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Plymouth Public Schools High School Literacy Initiative Kickoff Session Thinkquiry Toolkit Facilitator: Pamela Thompson. Content Area Literacy Demands that Students…. Read, Write, Think, Speak/Present, Listen,

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Plymouth Public Schools High School Literacy Initiative Kickoff SessionThinkquiry ToolkitFacilitator: Pamela Thompson

content area literacy demands that students

Content Area Literacy Demands that Students…

Read, Write, Think,

Speak/Present, Listen,

Across Content Areas (although application may differ in each discipline of study).

although some content areas may require specific literacy demands

Although some Content Areas may require specific literacy demands…

The Process of Reading, Writing, and Learning happens

BEFORE: Activating prior knowledge, teaching vocabulary, setting purpose

DURING: Asking and answering questions, monitoring comprehension, making inferences and connections

AFTER: Summarizing, connecting, evaluating, applying, synthesizing

what is a thinkquiry toolkit
What is a Thinkquiry Toolkit?

A set of powerful literacy and learning tools that:

  • Provide structures for teachers to support student understanding of increasingly complex content.
  • Help students learn to think critically and deeply about what they read and learn.
  • Scaffold content learning via a rich set of:
    • Teacher instructional practices
    • Collaborative routines for small group learning
    • Student learning strategies
why are strategies important think pair share
Why are Strategies Important? Think-Pair-Share

You are the school secretary returning from vacation and a week’s worth of mail has accumulated in your absence. Write down: What strategy(-ies) would you use to deal with this pile of mail.

  • What prior knowledge is necessary for sorting mail?
  • Why is it important to establish a purpose?
  • How did prior knowledge and knowing your purpose affect your choice of a strategy?
think pair share


  • Written thoughts and ideas about a prompt or question(s).


  • Discussion of your ideas or insights with a partner.


  • Volunteers share out with the group.

How is this different from just asking someone to answer the question in writing and turn it in?

thinkquiry reading and vocabulary toolkit
Thinkquiry Reading and Vocabulary Toolkit

Two teacher tools:

  • Bloom’s thinking cues
  • Interactive word walls

Four collaborative routines:

  • Think-pair-share
  • Give one, get one, move on
  • Save the last word for me
  • Group summarizing

Six student strategies:

  • Coding
  • Two-column notes
  • Triple-entry journals
  • Analytic graphic organizers
  • Question-answer relationship
  • Role-audience-format-topic
the goal
The Goal...

Transfer the strategies to students for independent use

use the gradual release of responsibility model to transfer the strategies to students
Use the “Gradual Release of Responsibility” Model to Transfer the Strategies to Students
  • Pre-Assessment
  • Explicit Instruction
  • Guided Practice
  • Independent Practice
  • Independent Application
bloom s thinking prompts
Bloom’s Thinking Prompts


Questions related to the six thinking skills in Bloom’s Taxonomy are purposely constructed to ensure students are stimulated to respond at all levels of the cognitive domain, especially the higher levels.

Students may respond through quick writes, learning logs, tests, creative writing that answers the six prompts, role-audience-format-topic (RAFT) activities, or other writing or speaking activities.

bloom s thinking prompts11
Bloom’s Thinking Prompts
  • Purpose
  • Use before, during, and after reading to:
  • Establish a purpose for reading
  • Help students develop their thinking skills at all levels of cognition
  • Ensure assignments respond to all levels of cognition
  • Deepen student comprehension of text at the higher levels
  • Stimulate original thinking through open-ended questions
  • Provide an array of questions to support differentiation in students’ products to demonstrate what they have learned
  • Provide “question generators” for students to learn how to form good questions
activity using collaborative routines that stimulate critical thinking
Activity: Using Collaborative Routines that Stimulate Critical Thinking

Directions Read the selection, The Empty Table.

Form groups of six singles or six pairs (12 total).

Working alone or with a partner, develop one question for each Bloom’s level that would help the reader think more deeply about the concepts of this story.

Turning to the, “Give One, Get One, Move On” template in the “Collaborative Routines…” section of your Toolkit, label each box w/a different thinking skill (Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, Create).


collaborative activity

Collaborative Activity:

Enter your “Remember” question, and pass your template to the right. Each pair fills in the next level with an appropriate question, until all 6 questions have been written. No repeat questions from other papers are permitted. 

Return the template to the original owner and---

Reflect on this activity:

How do collaborative routines increase student learning?

How might you incorporate one into your classroom?

give one get one move on
Give One, Get One, Move On
  • Description
  • This strategy supports collaborative reflection on, interaction with, or review of a reading selection by using a protocol to solicit responses from multiple readers.
  • Purpose
  • Use before reading to:
  • Help students brainstorm key ideas on a topic/reading to activate prior knowledge and build background knowledge
  • Use after reading to:
  • Help students summarize and synthesize key concepts
give one get one collaborative protocol
Give One, Get One - Collaborative Protocol


  • Think of an answer to the prompt. Write it down in box 1.
  • Pass the sheet to another student who silently reads what is written in the first box. That student adds an idea in box 2.
  • Do not repeat ideas that are already listed.
  • Continue passing on the paper and adding ideas until all the boxes are filled. Return the sheet to the original owner.
interactive word walls
Interactive Word Walls


A Word Wall is a systematically organized collection of displayed words. Both students and teachers can suggest additions to Word Walls.

Students are asked to interact with words on the Word Wall on an ongoing basis. In this way, the words become an integral part of students’ reading, writing, and speaking vocabulary.

interactive word walls18
Interactive Word Walls
  • Purpose
  • Use before, during, and after reading to:
  • Build vocabulary for a particular instructional focus
  • Help students develop analytical skills like classification and deduction
  • Support students in their writing activities
  • Build sight word reading fluency
  • Provide a visual tool to help students remember important words related to a specific topic or concept
interactive word walls planning guide cc
Interactive Word Walls Planning GuideCC
  • Word Wall concept
  • Learning purpose
  • Example words
  • Interactive activity idea #1
  • Interactive activity idea #2
  • Interactive activity idea #3
coding comprehension monitoring
Coding/Comprehension Monitoring
  • Description
  • This strategy helps students to engage and interact with text and monitor comprehension as they read.
  • Purpose
  • Use during reading to:
  • Support content-area learning by focusing on key concepts
  • Provide a way for students to engage in a dialogue with the author
  • Help students identify how they process information while reading
  • Help students identify what is difficult in the text so they can select and apply comprehension strategies to support their reading
  • Develop metacognitive awareness and ability to monitor one’s own comprehension
coding comprehension monitoring22

Coding/Comprehension Monitoring

In your Thinkquiry Toolkit, read the text, “Ideas for Increasing Student Interaction with Word Walls.”

As you read, CODE using these symbols:

+ Would work in my content area class

m Could be modified to work

? I need more info to make this work

v Unfamiliar vocabulary word

literacy vocabulary from ideas for increasing student interaction with word walls toolkit

Literacy Vocabulary from:“Ideas for Increasing Student Interactionwith Word Walls.” (Toolkit)

Student writing Technical terms

Charades Word sorts

Demonstrations Prior vocabulary lists

Synonyms Triple-Entry Journal

New unit terms Know. Rating Guide

Manuals Articles

Texts Class discussions

activity word sort

Activity: Word Sort

With a partner, sort the Literacy vocabulary words on the list into the following three categories:

Sources for Words/Activities/Types of Words

Share your lists with others in your group.

triple entry vocabulary journal
Triple-Entry Vocabulary Journal
  • Description
  • A strategy for learning new vocabulary that uses a three-column note taking format for a word in context, definition in one’s own words, and a picture, memory aid, or phrase.
  • Purpose
  • Help students understand key words when reading text that may limit comprehension if they are not known
  • Provide a more interactive way to learn new vocabulary than “assign, define, and test”
  • Provide a way for students to cognitively process new words, resulting in more retention
analytic graphic organizers
Analytic Graphic Organizers
  • Description
  • This strategy uses a visual format to help students explore the characteristics, relationships, or effects of a complex topic.
  • Purpose
  • Provide a visual way to analyze how information and ideas are linked
  • Help organize information for notes, learning, and recall
  • Show specific relationships, such as cause-effect or sequence
  • Synthesize information from different locations in the text or from multiple texts
  • Convey understanding of information and concepts so misconceptions can be seen
analytic graphic organizers vocabulary
Analytic Graphic Organizers - Vocabulary

Use these and others for vocabulary development

role audience format topic raft
Role-Audience-Format-Topic (RAFT)
  • Description
  • This strategy asks students to creatively analyze and synthesize the information from text by taking on a particular role or perspective, defining the target audience, and choosing an appropriate written format to convey their understanding.
  • Purpose
  • Enhance comprehension of main ideas and point of view
  • Process information and reflect in unusual ways
  • Provide a creative, authentic way of communicating what was learned that can enhance students’ engagement
  • Encourage students to consider different perspectives
  • Help students communicate learning using preferred styles
possible roles audiences and formats
Possible Roles, Audiences, and Formats

After selecting an idea from this general list, the student would identify the specific name of the person, group, or organization.

Note: The ideas do NOT link across each column.

raft template
RAFT Template

Course concept to be addressed in the RAFT:

Brainstormed ideas for RAFTs related to this concept:

Student’s choice for RAFT components:

Role__________ Audience__________ Format_________ Topic____________

think pair share35
  • Description
  • This is a cooperative discussion strategy whose name is derived from the three stages of student action, with emphasis on what students are to be doing at each of those stages. (Frank Lyman, 1981)
  • Purpose
  • Use before, during, or after reading to:
  • Allow for reflection and sharing before whole group discussion
  • Provide time for everyone to formulate responses to the reading, experience, or prompt
save the last word for me
Save the Last Word for Me
  • Description
  • This strategy uses a collaborative format for the discussion of text where students select quotations to discuss with one another, concluded by the student who selected the quote.
  • Purpose
  • To support students’ interaction with text
  • To promote reading comprehension
  • To clarify and deepen thinking about content
group summarizing
Group Summarizing


This strategy supports students to work together to preview text before reading, locate supporting information and examples during reading, summarize their ideas on a four-quadrant chart after reading, and use the notes as a structure to write the group summary.

group summarizing38
Group Summarizing


Use before, during, and after reading to:

  • Involve students in constructing a meaningful synthesis of what they have read
  • Help students learn how to do a summary before they are asked to create their own
  • Provide practice in paraphrasing
  • Allow students to demonstrate understanding of concepts through the completed group summary chart
  • Link the different parts of the reading process
  • Develop higher order critical thinking skills
activity give one get one for literacy instruction
Activity: Give One, Get One for Literacy Instruction


What is the advantage to using collaborative routines in the classroom?

Write your question in the Question box.

Pass the paper to your right each time the chime rings.

activity coding comprehension monitoring
Activity: Coding/Comprehension Monitoring

Code the passage, Coding Scenario, by marking the following symbols in the margins as you read:

1 = Teacher Directed

2 = Student Directed

two column note taking
Two-Column Note Taking
  • Description
  • A strategy can which can be used with text, lectures, or when viewing media presentations to help students organize their thinking about specific content.
  • Purpose
  • Use during and after reading to:
  • Create a user-friendly system to record important ideas, related details, and the relationships between concepts
  • Help students remember important points and deepen their understanding of content
  • Help students organize information and thoughts for thinking, writing, studying, or presenting
two column note taking template
Two-Column Note Taking Template


As you read/listen/view, take two-column notes about important facts, vocabulary, concepts, and other information you want to remember or will need to use.

activity two column note taking
Activity: Two-Column Note Taking

In content area groups discuss:

  • How does the Two-Column Note Taking method support student comprehension and organize their thinking?
  • How can this be used during and after reading?
  • How would you use the Gradual Release Model of Responsibility to teach this?

Think of an upcoming unit/curriculum/lesson. Brainstorm possible headings you can use for the Two-Column Note Taking.

activity triple entry journal
Activity: Triple-Entry Journal
  • Brainstorm two literacy vocabulary terms for each category:
    • Teacher Instructional Practice
    • Collaborative Routines for Small Group Learning
    • Instructional Strategies
    • Complete all three columns of a Triple-Entry Journal for these vocabulary terms on chart paper.
analytic graphic organizers reading
Analytic Graphic Organizers - Reading

Use these and others for visualizing patterns and relationships

activity brainstorming uses for ago s
Activity: Brainstorming Uses for AGO’s
  • Brainstorm where analytic graphic organizers would help students understand your course topics
    • Reading comprehension
    • Vocabulary
  • Add your favorites to the list and share them with a neighbor
analytic graphic organizer content examples
Analytic Graphic Organizer Content Examples
  • Character map
  • Sequence graphic organizer
  • Semantic feature analysis
  • Line graph
  • Histogram
  • Classification
  • Timeline
question answer relationship qar
Question–Answer Relationship (QAR)


This strategy involves students in assessing the thinking demands of a passage and developing answers for four types of questions:

activity qar joey in the military
Activity: QAR – Joey in the Military
  • Read the story.
  • Read the questions and decide what type of question is being asked.
  • Underline the “clue words” that help you decide.
  • Review your answers with a neighbor when you finish. Discuss answers that differ.
activity creating a qar for an article
Activity: Creating a QAR for an Article


In the Coding/Comprehension section of your handout, you will find the article, "The Elements of Differentiation." In groups of 4, create one question for each of the four types of QAR questions exemplified in the packet. Write your QAR on chart paper to be posted and shared. The setup for your QAR chart will be:

activity instructional planning and application based on content area literacy demands
Activity: Instructional Planning and Application based on Content Area Literacy Demands
  • Refer to the Literacy Demands activity done on day one with Julie.
  • Think in terms of upcoming units and lessons and the literacy demands of your content area. Brainstorm strategies you can use this year to support these literacy demands.
  • Create charts in small groups using a different color marker for each content area.
peer coaching collaborative mentoring
Peer Coaching/Collaborative Mentoring
  • Is a valuable, effective tool for teacher professional development
  • Can have a strong, positive impact on teaching and learning
  • Can have a positive effect on morale and school climate and culture through its motivating and rejuvenating effects on teachers and students
peer coaching collaborative mentoring54
Peer Coaching/Collaborative Mentoring

Assumes that schools and teachers are seeking to continuously improvehow teaching and learning happens

peer coaching collaborative mentoring55
Peer Coaching/Collaborative Mentoring
  • A teacher asks a trusted colleague to come and observe him/her on a particular day and with a particular class when s/he is going to incorporate the use of a new literacy strategy into his/her teaching.
  • The teacher meets with his/her colleague before the observation to discuss what kinds of feedback s/he is looking for.
  • The peer coach/mentor observes as planned (20–45 minutes).
  • The teacher and the peer coach/mentor schedule a follow-up time to meet soon after the observation.
peer coaching collaborative mentoring56
Peer Coaching/Collaborative Mentoring
  • What are our goals for Peer Coaching/Collaborative Mentoring?
  • What do we want to see or have as a result of participating in a peer coaching/collaborative mentoring process during the present school year?
  • Who is going to participate in the peer coaching/collaborative mentoring process at our school? How will this be structured?
eight step debriefing protocol
Eight Step Debriefing Protocol
  • The teacher “debriefs” on how s/he thought it went.
  • The peer coach notes something positive that was observed.
  • The peer coach presents summary and analysis of the data collected.
  • The teacher and peer coach discuss implications of the feedback.
eight step debriefing protocol58
Eight Step Debriefing Protocol
  • The teacher and peer coach discuss any other interesting aspects of the lesson.
  • The teacher reflects on the lesson and comments on what s/he would revise/modify next time and why.
  • The teacher gives the peer coach feedback as to what types of feedback were particularly helpful, both in terms of content and delivery.
  • The teacher and peer coach schedule next observation where they reverse roles.
tips for success
Tips for Success
  • Make sure, as a peer coach, you are respectful of your colleague’s decision making.
  • As a peer coach, be positive with your comments and back them up with specific examples.
  • As a peer coach, clarify, when possible, an issue from a way to approach it.
  • As both the teacher and the peer coach, you are in a learning role. Assume everyone is a good teacher and that everyone has places where s/he can improve.
  • As a coach/observer, be certain to note what particularly surprised or impressed you during your observation.
  • Treat planning meetings, observations, and debrief meetings as important. Get release time when necessary.