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Effective Literacy Today

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Presentation on theme: "Effective Literacy Today"— Presentation transcript:

1 Effective Literacy Today
by Deborah Hundley May 9, 2007

2 Shocking Statistics According to the results of the 1998 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): ✔ More than eight million students in grades 4 – 12 are struggling readers ✔ More than three thousand students drop out of high school every day ✔ Only 70 percent of high school students graduate on time with a regular diploma ✔ Fewer than 60 percent of African-American and Latino students graduate on time with a regular diploma ✔ Only 33 percent of eighth graders performed at or above “proficient” level ✔ Only 40 percent of twelfth graders performed at or above “proficient” level ✔ 70 percent of students entering ninth grade are reading below grade level ✔ 70 percent of students struggle in some way and require differentiated instruction

3 Newsflash ✎ Students who are struggling readers
and do not speak English as their first language have learning disabilities ✎ Most older struggling readers can read words (and some do very well), but do not comprehend what they read ✎ Others appear fluent – they read accurately and quickly enough – but lack comprehension ✎ Students are less motivated to read in the upper grades ✎ Students are required to perform well on state and standardized “high stakes” tests ✎ Literacy demands have increased and changed as technology has become more accessible to students

4 Key Elements of Effective Literacy Programs
✔ Direct, explicit comprehension instruction ✔ Effective instructional principles embedded in content ✔ Motivation and self-directed learning ✔ Text-based collaborative learning ✔ Strategic tutoring ✔ Diverse texts ✔ Intensive writing ✔ A technology component ✔ Ongoing assessments of students ✔ Extended time for literacy ✔ Professional development ✔ Teaming ✔ Leadership The result: a comprehensive and coordinated literacy program

5 Direct, explicit comprehension instruction
Comprehension means understanding what is read Questioning Questions based on a section of the text Predicting Guess what may happen next in the story or text Clarifying Resolves confusion about words, phrases, concepts Summarizing identifying the gist of what has been read, sum it up

6 Effective instructional principles embedded in content
 Provide and/or reinforce instruction in the skills and strategies that are particularly effective in their subject areas  Emphasize reading and writing practices specific to your subject  Use teaching aids and devices that help at-risk students better understand and remember content ✔Note-taking ✔Graphic organizers/rubrics ✔Prompted outlines ✔Structured review ✔Guided discussions

7 Motivation and self-directed learning
Stimulate and engage students allow students to select for themselves materials they read and topics they research allow independent reading time where students may choose their books make instruction relevant to students’ lives

8 Text-based collaborative learning
Collaborative learning means that when students work in small groups, the don’t simply discuss a topic, but interact with each other around a text. ~meaning of the text is drawn from a group process ~implemented in subject-area classes and with students of varying abilities ~teacher provides scaffolding at every ability level and promote better oral language and content-area skills ~students discuss or solve concrete problems ~teacher provides instruction regarding time management (assign roles within each group to keep students on task)

9 Strategic tutoring future tasks independently
 Intense, individual instruction  Short-term, focused assistance  Instruction differentiated to allow students access to important content  Tutors teach learning strategies while helping students complete assignments, so that students become confident learners and complete future tasks independently

10 Diverse texts  Provide students with diverse texts that present a wide range of topics and varied reading levels  Use texts that are below students’ frustration level, yet of high interest  Include books at many levels on the same topic  Topics should include a variety of cultural, linguistic, and demographic groups  High-interest, low-difficulty texts stimulate struggling readers and engage all students  Use a variety of multi-level books that connect to students’ background experiences

11 Intensive writing ✎ Writing improves reading comprehension
✎ Connect writing instruction to the kinds of writing students will be required to perform well in high school and beyond ✎ Increase the amount of writing instruction and the amount of writing students do ✎ Increase the quality of writing instruction and assignments

12 Ways to improve student writing
✎Spelling/vocabulary improve spelling and increase vocabulary through writing tasks ✎Sentence combining teach students to create more complex and sophisticated sentences and practice punctuation skills ✎Summarization teach students how to summarize texts ✎Writing strategies teach pre-writing (brainstorming), organization, rough draft, revising, editing, and final draft ~pre-writing helps organize ideas ~six traits of writing ✎Collaborative writing students work together to plan, draft, revise, and edit compositions ✎Word processing use computers and word processors to create the final drafts ✎Study of models students read, critique, and emulate models good writing

13 A technology component
 Technology plays an increasingly central role in our society  It is both a facilitator of literacy and a medium of literacy  It is changing the reading and writing demands of our society  It should be used as an instructional tool and an instructional topic  Technology helps teachers provide needed supports for struggling readers, instructional reinforcement, and opportunities for guided practice with: ~decoding ~spelling ~fluency ~vocabulary ~grammar ~research

14 Ongoing formative assessments of students
 Assess students’ strengths and needs  Assessments are often informal, yet frequent  Document progress individually and by class  Adjustments in instruction can be made to ensure that students are on pace to reach mastery targets Summative assessments of students  These assessments allow teachers to track students throughout the school year or from kindergarten through high school  More formal than formative assessments  Designed to demonstrate progress specific to school and program goals

15 Extended time for literacy
~Two to four hours of literacy-connected learning daily ~Focus on reading and writing effectively in English, reading, science, history, and other subject areas ~Teachers do not just teach content knowledge, they also teach ways of reading and writing specific to their subject

16 Teaming ✔note-taking strategies ✔testing dates ✔setting reading goals
Interdisciplinary teacher teaming Teachers meet regularly to discuss students they have in common and to align instruction ✔testing dates ✔setting reading goals ✔cross-curricular activities and projects Allows for flexibility of scheduling guest speakers, assemblies, field trips, testing, and core activities Helpful for creating coordinated instruction in higher grades Allows teachers to plan for consistency in instruction across subject areas ✔note-taking strategies ✔research expectations ✔writing expectations ✔independent reading expectations

17 Leadership roles  Principals take on the role of instructional leaders, are committed, and participate in the school community  They participate in professional development organized especially for teachers ~gives them understanding to organize and coordinate changes in a school’s literacy program ~provides them with the proper foundation for making decisions regarding class schedules and appropriate programming for student learning  Teachers take on leadership roles and implement curricular improvements  They create more consistent instruction

18 With this knowledge put to practice we can change the statistics
With this knowledge put to practice we can change the statistics. Effective literacy today begins with us, the teachers. Providing more reading and writing opportunities for our students will be to their advantage. Their future success depends on it.

19 Bibliography Biancarosa, Gina, and Dr. Catherine Snow. Reading Next: a Vision for Action and Research in Middle and High School Literacy. Alliance for Excellent Education. New York: Carnegie Corporation, 2004. Easybib. 8 May 2007 <http://www.easybib.com>. Graham, Steve, and Delores Perin. Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Schools. Alliance Of Excellent Education. New York: Carnegie Corporation, 2007.


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