The Book Fort
Instructional Ideas for Immediate Implementation
Welcome to The Book Fort! Vol. 1 Issue 6
Missed previous issues? Find them below:
Week Six: Visible Learning
That being said, one of the most influential thinkers I have every studied is John Hattie. Widely regarded as an expert in educational research, Hattie's work centers on the idea of visible learning. He has conducted various studies over the years that provide lists of strategies that produce measurable results and these studies have been used in many schools to guide instructional planning.
The most recent publication that has helped me and those with whom I work is Visible Learning for Literacy (2016). The text is dedicated to practical applications for Hattie's findings. His co-authors Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey have helped tie all of the research to ELA best practices and it spans grades K - 12. Also, in my experience, administrators trust his work. The strategies that follow come from this text.
Fisher, Douglas, et al. Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12: Implementing the Practices that Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning. Corwin Literacy, 2016.
Reading Strategy: Close Reading, Hattie Style
- Multiple reads of short, complex passages build fluency and deepen understanding.
- Intentional annotation of text makes student thinking visible.
- Teacher uses questioning to guide discussion and analysis.
- Teacher and students engage in extended discussion and analysis.
- Students conduct investigations, read additional materials & work with peers to make sense of complex texts.
- Students deeply consolidate their learning.
The most interesting thing about this list is that it goes far beyond what most teachers consider close reading. That is perhaps what I like most about it; close reading is so much more than annotating and finding the main idea or theme. If we work toward doing the bulleted items above with students regularly, they will begin to internalize the practice of close reading and apply it on their own, in any class. This can also be done across the curriculum.
Writing Strategy: Extended Writing
- Teaching students to summarize (0.63): "Embedded within effective writing instruction is teaching students to summarize as part of their study skills" (126). There are many ways to teach this, but modeling and repeated practice with a variety of texts is essential.
- Concept mapping (0.60): "...students' ability to transfer knowledge is predicated on reading and discussing complex texts, especially as students interrogate concepts and link these to other texts and schools of thought" (125). Writing about reading is one of the easiest ways to push students to make connections between text and text, world, self, and universal truths. This may help visual learners as well.
- Feedback (0.75): "The feedback loop between the teacher and peers is critical as students immersed in writing seek and offer feedback from others" (125). Making changes and suggestions in various ink colors is an easy way to track thinking and feedback visibly.
Vocabulary Strategy: Depth & Transfer
- Generalization through definitional knowledge
- Application through correct usage
- Breadth through recall of words
- Precision through understanding examples and nonexamples
- Availability through use of vocabulary in discussion
A couple of ways to implement the five dimensions are given in the rest of the chapter including: the Frayer Method (middle school), word "solving" (the teacher models a think- aloud while determining meaning), word and concept sorts, reading as much as possible. :)
What Kids are Reading
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
Shelter by Harlan Coben
Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz