Oklahoma Striving Readers

February 2020/March 2020

Thank you to all who attended our annual meeting! We are excited to see new collaborative relationships beginning across our OSRCL districts. Below you will find an electronic version of the OSRCL book we handed out at the meeting. We hope this resource will help in the further creation of our Striving Readers network. Our monthly zoom calls and every other month vocabulary calls are also a great place for you to connect with other districts. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. The information for those calls is listed below.

We are planning to either visit or schedule a phone call with all of our districts this spring. Please let us know if there is any specific way we can support the work you are doing.

Disciplinary and Secondary Literacy

Supporting secondary students is an area of focus for schools across the country. In December, researcher Timothy Shanahan spoke to SRCL states about promoting secondary and disciplinary literacy.

His research describes 8 strategies that increase the literacy skills of secondary students. These strategies include providing 1) vocabulary instruction, 2) comprehension strategies, 3) knowledge building through reading, 4) oral reading fluency practice, 5) time to write about text, 6) appropriate remedial instruction, 7) disciplinary literacy, and 8) complex text. Additional information on these strategies can be found in Promoting Secondary Literacy and https://shanahanonliteracy.com/.

Dr. Shanahan took a deeper dive into Disciplinary Literacy by describing how we read and write in science, history, math, and ELA. Disciplinary literacy focuses on the specific aspects of literacy within each discipline. This is a different idea than content-area literacy which focuses on using similar ELA strategies across subject areas. Take a look at the Teaching Disciplinary Literacy presentation for more information. This chart entitled, What are Literacies within the Disciplines? The book Disciplinary Literacy: A Shift that Makes Sense by Eleah Lent provides an overview of how one reads, writes, and thinks in each discipline. Doug Buehl’s Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning, 4th Edition includes a variety of teaching strategies, text frames, and focusing questions for each discipline.

For additional resources on supporting adolescent literacy see the following practice guides from What Works Clearinghouse and the Secondary Literacy section on the OSRCL HUB.

Teaching Secondary Students to Write (Nov. 2016)


Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices (Aug. 2008)

Sustainability Resources

OSDE has developed Programs of Excellence (POE) to identify exemplary districts in various content areas. The ELA rubric is based on the Oklahoma Literacy plan which is the basis for your district literacy plans meaning you have already done most of the work toward being an ELA Program of Excellence! Review the identification steps on the OSDE POE website and be looking for information in OSDE newsletters. Sign up for newsletters at the space on the bottom right side of the OSDE homepage.

Zoom Meetings

Our next Zoom meeting will be February 11, 2020 at 10:00 am. Our topic will be Secondary and Disciplinary Literacy. We hope you are able to join us.

Register for the February Zoom meeting at this link.


Upcoming OSRCL Zoom Meeting Dates and Topics

  • February 11, 2020 Secondary Literacy

  • March 10, 2020 - TBA

  • April 14, 2020 - FY21 Goals and Local Literacy Plans

Notes and resources from past calls:


Virtual Vocabulary Book Study

OSRCL Virtual Vocabulary Book Study

Teachers, district leaders, instructional coaches, reading specialists, and grant coordinators are invited to join us for our OSRCL Vocabulary Book study. We will be reading and discussing the following books:

  • Bringing Words to Life (2013)

by Isabel Beck, Margaret McKowen, and Linda Kucan

  • Teaching Basic and Advanced Vocabulary (2010)

By Robert Marzano

The book study will be done through Zoom at 3:45pm. Dates and meeting registration links are below. Additional details can be found here.

We would love for you to join us! If you missed the first call that is not a problem! Notes from the first call can be found here:


Upcoming Calls

Thursday 3.12.20

3:45 pm

Chapters 5-8 Beck

Chapters 5-6 Marzano


Thursday 5.14.20


Chapters 9-10 Beck

Chapter 7 Marzano


PD Survey- To Do or Not To Do

As part of our federal grant requirements we must collect professional development information from our districts. Please keep the following guidelines in mind when planning for professional learning and the OSRCL pd survey:

  • Is the professional learning 3 hours or longer? Do the OSRCL PD survey.

  • Is the professional learning less than 3 hours? The OSRCL PD survey is optional.

Please keep in mind that you will receive a pd survey feedback report after participants have taken the survey. PD feedback reports are made when there are more than 5 participants. If you don’t have a pd feedback report for professional learning that has already taken place, please let Michelle Seybolt know.

Evidence Based Practices

This short guide, ESSA and Evidence Claims: A Practical Guide to Understanding What "Evidence Based" Really Means, is an excellent resource providing an overview of the tiers of evidence and provides 5 questions to ask when evaluating claims of evidence. It is a helpful resource to use when considering the materials, programs, and personnel purchased with your Striving Readers grant.

As you plan next year’s OSRCL budget, please remember that OSRCL grant funds can only be used on activities and programs that meet moderate to strong levels of evidence according to ESSA. Click here for an overview of the levels of evidence.

The Evidence for ESSA or What Works Clearinghouse websites can be used to determine levels of evidence. The Practices Guides describe instructional recommendations that can be implemented with existing standards or curriculum. If you are looking to adopt a program or attend professional learning, you can align them with the practice guide strategies that meet strong to moderate evidence. Click here for a list of literacy practice guides and an overview of the recommendations.

Tweet what's happening in your district using #OSRCL!

Pictures from our Annual Meeting January 16, 2020

Professional Development Survey

Please remember to have your staff complete the online OSRCL Professional Development Survey every time they participate in a half day or longer literacy professional development. The survey results are returned to you to help make decisions for follow up and future professional developments at your school.

The Oklahoma Striving Readers Team

Dr. Brook Meiller

Project Director


(405) 522-0285


Sharon Morgan,

Program Manager


(405) 522-3241


Michelle Seybolt

School Improvement and Data Specialist


(405) 522-2214


The U.S. Department of Education awarded the Oklahoma State Department of Education with a three-year Striving Readers grant totaling $21,530.920 in October 2017. The cost of this publication has been purchased with these federal grant funds in the amount of $0.00.