Increasing Achievement & Engagement

in Literacy

ASCD's Webinar: Read, Write, Lead: Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide Literacy Success

Presented by: Regie Routman

Recorded: June 24, 2014

Take-Away Points From Webinar

  • No matter where you are: Good Teaching is Good Teaching and Kids are Kids
  • Leadership and Literacy must go together
  • Teachers must be leaders and principals must know literacy
  • Reading and writing must be authentic and relevant for students
  • Professional learning (not development) is vital to becoming better teachers for our students
  • Teacher collaboration and support are key to schoolwide literacy


This webinar was very informative for highlighting strategies for teaching students to be engaged, fluent readers who understand what they are reading and writers to be able to persuade and entertain. The webinar is focused on Read, Write, Lead by Regie Routman which is based on forty years of teaching and mentoring educators and school leaders in various schools. Regie Routman strives to bring the joy back to teaching and learning by focusing on the students, not the standards and test preparation. She encourages teachers to regularly collaborate (both within grade level and vertically) and share student work so that everyone maintains a high expectation for learning. Even though this webinar includes multiple examples from elementary, the skills and teacher development that is included is easily applicable for high school teachers. Even without having access to this book, this webinar is very insightful, allowing teachers to have somewhere to start in improving student achievement in reading and writing.
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Additional Resources

Student Motivation and Engagement in Literacy Learning

This article extends the idea that relevancy is key for student success. It provides both tips for increasing motivation and engagement, alerts teachers to potential "road blocks," and provides possible solutions. Regie Routman emphasizes teacher collaboration, and this article provides teachers with guidance for those meetings. These tips help ensure that teachers have high expectations of their students and that their students are engaged in their own learning.
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Motivating and Engaging High School Writers with Big Questions

Jim Burke, author of What’s the Big Idea? emphasizes the importance of having students read and respond to relevant texts using big idea questions that are also relevant to the students. Like Regie Routman posed in her webinar, reading and writing must be authentic and relevant for students. This video offers teachers a real-world example of implementing the big-idea questions in their classrooms to increase student engagement. In the teacher collaboration meetings, participants would be able to use this guide to create their own big-idea questions to use with their novels to make them more relevant.

Motivating and Engaging High School Writers with Big Questions
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Getting Schoolwide Literacy Up and Running

The National Association of Secondary School Principals's publication, Principal Leadership focuses on the roles of the principal and school leaders when implementing a schoolwide literacy program. However, like Regie Routman states in the webinar, all content teachers (not just English) are responsible for schoolwide literacy. The checklist for implementation elaborates Routman's statements about school climate, student engagement, high expectations, and support and collaboration among teachers. Since this article's target audience is high school principals, it does focus on the principal's role in this process from creation to implementation to reflection.
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