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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. Today’s 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

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it takes a district developing and implementing an effective literacy action plan that gets results

It Takes a District—Developing and Implementing an Effective Literacy Action Plan that Gets Results

December 8 & 10, 2009

Presenter: Julie Meltzer

today s goals
Today’s 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
today s agenda
Today’s agenda
  • Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • Keynote: It Takes a District
  • Breakout Sessions: 4 Approaches to School-based Literacy Action Planning

The HILL Keys to Literacy

PCG Education SchoolRise

  • LUNCH
  • Panel Discussion
  • Closing Session
the goal of a k 12 school experience
The goal of a K–12 school experience

To graduate

LITERATE ADOLESCENTS who have the capacity to be COMPETENT, INDEPENDENT, LIFELONG LEARNERS

rand report meeting literacy goals set by nclb
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 -- 2005

Meeting Literacy Goals Set by No Child Left Behind: A Long Uphill Road

Available at http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9081-1/RAND_RB9081-1.pdf

unesco definition of literacy
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.”

definition of adolescent literacy
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.

do we know how to do this

Do we know how to do this?

Question: If we wanted to address this issue, do we know what it will take?

Answer: YES

the big question
The 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!!!!

who needs literacy support
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
why 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?

Why does the whole school need to get involved?
systems thinking
Systems thinking
  • Really good teachers working on their own can make some difference.
  • Really good teachers working collectively can make ALL the difference!
goal get rid of swiss cheese
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
taking action literacy leadership model19

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 LiteracyLeadership Model
taking action literacy leadership model20
Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model

Student Motivation, Engagement, and Achievement

literacy engagement and instruction cycle
Literacy Engagement and Instruction Cycle

Provide instruction,

modeling, and guided

practice of literacy support

strategies in context.

Engage students

in literacy tasks that

are meaningful

and purposeful.

Improve student confidence,

competence, and efficacy.

taking action literacy leadership model22
Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model

Integrating Literacy and Learning

asking the right question
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?”

content literacy
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
what do we mean by literacy demands
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

what do we mean by literacy demands26
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

content of the english language arts classroom
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

content of the math classroom
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

content of the science classroom
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

content of the social studies classroom
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

reading writing and learning as processes
Reading, writing, and learning as processes
  • Beforereading, 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
why are strategies important
Why 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.

what if students are struggling as readers or writers
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 acceleratethe 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.
eight ways to be a struggling reader
Eight 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.
what does this look like in grades k 2
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
what does this look like in grades 3 5
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
what does this look like in grades 6 8
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
what does this look like in grades 9 12
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
taking action literacy leadership model39
Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model

Sustaining Literacy Development

sustaining literacy development
Sustaining literacy development
  • School culture, policies, and structures
  • Parents and community
  • District support
five action points
Five action points
  • Implement a Literacy Action Plan
  • Support teachers
  • Use data
  • Build capacity
  • Allocateresources
focus on the role of the district

Focus on the role of the district

Developing an effective District Literacy Action Plan

what do we know about successful districts
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
key district supports and practices
Key district supports and practices

District structures

Professional development

Resource allocation

Policies and procedures

the heart of the district literacy action plan
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
creating a vision
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?

getting people on board
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
to build a sturdy structure
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
can we do this
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

for more information
For 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 2009
  • Contact information:

Julie Meltzer, Ph.D.

Senior Advisor for Strategy, Research and Design

PCG Education’s Center for Resource Management

200 International Drive, Suite 201

Portsmouth, NH 03801

603-427-0206

[email protected]

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