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Literacy in the Middle Years with Faye Brownlie. Webcast October 7, 2004 Host: B.C. Ministry of Education in Coquitlam SD #43. Part 2: Innovations in Professional Growth Public Education and Webcasting in BC: Oct 2004 to May 2005. What Helps Students Learn? 1. Classroom Management

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literacy in the middle years with faye brownlie

Literacy in the Middle Yearswith Faye Brownlie


October 7, 2004

Host: B.C. Ministry of Education in Coquitlam SD #43

Part 2: Innovations in Professional Growth

Public Education and Webcasting in BC:

Oct 2004 to May 2005

What Helps Students Learn?

1. Classroom Management

- active participation

What Helps Students Learn?

2. Metacognition

- students’ ability to plan with, monitor, and use learning strategies

What Helps Students Learn?

3. Background Knowledge

- building cognitive development

– how much you know influences

how much more you learn

What Helps Students Learn?

4. Home Environment/Parental Support

- ensuring completion of homework

What Helps Students Learn?

5. Student/Teacher Social Interaction

- positive student response to teacher and

to each other

  • Wang, Haertel, Walberg. Educational Leadership, 51, 4 Dec. 93/Jan.94
Bucharest, September. 22 (Reuters)

Hundreds of Romanian schoolchildren walked out of classes on Wednesday for the second day running and thronged government offices to denounce the inclusion of mathematics as a compulsory subject.

“We want justice, not maths exams,” read a banner carried aloft by pupils outside the colonnaded government headquarters.

The protesters were pupils in the final year of high school studies specialized in chemistry, physics and biology who say their workload is too heavy to study mathematics properly.

Under an education law passed this year to adapt post-communist education to Western standards, science students must pass a mathematics examination plus other subject to secure their ‘baccalaureat’, required for further studies.
“We don’t like mathematics and we don’t need it to develop our skills,” a teenage girl told a private television station.

Officials said they had no intention of changing curricula.

Common Features of Effective Literacy Instruction

“The 6 ‘T’s”

  • Time
  • Texts
  • Teaching
  • Talk
  • Tasks
  • Testing

Allington, R. (2002). What I’ve learned from about effective reading instruction – From a decade of studying exemplary elementary classroom teachers. Phi delta kappan. 83(10)


8/30/03 a baby shop 148.00 L. Exeter

9/02/03 a hospital 100.00 L. Exeter

10/03/03 a physician 475.00 L.Exeter, Sr

12/10/03 a toy company 83.20 L.Exeter, Sr

10/06/09 a private school 1250.00 L.Exeter, Sr

08/06/15 military academy 2150.00 L.Exeter, Sr

09/03/21 Cadillac dealer 3885.00 L.Exeter, Sr

09/07/21 auto repair shop 228.75 L.Exeter, Sr

01/06/23 Miss Daisy Windsor 25000.00 L.Exeter, Sr

07/06/23 French Line 585.00 L.Exeter, Sr

23/08/23 Banque de France 5000.00 L.Exeter, Sr

Cognitive Confidence

Allows students to…

• comprehend texts

• monitor their understanding

• determine meaning of words

• read with fluency

• the skills and strategies of reading

Social and Emotional Confidence

Allows students to…

• be willing and active participants in a community of readers

• read for enjoyment and information

• have a positive attitude toward reading and other readers

• readers who read

Text Confidence

Allows students to…

• develop the stamina to continue reading difficult texts

• find authors and genre that interest them

• stick-with-it-ness

strategies used by good readers and writers
Strategies Used by Good Readers and Writers:

1. Activating background knowledge and making connections between new and known information.

2. Self-questioning the text to clarify ambiguity and deepen understanding.

3. Drawing inferences from the text using background knowledge and clues from the text.

4. Determining importance in text to separate details from main ideas.

5. Employing fix-up strategies to repair confusion.

6. Using sensory images to enhance comprehension and visualize reading.

7. Synthesizing and extending thinking.

Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? Chris Tovani adapted from P. David Pearson, 1992

Strategies to “Fix Up” Confusion
  • Make a connection between the text and: your life, your knowledge of the world, another text
  • Make a prediction.
  • Stop and think about what you have already read.
  • Ask yourself a question and try to answer it.
  • Reflect in writing on what you have read.
  • Visualize.
  • Use print conventions.
  • Retell what you have read.
  • Reread.
  • Notice patterns in text structure.
The Instructional Cycle
  • Modelling/Direct Instruction
  • Guided Practice
  • Independent Practice
  • Independent Application

Jeroski(1992), Harvey (2004)

  • Sample reading passages. Gr. 4-9
      • Passages from Reading and Responding (Jeroski, Brownlie, & Kaser – Nelson Canada Publishers) and Assessment and Instruction of ESL Learners (Brownlie, Feniak, & McCarthy – Portage and Main Publishers – GR. 9 passage)
  • As described in Student Diversity – Brownlie, Feniak (Pembroke Publishers)
  • A classroom reading assessment tool, useful in monitoring student progress and planning for instruction guided by the B.C. Performance Standards for Reading

Reading Assessment Process
  • Step 1: Students receive a common passage of text to read.
  • Step 2: While students are reading, teacher moves from student to student, listening to them read while recording the student’s reading on the student’s sheet. (miscue analysis)

-before handing student text back teacher writes a compliment on it about the student’s reading.

Miscue Analysis
  • Omissions
  • Repetitions
  • Substitutions
  • Insertions
  • Reversal
  • dk – don’t know (gave word)
  • s/c – self corrects
  • S0 – sounds out
  • -- - pause
Reading Assessment Process continued
  • Step 3: Collect responses and score according to Quick Scale of Reading Performance Standards – Literature or Information, keep a month to month record in different colours. Patterns that emerge become focus of instruction.
  • Step 4: Generating criteria with student work. Choose 4 or 5 responses demonstrating different strengths from a wide range of students.
Reading Assessment Process continued
  • Step 5: The next 2 months
      • Students revisit criteria
      • Assessment process is repeated
      • After the process student invited to look back at previous responses
Reading Assessment Hints
  • Inform the students of the topic BEFORE they read.
  • Give the students time to think of what they already know about the topic.
  • Explain the coding system for miscue analysis to intermediate/middle and secondary students.
  • Plan a SHORT, practice oral reading sample.
  • Be sure to give students a CLEAN copy of the text to read.
  • Make sure students know it’s NOT for marks.
  • Begin the year with Information not narrative
  • Response question could be: “Using your ideas, images and feelings, show me you understand…
Student Response Sheet

1. Connections

2. Summarizing

3. Inferring

4. Reflecting

sample reading assessment hot air to spare
Sample Reading AssessmentHot Air to Spare
  • Your package should have…
      • Story with miscue analysis (teacher writing)
      • Student response sheet with student writing
      • Quick scale: Grade 6 Reading for Information
      • Worksheet: Grade 6 Reading for Information
hot air to spare miscue analysis
Hot Air to SpareMiscue Analysis
  • -fluent, hesitant
  • When the captain of OWL I, John (stopped to ask question) Sena, said he’d meet us at the rally field at 6:00 a.m., I thought he was joking. But he was deadly serious. That’s the best time to ride (in) a balloon. The air is cool and clam before the sun has a chance to heat it and stir up some air turbu(bull)lance. The cooler the air, of course, the greater the difference between the air temperature and the hot air inside the balloon so the easier it is for the balloon to rise. This (is) morning the temperature registers a cool 0C(hes.) (32F). “Perfect,” says John. “Brrr,” say Tricia(Theresa) and me.
On-Grade Reading Passages
  • Visit to a Wolf Den – Grade 4
  • Lending a Paw – Grade 5
  • Hot Air to Spare – Grade 6
  • Pollution Blamed for Seal Deaths – Grade 7
  • Shadows on a Sword – Grade 8
  • Toxic Air – Grade 9
International Reading Association


Adolescent Literacy: A Position Statement

Principles for supporting adolescents’ literacy growth:
  • Access to a wide variety of reading material that they can and want to read.
  • Instruction that builds both the skills and desire to read increasingly complex materials.
  • Assessment that shows them their strengths as well as their needs and that guides their teachers to design instruction that will best help them grow as readers.
  • Expert teachers who model and provide explicit instruction in reading comprehension and study strategies across the curriculum.
Principles for supporting adolescents’ literacy growth continued:

5. Reading specialists who assist undividual students having difficulty learning how to read.

6. Teachers who understand the complexities of individual adolescent readers, respect their differences, and respond to their characteristics.

7. Homes, communities, and a nation that support their efforts to achieve advanced levels of literacy and provide the support necessary for them to succeed.


Allington, Richard and Peter H. Johnston. Reading to Learn. Guildford Press, 2002.

Beers, Kylene. When Kids Can’t Read What Teachers Can Do. Heinemann, 2003.

Brownlie, Faye and Catherine Feniak. Student Diversity. Pembroke Publishers, 1998.

Harvey, Stephanie. Nonfiction Matters. Stenhouse Publishers, 2000.

Tovani, Chris. I Read It, But I Don’t Get It. Stenhouse Publishers, 2000.

Tovani, Chris. Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? Stenhouse Publishers, 2004.