Links to Literacy


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A Position Statement of the International Literacy Association

"The 21st century has brought with it a tremendous evolution in how adolescents engage with text. As adolescents prepare to become productive citizens, they must be able to comprehend and construct information using print and non-print materials in fixed and virtual platforms across disciplines. The International Reading Association (IRA) offers this updated position statement as a guide for supporting adolescents’ ongoing literacy development."

~ILA Position Statement

Adolescents continue to need general comprehension and study strategies that can be used across a broad range of texts in all disciplines. Here's a list of strategies to incorporate in your classrooms:

• Activating their prior knowledge of the topic and text

• Predicting and questioning themselves about what they read

• Making connections to their lives and other texts and to their expanding worlds

• Summarizing key ideas

• Synthesizing information from various sources

• Identifying, understanding, and remembering key vocabulary

• Attending to text cues and features to recognize how a text is organized, then using that text organization as a tool for learning

• Organizing information in notes, graphs and charts, or other representations of key ideas

• Searching the Internet and other resources for related information

• Monitoring and judging their own understanding

• Evaluating authors’ ideas and perspectives

Interested in reading more? Check it out: Position Statement of the International Literacy Association


Part three of the February PD discussed the importance of writing in all content areas. The discussion boards are full of ideas to try and evidence that HSSD teachers take writing instruction seriously in all areas. Here is what your colleagues are saying:

  • "If educators work together to support our students in all academic areas, their demonstration of knowledge through writing will be purposeful."

  • "What I’ve found over the years is that students need instruction to be very explicit, which demands lots of modeling. I find this especially important in the note-taking and 'explain your thinking' questions we practice in math. With repeated practice, students begin to understand there’s a structure and purpose in note-taking in all subject areas and begin to realize that it's a useful too."

  • "We can collaboratively ensure that writing is valued, promoted, and celebrated in each content area by modeling literacy for our students. As a PE teacher at the elementary and high school level we try to maximize the time our students are active so our promotion takes place outside of class through challenges and projects to enrich their learning."

Again, your professionalism was noted by administrators. They appreciated your responses in the course along with your ongoing participation on the discussion boards. If you would like to continue to dialogue with colleagues, the course discussions are still active.

Schoology course: HSSD Literacy Professional Learning Access Code: 9S2M3-GGP2P

The Power of Purposeful Reading

"If we want our students to wrestle with meaning and work hard to comprehend, teachers will have to limit the scope of reading tasks by making purpose explicit."

~Cris Tovani

Highlights from Cris Tovani's article, The Power of Purposeful Reading:

  • Identifying the purpose for reading helps students negotiate challenging text.
  • Build background knowledge to help students navigate difficult text, without this students tend to over highlight in text because they think everything is important.
  • Encourage students to make personal connections with text.

The video below explains Cris's thinking even more.
Modeling What Good Readers Do
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In her podcast, Cris discusses the structure, challenges and successes that come with using a workshop model at a high school level. See below for highlights from her podcasts.

"I think the challenges of running a good reading workshop at the secondary level is recognizing that you've got such a wide range of abilities as well as interest in that classroom and I think keeping in mind that every student deserves at least a year's worth of growth whether it's a struggling reader, on grade level reader or somebody who is an advanced reader."

"We go over those learning targets in the opening structure and that usually just takes two or three minutes and then from there we go in the mini lesson and that's really where I'm doing the targeted instruction based on the thinking that the kids left me the previous class period."

"There's this great quote by William Butler Yeats where he talks about you know happiness is not this, it's not that, it's merely growth. And I think that human beings want to know that they're getting better. And for a lot of my kids and I think my struggling readers for years taught me this, struggling readers don't really care about their data because they know it's bad and they know they've never gotten any better. And so my goal is to show struggling readers - I want to give them the same rush that advanced students have. Really good students love taking tests because they always see how smart they are. So I want my strugglers to also see that they're getting better and they're getting smarter."

Owning Our Own Learning

If you haven't had a chance to read the HSSD TLC blog, here's the latest post:

Professional PLNs

Moving Forward with the Units of Study

2016-2017 Expectations

Classrooms will continue to utilize the writer’s workshop structure

  • follow the mini-lesson format
  • mid-workshop teaching point and share
Continue to administer on-demand writing
  • before and after each unit
  • score using Units of Study rubrics
  • use information to drive instruction and form small groups
Teach each spiral in the units of study at least once

Develop and refine conferring

  • student checklist
  • goal setting

Contact Your Literacy Coaches

Have a question related to literacy?

Email your district literacy team:


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