8? Universal screening/benchmark assessments Tier 1: Strong content literacy instruction in all content areas Frequent reading, writing and vocabulary development in all content areas Focus on writing to communicate as well as writing to learn Focus on critical thinking, metacognition and goal setting Tiers 2 and 3: Intervention classes and support as needed Use of appropriate progress monitoring tools

39 Page 39 © PCGs Center for Resource Management What does this look like in grades 9-12? Universal screening/benchmarks Tier 1: Strong content literacy instruction in all content areas Frequent reading, writing, and vocabulary development in all content areas Focus on writing to communicate as well as writing to learn Focus on critical thinking, metacognition and goal setting Tiers 2 and 3: Intervention classes and support as needed Use of appropriate progress monitoring tools

40 Page 40 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model Sustaining Literacy Development

41 Page 41 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Sustaining literacy development School culture, policies, and structures Parents and community District support

42 Page 42 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model 5 Action Points

43 Page 43 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Five action points Implement a Literacy Action Plan Support teachers Use data Build capacity Allocate resources

44 Focus on the role of the district Developing an effective District Literacy Action Plan

45 Page 45 © PCGs Center for Resource Management What do we know about successful districts? Systems thinking Use of data Alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment Ongoing teacher professional development Intense focus on instruction Vision and communication Clarity and accountability Widespread participation

46 Page 46 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Key district supports and practices Professional development District structures Resource allocation Policies and procedures

47 Page 47 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Connecting school and district literacy plans

48 Guidelines for Developing an Effective District Literacy Action Plan Version 1.0

49 Page 49 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Process for developing a District Literacy Action Plan

50 Page 50 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Stage 1: Organize for Action

51 Page 51 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Stage 2: Assess Current Practice

52 Page 52 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Stage 3: Develop the Plan

53 Page 53 © PCGs Center for Resource Management The heart of the District Literacy Action Plan Section 4 Establish an overall literacy improvement goal Develop literacy goals related to each key area of practice that will support progress toward the overall literacy goal Section 5 Develop a Goal Action Map for each of the literacy goals

54 Page 54 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Goal Action Map Action Step 1Action Step 2Action Step 3 Action Step 1. Timeline 2. Lead Person(s) 3. Resources Needed 4. Specifics of Implementation 5. Measure of Success 6. Check in/ review date

55 Page 55 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Creating a vision If 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?

56 Page 56 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Getting people on board Reasons why some teachers are reluctant to get on board with a literacy improvement initiative Strategies for getting people on board –- The 4 Es Environment Engagement Expectations Encouragement

57 Page 57 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Goal: Build an effective SYSTEM of literacy support

58 Page 58 © PCGs Center for Resource Management To build a sturdy structure Requires intentional design Requires collaboration and focus Requires common language and approaches Requires good reinforcement and scaffolding Requires vertical integrity Requires horizontal integrity Requires use of the right materials Requires ongoing maintenance

59 Page 59 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Can we do this? If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right. --Henry Ford

60 Page 60 © PCGs Center for Resource Management By learning and working together… YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!

61 Page 61 © PCGs Center for Resource Management Literacy is NOT something added to the plate… Literacy IS the plate

62 Page 62 © PCGs Center for Resource Management For more information… This presentation was developed for the Massachusetts Office of Literacy by Dr. Julie Meltzer from PCG Educations Center for Resource Management (PCG-CRM), December 2009 Contact information: Julie Meltzer, Ph.D. Senior Advisor for Strategy, Research and Design PCG Educations Center for Resource Management 200 International Drive, Suite 201 Portsmouth, NH


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