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Effective Literacy Teaching and Learning for All Students


Effective Literacy Teaching and Learning for All Students Diane Snowball March 7, 2011 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Effective Literacy Teaching and Learning for All Students

Effective Literacy Teaching and Learning for All
  • Diane Snowball
  • March 7, 2011

  • School leaders and teachers must have
  • Knowledge (researched, up-to-date) about what to
    teach about literacy and what are the most
    effective ways to improve all students literacy
  • Knowledge about the learners
  • e.g. What do they read (at school and at home)?
  • How often? For how long?
  • What strategies do they use when reading?
  • What about their comprehension, fluency,
    vocabulary knowledge, decoding?
  • How do your teachers find out about all of
    this? What then?
  • Knowledge about how learning occurs e.g.
    Gradual Release of Responsibility model
  • High expectations of all students

Variation in amount of independent reading
Percentile rank Minutes/Day Words/Year
98th 67.3 4,733,000
90th 33.4 2,375,000
70th 16.9 1,168,000
50th 9.2 601,000
30th 4.3 251,000
10th 1.0 51,000
2nd 0.0 ---
Anderson, R., Wilson, P. Fielding, L., Reading
Research Quarterly, Vol.3, 1988 Growth in
reading and how children spend their time outside
of school
What are the implications for our classrooms?
Figure 16.2 Components of test preparation
Taken from A.E Farstrup S.J Samuels Eds., What
Research Has to Say About Reading Instruction,
3rd Ed., International Reading Association, 2002,
What is Independent Reading?
  • Reading with 95 or higher accuracy rate and
    understanding what is being read. (Its not
    likely that understanding is occurring if there
    is less than 90 accuracy.)
  • SMART readers know how to select just right
    books to read for most of their reading. They
    also know that easy reading and challenging
    reading materials are OK for specific times and
  • What are the implications for teachers and
    school leaders re the importance of independent
    reading and selecting resources for classroom
    libraries or for reading in content areas and
    novels chosen in English classes?

Implications for schools
  • Setting aside time for independent reading
  • in literacy block time and throughout the day
  • during English classes
  • in other curriculum areas/topics of study
  • Science
  • Music
  • History/Geography
  • Art
  • Sport
  • Organising resources and routines for students
    to read at home
  • Having a range of quality resources that are
    easily accessible to students

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What do you want for your school?
  • Two decades of research on effective classrooms
    and schools shows that schools without rich
    supplies of engaging, accessible, appropriate
    books are schools that are not likely to teach
    many students to read at all, much less develop
    thoughtful, eager, engaged readers.

Essential supports for successful independent
  • Range of factual and fiction material (books,
    magazines, audio books, newspapers, digital
    texts, reference material) at various levels of
    difficulty range of authors, genres, topics
  • Resources attractively displayed (not a row of
    spines) organised for easy access by topics,
    authors, range of difficulty
  • Students knowing how to choose appropriate books
    just right, easy, challenging
  • Place for each student to keep independent
    reading material (e.g. box, bag)
  • Record of reading assessment and goals for each
    student (a Reading Journal for each student)
  • Teacher confers with individuals during this time
    (assessing, teaching, establishing goals)

The reading conference
  • The teachers role
  • finding out about students interests
  • checking on suitability of students selection
    and range of types of resources
  • assessing comprehension, fluency, vocabulary,
  • teaching on-the-spot
  • giving feedback to student orally
  • establishing next goal for student and discussing
    what the student will do to achieve that
  • asking student to articulate what he/she is doing
    well and what his/her next focus will be
  • teacher and/or student recording all of this in
    students Reading Journal, setting date for next
  • recording (for self) students strengths and
  • uses information from the conferences to plan
    whole class, small group and individual teaching

The Reading Curriculum in literacy and all
other domains
  • Using a range of texts (a variety of
    fiction and factual genres), the reading
    curriculum includes the teaching and learning
  • The reading process sampling the text,
    predicting the content and continually confirming
    or self-correcting and using syntactic, semantic,
    graphophonic cues to construct meaning
  • Comprehension strategies predicting/prior
    knowledge, questioning, thinking-aloud, using
    text structures and features, visualising,
  • Vocabulary (affected by world knowledge)
  • Fluency expression, phrasing, rate
  • Decoding (not just sounding out)
  • Response to reading

For preps
  • Concepts of print
  • Letter name knowledge
  • Phonemic Awareness

Assessment during reading conferences
  • How is each component of the Reading Curriculum
    being assessed?
  • What level of difficulty is the text? Is this
    easy, just right, challenging? ask the student
    plus listen to them read and then retell what
    its about
  • Reading process by analysing Running Records
    of unseen texts (what types of miscues? Does the
    student self-correct?)
  • Comprehension discussion/checklists /checking
    on each main comprehension strategy
  • Fluency listening for expression, phrasing,
    appropriate rate while student is reading aloud
  • Vocabulary discussion of meaning of words
  • Decoding by noticing how student works out how
    to read unknown words
  • Range of reading student log of reading

Plus, for preps
  • English Online
  • Observations of book handling, writing

Knowledge gained from reading conferences vs
  • Compare this information with what the teacher
    will find out about from NAPLAN and other such
    assessment tools. What is the purpose of
    conference vs the purpose of NAPLAN?
  • Is a VELS level enough information to plan
    appropriate teaching for each student? Why?
  • Why is it so important to give immediate feedback
    to students, especially if they are told about
    their strengths and a specific need/goal plus how
    to achieve that?
  • What will you need to do at your school to help
    teachers to establish routines for this type of
  • Will your teachers know what to do with the
    information they gather? E.g. they find out that
    many students do know how to infer what will
    they do?

Appropriate teaching (using Gradual Release of
Responsibility model)
  • Think-aloud e.g. Inferring
  • Select material that requires inferences to
    understand the content (nonfiction usually
    requires more than print)
  • Teacher demonstrates inferring by thinking aloud
    multiple times over days, using a variety of
  • Teacher and students work collaboratively to
    infer while reading best to have enlarged texts
    for Shared Reading
  • Students asked to notice their inferences when
    reading independently teacher confers with
    students, asking them to describe their thinking
    assessment/feedback/record keeping and data
    gathering about which students need more guidance
  • Teacher selects some students for small group
    guided teaching of inferring and plans further
    class and individual teaching

The Angel with a Mouth Organ by Christobel
  • We had put the baubles, the tinsel, the lights
    on the Christmas tree.
  • The angel was always last of all.
  • Peter and Ingrid started to argue and grab at
    its box.
  • Its my turn!
  • You did it last year.
  • Im taller, so I can reach better.
  • Its not fair!
  • I said, Hand piles!
  • Peter put down his right hand. Ingrid put hers
    on top, I covered Ingrids.
  • Peter covered mine and said, Sorry, Mum.
  • Ingrid covered Peters and said, You will tell
    us the angel story again, wont you?
  • Inside the box the little glass angel with the
    golden wing shone like a star against the cotton
  • I thought of the baby doll wrapped ready for
    Ingrid to find on Christmas morning, and the baby
    growing in my tummy, which Peter hoped would be a

  • It started the year I wanted a baby doll. Id
    hoped for a real baby, like our neighbour had. My
    mother wouldnt promise. So I asked for a doll
  • But long before St Nicholas could bring one,
    out of the clouds the planes came, with noise
    like thunder and flashes like lightning.
  • They flew across our village. It became a
    garden of flame. The houses and the haystacks
    were like poppies, bursting out of their buds
    into glowing gold and orange. The church spire
    and the chimneys were like spikes of scarlet
  • When all the petals of flame had fallen at
    last, the village was like a skeleton. Buildings
    were black, animals were dead, people had
    disappeared. The earth was bare and burnt. But in
    the hearts of the people who were left the fire
    flowers had dropped their seeds of fear and of
    hate, of courage and of love.

  • After the planes the soldiers came. They took
    away fathers, brothers, sons. But they didnt
    take our father. He laughed, They dont want a
    one-armed bear in their circus! And he hugged us
    with the arm he had left, almost as hard as he
    used to hug when he had both arms, before the
    planes came.

Facts from vocabulary research
  • Vocabulary knowledge in the early grades is a
    good indicator of students comprehension in the
    middle/upper grades and secondary school.
  • Less advantaged students are likely to have a
    considerably smaller vocabulary than their
    advantaged peers when they begin school.
  • Lack of vocabulary can be a crucial factor
    underlying the school failure of disadvantaged
  • The most disadvantaged are ELL students, those
    with learning difficulties, those who enter
    school with a limited vocabulary and those who do
    not read outside school hours (assuming they also
    have plenty of reading at school).
  • Students need to add about 3000 words a year to
    their vocabulary to be able to read and write as
    required.The 15 words per day cannot all be
    taught directly. One third of the words can be
    learned through independent reading - PROVIDED
    and teachers have developed a word
    consciousness in their students.

Effective vocabulary teaching
  • Effective vocabulary teaching and learning has
    four major components
  • Provide rich and varied language experiences
  • Anyone interested in increasing students
    vocabularies should do everything possible to
    make sure they read as much an as widely as
  • Build students world knowledge and vocabulary
    through exposure to real and vicarious
    experiences (TV, DVD, print and digital articles
    with lots of photos, excursions, speakers, etc)
  • Teach individual words (focus on tier 2 words)
  • Teach word-learning strategies (roots, word
    parts, related words etc)
  • Note Writing definitions from dictionaries is
    not a recommended practice.
  • Foster word consciousness (genuine interest in

Tiers of word to teach
  • Tier One Words - Consists of basic words and
    rarely require instructional attention in school
    and highly frequent in life clock, baby, ball,
    happy, walk, run, etc.
  • Tier Two Words - High frequency use for mature
    language users and found across a variety of
    knowledge domains, but words that students are
    less likely to know coincidence, absurd,
    industrious, fortunate, etc.
  • Tier Three Words - Limited to specific knowledge
    domains isotope, lathe, peninsula, refinery,
    etc. Although these rare words are often unknown
    to students, their appearance in texts is limited
    to one or two occurrences, and because they are
    often specific to particular content, students
    can use the context to establish their meaning.
  • Major focus for direct teaching should be on
    tier 2 words as this will provide the greatest
    benefit to students.

Provide rich and varied language experiences
  • A teacher can provide rich and varied language
    experiences by exposing students to new (and
    often intriguing) words throughout the school
  • For example, rather than reminding a student
    that he didnt quite close the door, the teacher
    might tell the child to close the door because it
    is ajar.
  • Rather than asking a student to water a drooping
    plant, the teacher might say that the plant is
    becoming dehydrated.
  • Rather than telling students to line up faster,
    the teacher might ask them to stop dawdling.

Role of school leaders
  • Are there resources for each student to have a
    range of materials for independent reading in all
  • Are there times set aside for independent
  • Do teachers plan to meet with each student to
    find out about their reading strengths and needs?
  • Are there structures in place for common
    assessments and recording of each aspect of the
    reading curriculum?
  • Can teachers bring their student work and Reading
    Journals to meetings to discuss student work and
    compare standards and progress?
  • Can you obtain a school picture, a year level
    picture, a class picture of all students
  • How does the teacher use information from
    independent reading to plan further teaching?
  • How does the knowledge about students
    independent reading affect what occurs in other
    curriculum areas or when students are working
    with other teachers?
  • Are there school structures that allow such
    information to be shared?
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