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When Students Can’t Read…

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1 When Students Can’t Read…
26 Steps to assure students are receiving the best literacy instruction. By: Jennifer Murdock When Students Can’t Read… What Teacher’s Can Do Spring 2007

2 Why Is Literacy So Important???
More than three thousand students drop out of high school every school day. One of the most common reasons students drop out is simply do to the fact that they don’t have the literacy skills to keep up with high school curriculum. There are eight million struggling readers in grades 4-12 in schools across the nation.

3 Why is Literacy so Important Cont.
Almost 70% of students entering ninth grade are considered to be reading below grade level. Almost 60% of students entering twelfth grade are considered to be reading below grade level. Part of what makes it so difficult to meet the needs of struggling readers and writers in middle and high school is that these students experience a wide range of challenges that require an equally wide range of interventions.

4 15 Key Elements of Effective Adolescent Literacy Programs
Instructional Improvements 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 formative assessment of students Infrastructure Improvements Extended time for literacy Professional development Ongoing summative assessment of students and programs Teacher teams Leadership A comprehensive and coordinated literacy program

5 Instructional Elements
Direct, explicit comprehension instruction Comprehension strategies Comprehension monitoring and metacognition instruction Teacher modeling Scaffold instruction Apprenticeship models Effective Instructional Principles Embedded in Content First form applies to language arts teachers The teacher does not simply teach a technique as an abstract skill, but teaches using content-area materials. Second form applies to subject area teachers The teacher uses instructional principles embedded in the content to reinforce instruction in the skills and strategies that are particularly effective in their subject area

6 Instructional Elements Continued
Motivation and Self-Directed Learning Addresses the need to promote greater student engagement and motivation Text-Based Collaborative Learning When students work in small groups, they should discuss the topic as well as interact with each other around a text. Diverse Texts Providing students with diverse texts that present a wide range of topices at a variety of learning levels.

7 Instructional Elements Continued
Intensive Writing Effective adolescent literacy programs must include and element that helps students improve their writing skills. Technology Component Technology plays and increasingly important in our society, and is both a facilitator and medium of literacy Ongoing Formative Assessment The best instructional improvements are informed by ongoing assessment of student strengths and needs.

8 Infrastructural Elements
Extended Time for Literacy In order to improve literacy, more instructional time must be added. Professional Development Long term professional development is likely to promote lasting, positive changes in teacher knowledge and practice

9 Infrastructural Elements Continued
Ongoing Summative Assessment of Students and Programs These assessments are designed speciffically for implementation with continuous progress-monitoring systems. Teacher Teams Ensures that the school structure supports coordinated instruction and planning in an interdisciplinary teacher team.

10 Infrastructural Elements Continued
Leadership It is critical that the principal assumes the role of an instructional leader, who demonstrates commitment and participates in the school community. A Comprehensive and Coordinated Literacy program The vision for an effective literacy program recognizes that creating fluent and proficient readers and writers is a very complex task and requires teachers to coordinate their instruction to reinforce important strategies and concepts. Proceeding information was taken from: Reading Next: A Vision For Action And Research In Middle And High School Literacy

11 11 Key Elements of Effective Adolescent Writing
Writing Strategies Summarization Collaborative Writing Specific Product goals Word Processing Sentence- Combining Prewriting Inquiry Activities Process Writing Approach Study of Models Writing for Content Learning

12 Key Elements of Writing Instruction
Writing Strategies Teaching adolescents strategies for planning, revising, and editing their compositions has shown a dramatic effect on the quality of students’ writing. Summarization Writing instruction often involves explicitly and systematically teaching students how to summarize texts.

13 Key Elements of Writing Instruction Continued
Collaborative Writing Involves developing instructional arrangements whereby adolescents work together to plan, draft, revise, and edit their compositions. It shows a strong impact on improving the quality of student writing. Specific Product Goals Setting product goals involves assigning students specific, reachable goals for their writing. As well as identifying the purpose of the assignment and the characteristics of the final product.

14 Key Elements of Writing Instruction continued
Word Processing The use of word-processing equipment can be particularly helpful for low-achieving writers. Sentence Combining Involves teaching students to construct more complex and sophisticated sentences through exercises in which two or more basic sentences are combined into a single sentence.

15 Key Elements of Writing Instruction Continued
Pre-Writing Engages students in activities designed to help them generate or organize ideas for their composition. Engaging Students in such activities before they write a first draft improves the quality of their writing.

16 Key Elements of Writing Instruction Continued
Process Writing Approach Involves a number of interwoven activities, including creating extended opportunities for writing emphasizing writing for real audiences encouraging cycles of planning, translating, and reviewing Stressing personal responsibility and ownership of writing projects Facilitating high levels of student interactions Developing supportive writing environments Encouraging self-reflection and evaluation Offering personalized individual assistance

17 Key Elements of Writing Instruction Continued
Inquiry Activities Engaging students in activities that help them develop ideas and content for a particular writing task by analyzing immediate, concrete data. Study of Models Provides adolescents with good models for each type of writing that is the focus of instruction.

18 Key Elements of Writing Instruction Continued
Writing for content Area Learning Writing has been shown to be an effective tool for enhancing students’ learning of content materials Proceeding information was taken from: Writing Next: Effective Strategies To Improve Writing of Adolescents In Middle and High School.

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