Talk Read Talk Write
Resources for Structured Reading & Writing in Any Classroom
For TRTW to work for you in the classroom, the first priority is to make the academic reading accessible to all students. There are a variety of ways to make reading accessible that fall into two general categories: offering leveled texts or scaffolding a single text.
- Best place to start? Lexile levels. At middle school, students should have already BOY tested on iStation. Ask your ELA teachers for your students' Lexile Levels.
- Fully differentiated for all kids, below level, on level, and above level (don't forget your GT kids!)
- YES! You can give different kids different text. Each student will be given text that provides maximum access to the content at his or her level.
- Students should be working toward reading independently.
- (TRTW p. 83).
Below are links to sites with leveled news articles and a way to adapt text yourself!
Should you wish to use the same text for the whole class, you can scaffold the text in many ways, including:
- Pre-highlighting (if you are not using Highlighting Plus)
- Starred Main Idea
- Word Bank/Glossary
- Provide or point students to visuals in the text or classroom.
- Remind students that headings naturally break up and organize text.
- If there are no headings, break text up into logical segments by drawing a horizontal line across the text.
- Assign fewer or smaller chunks for students who need significantly more time to read.
Encourage students to look and listen for cognates in their reading and speaking and make connections between the English and Spanish terms. Several resources are available for you below to help identify cognates.
The cognate highlighter (Cognate Linguistics link) will identify cognates in a section of text - just cut and paste!!
Pre-Highlight or Star Key Ideas
Word Banks or Glossaries
- Providing a glossary on the text itself or on the board.
- Posting a word bank on the board.
- Directing students to vocabulary help within the text (if available).
- Encouraging students to use dictionaries or devices.
- Pre-teach key vocabulary.
- Spanish cognates are circled, encouraging language transfer.
- Several sections are starred and pre-highlighted.
- Two key words are provided in a glossary below.
Alternatives Based on ELL Proficiency Levels:
- This would not be an appropriate text for beginners.
- Intermediate students might read only the two highlighted sentences and focus on the cognates to help make meaning. Encourage the use of a dictionary or device. Provide a brief summary prior to reading.
- Encourage advanced students to focus on key information (PAT list) and support vocabulary development with pre-teaching.
- Linguistic support as needed.
Students engage in meaningful conversations about the reading using Envelope, Please (TRTW p. 51) or Check-In Conversation (TRTW p. 53).
Student supports include:
- Allow extra think/practice time.
- Provide sentence stems (What I thought was important was…, What I learned was…, etc.)
- Ban the use of "it" and "they". Students should use the academic language of the text to form their responses.
- Model and think aloud your own writing.
- Show completed examples and non-examples
- Provide essay structure support (kernel essay, SIM Paragraph Diagram or other graphic organizer) and sentence stems. SIM Frames and Content Mastery devices might also be helpful here.
- Keep in mind that students should be developing their content writing skills. It will also help them prepare for TELPAS. Don't always stop at an organizer.
- TRTW Ch. 5
WMS 8th Grade
Below is a great starter chart to help kids with getting started.
- Pre-teach vocabulary and/or common phrases.
- Model pronunciation of new terms for use in Talk 2.
- Allow extra think/practice time for responses.
- Provide sentence stems (I would choose…, This looks like …, etc.).
Using Talk Read Talk Write?
Sheltered Instruction/ESL Instructional Coach
(512) 268-2891, x.8236