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  1. Literacy Reform: Supporting Diverse Learners One Classroom at a TimeDr. Barbara Honchell - University of North Carolina WilmingtonDr. Sandy Jones - St. Andrews Presbyterian College

  2. Background Teachers need to have more understanding about various diverse populations of students to address discrepancies in student performance.

  3. Diverse Learners are: • Those who do not learn like a “typical” child • Not from the mainstream or majority culture • Those whose home or native language or dialect is not that of the majority

  4. Academic Descriptors of Diverse Learners • Linguistically diverse • Limited English proficient • English language learners • Exceptional children

  5. Subgroups as defined by No Child Left Behind Legislation • Low SES • Gender • Race • Exceptionalities • ESL

  6. The Definition is not as important as theresponsibility to teach ALL children

  7. We cannot change the factors that create diversity, we can only teach to support learning.

  8. DATA from US Census Report • Between 1970 and 1990 there were more newcomers to the US than in any other time in its history • Projections suggest this trend will continue until 2050 • The number of African American people living in the US has increased by 22% • The number of Hispanic people living in the US has increased by 58%

  9. Schools belong to all children

  10. Children Come to School Regardless of …. • Gender • SES • Physical or Mental Disabilities

  11. We are obligated to fulfill our commitment to teach all children

  12. Teachers Need …. • Knowledge of child development • Knowledge of the literacy understandings of each child • Knowledge of instructional methods • Knowledge of literacy practices in students’ homes • The capacity and discretion to adapt instruction for each child

  13. Leadership that offers high levels of support for both teachers and the school community

  14. It Makes All the Difference

  15. Classroom Literacy AssessmentActivity 1 Potential changes to support diverse learners

  16. Use a different lens

  17. A “REAL” SCHOOL in theChange Process: An Example

  18. Demographics • K-5 School • 193 Children • Some White • Some Black • Some Hispanic • Some Economically and Educationally Disadvantaged • School-wide Title I

  19. Principal’s Journal

  20. Journal Entry 1“I’m wondering how I can teach all of them when it seems they are all so different?” (Teacher)

  21. Journal Entry 1 continued…. “I immediately saw the reason for concern as I observed 22 children.” (Principal)

  22. Observation • 2 Identified for Exceptional Children • 3 Students Language Deficient • 2 Who received speech services • 5 Who wanted help from the teacher • 1 Who couldn’t sit still • 4 Who finished working very quickly • Others who were “typical”

  23. Journal Entry 2We talked at length…

  24. Three Ideas for Change: A clearly defined block of uninterrupted literacy instruction

  25. Small Group Instruction For Particular Purposes

  26. Individual Conferences To Monitor Progress

  27. New Focus New Plan

  28. Journal Entry 3

  29. Focus of discussion • Power of Assessment • Push In vs. Pull Out • Professional Learning • Differentiated Materials • Early Intervention

  30. A Vision for Literacy Instruction for all Children Research Assessment Data

  31. Journal Entry 4

  32. The Word Spreads Colleagues Visit

  33. Collaborative Planning Sharing Ideas

  34. Experts at work

  35. Essential Considerations • School communities responsive to academic diversity will not happen at random, by default or haphazardly (Tomlinson, 1999) • Focusing on academic diversity is both demanding and complex

  36. Even with thoughtful planning, change: • Disrupts a sense of comfort • Disturbs routines • Requires work

  37. Responsive Leadership Helps Others Work through the Passages of Change

  38. Classroom Literacy Assessment Support needed to implement changes effectively

  39. Change Promotes • Problem Solving • Creativity • Development of New Practices • Professional Growth

  40. It all comes down to risk-taking!

  41. Academic Diversity: The Focus for Every Aspect of School Life

  42. As each learner enters school, there must be caring teachers and leaders to embrace their diversity, meet their needs, and work together for an enriched school community. ( Honchell & Jones, 2008)

  43. Resources Honchell, B. , & Schulz, M. (Eds.). (2007). Literacy for diverse learners: Finding common ground in today’s classrooms. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon. Honchell, B, & Jones, S,. (2008). Compelling reasons for school change. Pennsylvania Reads, Vlll(ll), 14-21. Note: All photos are clipart