Read, Write, Lead

Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide Literacy Success

Below are highlights for team/ school discussions.

"Read, Write, Lead" details the challenges and successes of schools and districts where implementing ongoing Professional Literacy Communities to promote and ensure high-level, well planned professional learning resulted in high student achievement and a joyful school culture.

Four practices that describe in detail in Read, Write, Lead as crucial to the highly effective teaching of reading and writing

A) Teach writing and reading for authentic audiences and purposes.

The more real-world and relevant the lesson, activity, and/or resource, the more likely students are to engage and be willing to seek to comprehend on a deep level in reading and to invest their energies in revision and editing in writing.

B) Provide some choice within structure.

In requiring specific writing or reading in language arts or any content area, after establishing the parameters and guidelines as well as applying the Optimal Learning Model to ensure student success, allow students some choice within the required topic. Choice is often a game changer for both high and low achieving students in terms of motivation, positive attitude, and willingness to take risks.

C) Offer feedback that propels the learner forward.

Here we are talking about the specific language of honest, respectful, and useful feedback that raises expectations for what's possible, celebrates the learners' attempts and successes, makes it more likely the learner will put full energies into "the work," and creates an "I can do it!" spirit in the learner. Useful feedback depends on ongoing assessment, and most of that assessment is formative, that is, informal evaluation done in the act of teaching that causes us to re-examine, refine, adjust, and often re-direct instruction and learning.

D) Establish a joyful school and classroom culture that assures equal opportunity to learn for all.

Learners include teachers and leaders as well as students. A trusting and literacy-focused school and district culture requires a solid and safe physical and emotional infrastructure, ongoing professional learning in what is call Professional Literacy Communities, daily collaboration, asking of deep and thoughtful questions, and a highly knowledgeable staff who hold high expectations for all students and are committed to all students learning at high levels.
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Only a culture of trust that promotes common beliefs will put schools on the pathway toward continuous success.

Reflection Questions

In your classroom or school...
  1. Is there a culture of trust, collaboration, and shared learning?
  2. Is professional development focused on meaningful professional learning?
  3. Are authentic, optimal, relevant learning experiences provided for all students?
  4. Is data on student learning coming mostly from formative assessments?
  5. Are students, teachers, and leaders becoming engaged, joyful, self-staining learners?
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One hour Webinar featuring Regie Routman

This webinar highlights strategies for writing for authentic audiences and purposes, reading for enjoyment and understanding, embedding professional literacy communities into the daily life of the school, reducing the need for intervention, and connecting to Common Core State Standards' priorities.