“Common standards ensure that every child across the country is getting the best possible education, no matter where a child lives or what their background is. The common standards will provide an accessible roadmap for schools, teachers, parents and students, with clear and realistic goals.” —Governor Roy Romer, Senior Advisor, The College Board
1. Provide strategies instruction throughout the school day. 2. Include open, sustained discussion of content. 3. Have high standards for text, conversation, questions, and vocabulary. 4. Build motivation for and engagement with reading. 5. Teach essential content knowledge.
Many researchers think that it is not the specific strategy taught, but rather the active participation of students in the comprehension process that makes the most difference on students’ comprehension. —IES Practice Guide: Improving Adolescent Literacy, p. 17; Gersten 2001; Pressley 1987 Close reading requires intense, active participation; it is, therefore, DEEP active reading. It should be accompanied by purposeful, scaffolded instruction.
Close reading describes the careful, sustained reading and interpretation of text. It emphasizes and requires close attention to individual words, syntax, and the order in which sentences and ideas unfold. Close reading means analyzing a text “very carefully, crystallizing main ideas, and then drawing conclusions or making decisions based on your analysis.” (University of Washington; Dartmouth University) To read closely, students must learn “that to read well is to engage in a self-constructed dialog with the author of a text.” (Linda Elder and Richard Paul, Ph.D., The Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2011)
1.Text passages are short and robust for initial instruction. 2.Lessons and text-dependent questions are planned ahead and require students to reread. 3.First read: Students do with pencil, pen, and/or sticky notes to annotate the text, circling powerful words/phrases and underlining confusing words/phrases. Students note places in the text that confuse them, are unclear, or they want to remember to discuss. 4.Second read: Teacher reads aloud to model prosody. 5.Students discuss first impressions, sharing their annotations. 6.Third read: Teacher reads by thinking aloud and modeling annotation. 7.Teacher asks text-focused questions that cause students to reread.
Document: The New North 1. Circling powerful words/phrases 2. Underlining confusing words/phrases. 3. Note places in the text that confuse you, are unclear, or you want to remember to discuss.
In class discussions, remind your students as often as needed that they are welcome to express their opinions, but whatever they argue needs to be supported with evidence from the text.
Provide basic background information, which can then be further illuminated in class through lecture and discussion Provide a structure and a source of study questions that can be a framework or springboard to close read source documents
Students need to actively read textbooks but not necessarily close read them. Teachers do not often require higher-level thinking when assigning textbook reading. Source documents in textbooks may require close reading. Textbooks are useful because they allow students to close read source documents with necessary background information.
Teach students how to annotate text or use color-coded sticky notes. Develop annotations: Circle headings, subheads Box around key content vocabulary; triangle by confusing or hard words Double underline for main ideas, claims, facts; single line for supporting details Arrow next to instruction/direction words: draw, create Def by in-text definitions; * or trans by transition words Con or Inf by conclusions or inferences = with circle around it for formulas and equations ? by confusing information — Zywica and Gomez, JAAL, Oct. 2008
1 – 14 What are the implications for instruction? What do teachers need to know? What do students need to learn?
1 – 15 Frequent opportunities to write Teacher involvement Explicit instruction Sufficient practice Specific criteria Instruction in text structures Real-life uses Motivation Effective Writing Instruction
1 – 16 Concepts are explained clearly by the teacher. Skills are demonstrated or modeled by the teacher, and guided practice with feedback is provided, then independent practice (the “I do, we do, you do” paradigm). The instruction requires less inference and discovery on the part of students so it is easier for them to grasp.
1 – 17 Includes modeling and guided instruction Provides scaffolds Uses model compositions Provides attention to specific difficulties
2 – 19 Jane plastered icing onto the cake. Jane plastered the cake with icing. Icing was plastered onto the cake by Jane. The cake was plastered with icing by Jane. Four Sentences, One Meaning
2 – 20 “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.” —Groucho Marx
2 – 21 “Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” —Gene Fowler
Scaffolding is “a temporary supportive structure that teachers create to help a student or a group of students to accomplish a task that they could not complete alone.” (Graves et al. 1994). Providing support only when students need it is part of a process of shifting responsibility for learning from the teacher to the students.
Topic: The New North in 2050 Make it a question. Brainstorm. Take a position/make an assertion. Identify major supporting arguments or ideas.
2 – 26 Introduction * Thesis statement, support, opposition Statement of data Confirmation – supporting paragraphs Refutation Conclusion –Thesis, enlarge support, reduce opposition
2 – 27 Use writing samples to show strong and weak examples of concepts being taught. Have students help you revise weak writing. Have students work in pairs to revise a piece that is not their own. Provide opportunities for students to share, focusing on one particular concept. Use minilessons to focus on writing conventions. Strategies to Develop Strong Writers
2 – 28 WhenWhatHow JanuaryTaking a Stand: Discussion Read and discuss “The New North” using talking chips Taking a Stand: Debate Participate in team “For” or “Against” debate FebruaryTaking a Stand: Argumentative Writing Write essay for: “A World with Pod Apartments…”, or for “A Wilder World…”
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