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Supports for Literacy Leaders Me Read? And How! and GAINS Spring 2010. Agenda. Read the quotation on the card. Share, with a partner, what the quotation means to you. Mix and Mingle Introduce yourself to others around the room Share the message on your card

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Read the quotation on the card.

Share, with a partner, what the quotation means to you.

Mix and Mingle

Introduce yourself to others around the room

Share the message on your card

Form small groups around connecting ideas

MINDS ON:Making Connections

action tour of me read and how

ACTION: Tour of Me Read? And How!

Ontario teachers report on how to improve boys’ literacy skills


Preparing for

“The MRAH Tour”

  • 1. Think about actual experiences you have had with boys and literacy, either at school or at home. What are a few images that come to mind?
  • What do you know already about boys’
  • literacy from Me Read? No Way! 2004?
  • 3. Share your responses with one table partner.
twas ever thus
‘Twas ever thus!

“And then the whining schoolboy

With his satchel and shiny morning face

Creeping like a snail

Unwillingly to school.”

William Shakespeare

current view
Current View

“Male youth mentally absent from school and disengaged academically are more often than not, disaffected and struggling readers. These students contribute to one of the most persistent and ubiquitous achievement gaps found in America.” Brozo, 2002

current context
Current Context
  • Me Read? No Way! 2004
  • The Boys’ Literacy Teacher Inquiry Project 2005-2008
  • The Road Ahead, 2009 Consultant’s Report
  • Me Read? And How! 2009
key features
Key Features
  • About the Resource Guide
    • available electronically on the Ministry of Education website:
    • Available in hard copy from
key features16
Key Features

Organized into 6 sections:

  • Quotations –voices of students, teachers, principals, and parents
  • Strategy Recommendations – key strategies
  • Putting Strategies into Practice – school stories
  • Try This! – quick tips and suggestions
  • What the Literature Says – recent research
  • Reflections –questions to use to deepen understanding and application
strategies for success 13 1 14 strategies
Strategies for Success 13+1=14 Strategies
  • Have the right stuff
  • Help make it a habit
  • Teach with purpose
  • Embrace the arts
  • Let them talk
  • Find positive role models
  • Read between the lines
strategies for success 13 1 14 strategies cont d
Strategies for Success 13+1=14 Strategies(cont’d)
  • Keep it real
  • Get the Net
  • Assess for success
  • Be in their corner
  • Drive the point home
  • Build a school-wide focus
  • Split them Up NEW!!!!!
the mrah tour instructions
“The MRAH Tour”Instructions
  • You each have a PASSPORT with your “Strategy Destination” - ONE of the FOURTEEN strategies.
  • You are invited to visit that “Strategy Destination” in your copy of MRAH, to sample the information in that section and to answer THREE QUESTIONS on the post-its provided.
strategy destination questions
“Strategy Destination”Questions
  • Question #1.What ONE idea at this strategy destination did you like best? (BLUE)
  • Question #2.What are TWO challenges in implementing this strategy? (ORANGE)
  • Question #3. Are there professional development needs for teachers/ principals/board leaders? Are they different for each constituent group? (YELLOW)

“The MRAH Tour”

Your Own Time - 20 min.

Explore your own “Strategy Destination” 5 min.

Respond to each question on a colour-coded post it.5 min.

Discuss with a partner your responses on each other’s “Strategy Destination”.

5 min.

Post your “Notes” on the matching

“Strategy Destination” wall chart.


“The MRAH Tour”

10 minutes

Full Group Sharing

of the

Fourteen “Destinations”

strategy recommendations 3 teach with purpose
Strategy Recommendations #3 Teach with Purpose

Understanding boys’ learning styles

At Bishop Allen Academy, teachers structured their 76 minute periods into smaller sections…. A single class period could involve a combination of: Internet browsing and reading; conducting research for independent study projects; reading and discussing a group of articles; conducting debates; viewing online videos; writing reviews of events, movies or documentaries; and completing independent work. MRAH p. 21

strategy recommendations 4 embrace the arts
Strategy Recommendations #4 Embrace the arts

Using the arts to bring literacy to life

At Hawthorne Village Public School the inquiry team found that the integration of drama, dance, music, and visual arts on boys’ motivation, comprehension, and overall fluency in reading was profound and positive.

MRAH p. 28

strategy recommendations 8 keep it real
Strategy Recommendations#8 Keep it real

Making reading and writing relevant to boys

“The emphasis on ownership extended to allowing boys to choose topics of interest to discuss or write about in the classroom, such as cars, snowboards, video games, physical survival, drugs, gangs and musicians and accommodating boys’ interest in non-traditional styles, forms, and themes, such as humourous writing, rap songs, and war.” Teacher Comment St. Edward Catholic School

MRAH p.47

strategy recommendations 9 get the net
Strategy Recommendations#9 Get the Net

Using technology to get boys interested in literacy

“With the purchase of new resources and new technologies, such as interactive whiteboards, digital cameras, data projectors, and opaque projectors, the teachers were able to try something new with their instructional practices. These resources became a catalyst for changing the rigidness of the language programs…. ‘the technological learning curve that I have been on the past three years has taken me places I never imagined possible in my teaching practices.’ ”

Teacher Comment St. Paul Catholic School MRAHp. 54

strategy recommendations 11 be in their corner
Strategy Recommendations #11 Be in their corner

The role of the teacher in boys’ literacy

“I look at the boys in my class in a little different way, not as lazy or unmotivated, but just needing a different way to learn. I’m looking for ways in all my classes to go beyond the textbook and put control of the learning in the kids’ hands.”

Teacher Comment St. Anne Catholic H.S. MRAHp. 64

strategy recommendations 14 split them up
Strategy Recommendations #14 Split them up

Using single-sex groupings

“Some proponents of this strategy argue that boys and girls receive and process information differently, hear and see differently, and develop at different rates; therefore, different teaching styles and classroom structures should be adopted to accommodate both sexes….

The ruling principle should be that a range of effective and focused pedagogies…should be used in classrooms and that schools should be organized to support learning for all students whether that means single-sex or coed groupings or a mixture of both.” MRAHp.81

what is your perception
What is your perception?

“Thelong well-documented history of male underachievement has helped contribute to an entrenched, popular perception and indeed an expectation that many boys simply will not become thoughtful, accomplished readers.”

Brozo, 2002

on the other hand
On the other hand…

“Teachers who see potential in their male students discover ways of teaching and reaching them that are personally meaningful, culturally responsible and capitalize on the resources they bring to the classroom.”

Alloway, Freebody, Gilbert, and Muspratt, 2002

postcard home
Postcard Home

1. As you reflect on your whirlwind tour of MRAH what comment might you write home to family, friends, colleagues?

Some prompts:

  • Did you encounter anything new?
  • How will MRAH help you to address boys’ literacy improvement?
  • What do you need to know more about or be able to do?

2. Record your comments on the Postcard Home and then “mail” your postcard in the receptacle provided. THANK YOU!


Please take 10 minutes and we will resume again shortly

digging deeper strategy 7 read between the lines

Digging DeeperStrategy #7“Read Between the Lines”

Bringing critical literacy skills into the classroom

what is critical literacy
What is Critical Literacy?

Critical literacy means that students adopt a critical or questioning stance in regard to what they are reading, hearing or viewing….

Students need to be helped to exercise their critical thoughts and perceptions and understand how texts are constructed and how texts try to inform, persuade, entertain, and influence the reader.

MRAHp. 43


Who is the narrator of this story?

What points of view are missing from this story? Why is this important to recognize?


Who produced the video?

What values and beliefs do the producers seem to have? What techniques are used to influence the viewer?


What are the labels on the x- and y-axes?

Is the data in one graph presented in a way that is more favourable than the other? What is revealed or concealed in each of the graphs?


What are differences between the two population density maps?

What do you think the second map cartographer wants to emphasize? What beliefs do you think this cartographer holds?


What does the son’s body language imply?

What does the producer of the clip want viewers to feel? What techniques are used to evoke these feelings?

example of best practices
Example of Best Practices

Problem-posing questions at F. W. Begley, Northwood, Kingsville, Eastwood, Harrow Senior, and Lakeshore Discovery P.S. - partnership with the humane society and environmental awareness projects.

Exploration of critical literacy through examination of textual features of graphic novels at Parkside Collegiate Institute.

Focus on gender stereotyping in media and popular cultures texts at St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School. MRAH p. 44



-Package titled Critical Literacy, Grades 7-12: Supports for Boys’ Literacy

-12 selections on critical literacy drawn from the CD-ROM.


  • Number yourselves off around the table, 1, 2, etc.
  • Each person selects ONE of the pieces from the package and skim reads the resource.

Time:3 min.

think pair share
  • THINK about ONE KEY IDEA you have read. Reflect on why it is significant for you.
  • PAIR with a person with your matching number at another table.
  • In turn, SHARE your key idea with each other. Time:4 min.
putting critical literacy resources into play
Putting Critical Literacy Resources Into Play


  • Cover Sheet for the package of Critical Literacy Resources
  • Placemat Sheet


  • In your table group, decide which resource(s) would be most practical and appropriate for which audience.
  • Record the title of the resource in the designated box on the placemat. For resources appropriate for all, use the ALL GROUPS section.
  • Discuss briefly how you might introduce ONE of the resources to its designated audience. Time: 5 min.
minds on

On a blank piece of paper…


Why would this activity engage (some) students?

Why would (some) teachers feel uncomfortable with this activity?

What do we need to do to resolve the tension which might exist?


Emphases, Parameters & Principles

Professional Learning

Ministry Priorities

Adolescent Literacy Emphases

Critical Literacy





Student Voice

Cross-curricular literacy

GAINS in Achievement






Reach every student





GAINS Parameters

Questioning to evoke and expose thinking

Responding with appropriate levels of challenge and support

Fearless speaking and listening

Practising principled practices for depth, precision and power

Engaging learners in critical literacy

Addressing the indicators

Subject-specific literacy




Professional Learning

literacy gains
Literacy GAINS

digging deeper strategy 10 assess for success

Digging DeeperStrategy #10“Assess for Success”

Bringing metacognition into the classroom

Simply, metacognition is “thinking about thinking.” Metacognition goes beyond thinking (meta + cognition) in that it is the active awareness and knowledge of one’s own thinking processes. Metacognitive skills are sometimes referred to as “self-direction skills” (Burke, 2007, 151).
“Metacognition is a powerful phenomenon that enables students to set goals, plan, problem solve, monitor progress, and evaluate their own thinking effectiveness…

It provides the means for adolescents to oversee thinking as it happens, to determine what they know, to appraise what they need to know, and to orchestrate what they should do in a learning situation.”

(Beamon, 2001)

six sections
Six Sections
  • Read Me First
  • Comprehensive Table of Contents
  • Me Read? No Way! Strategies
  • Themes
  • Supports
  • Me Read And How

3 Produced by the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat

1 Boys' Literacy Teacher Inquiry K-12

4 Produced by Curriculum & Assessment Policy Branch and Student Success

2 Expert Panel Reports & Guides

teaching boys a global study of effective practices 2009 michael reichert and richard hawley

Teaching Boys: A Global Study of Effective Practices, 2009Michael Reichert and Richard Hawley

effective lessons
Effective Lessons

Products – that go, illustrate, engage, are of use

Gaming - skills, operations, retention, inquiry

Motor Activity – embodying a process, concepts, experiences

Role-play/Performance –process, world roles, critical decisions

effective lessons68
Effective Lessons

Open Inquiry – experience and theory, destinations without maps, personal reflection

Team Work/Competitions – energizing collaboration, competitive edge, parts into wholes

Personal Realization – consideration of others, self-discovery, masculinity.

the transitive factor in effective lessons
The Transitive Factorin Effective Lessons

There is a quality of transitivity running through the effective practices reported.

That is, the motor activity or the adrenal boost of competing or the power of an unexpected surprise in the classroom does not merely engage or delight; it is transitive to highly specific learning outcomes.

E.g., the transitive power of physical movement in mastering tasks and incorporating concepts documented in gaming, role play, competition, and teamwork.

your thoughts
Your Thoughts…?

Are there strategies identified in this research that would address some of the issues represented in the King study?

Stand, Mix and Mingle – Move about the room and at the signal, STOP and with your nearest elbow partner, discuss your thoughts.

Willms, J.D., Friesen, S. & Milton, P. (2009). What did you do in school today? Transforming classrooms through social, academic and intellectual engagement. (First National Report) Toronto: Canadian Education Association.

Carnegie Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy. (2010). Time to act: An agenda for advancing adolescent literacy for college and career success. New York, NY: Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Adolescent Achievement

disciplinary literacy
Disciplinary Literacy

Lee, C.D., Spratley, A. (2010). Reading in the disciplines: The challenges of adolescent literacy. New York, NY: Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Moje, E. (2008, October). Foregrounding the Disciplines in Secondary Literacy Teaching and Learning: A Call for Change. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(2), 96–107.

Shanahan, C. & Shanahan, T. (2008) Teaching Disciplinary Literacy to Adolescents: Rethinking Content-Area Literacy, Harvard Educational Review, Volume 78, Number 1, Pages 40-59.

elbow partners
Elbow Partners

What intrigues you in the studies and articles presented?

focused mobilization against inertia
Focused Mobilization Against Inertia

Realization is a much more sophisticated, systematic approach to deepening district-side reform….

It requires on-the-ground expertise in every school, …matched with authentic leaders who understand not only successful instructional practices but also strategic timing. Michael Fullan, Realization p. 92

agenda for action
Agenda for Action

Board Team Conversations

a note out the door
A Note out the Door

One thing that I learned today…

One thing that I want to know more about…

One thing that I will try in the next few weeks…

The support that would be useful to me…