Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Professional Development

The Ingham ISD offers many literacy centered professional development opportunities, and many are added throughout the school year. If you don’t check often, you may not know about them! Below is a list of the literacy topics coming up. You can register right on the site. These are appropriate for all subject areas, but specified grade levels.
• Active Engagement and Vocabulary– Grades 4-12
• Comprehension– Grades 2-8
• Early Literacy– Grades K-2
• Explicit Instruction– Grades K-8

What Research Says
A recent literature review published in Fall 2010 edition of The Language Arts Journal of Michigan outlines what teachers can do to help struggling adolescent readers:

Current policy documents from the Alliance for Excellent Education give declarations of what should be done to help struggling adolescent readers. The Alliance for Excellent Education outlined its suggestions in a report entitled Reading Next: A Vision for Action and Research in Middle and High School Literacy (Biancarosa & Snow, 2006) that make suggestions for middle and high school educators. Biancarosa and Snow came up with fifteen key elements for effective adolescent literacy instruction that fall under the categories of instructional and school infrastructure improvements. Some of these elements that fell under instructional improvements were:

Direct, explicit comprehension instruction
: Direct instruction should be linked to goals students wish to achieve as readers, not just the ones that fits the teachers visions (Hall, 2009).This can be achieved by involving students in the instruction by asking questions like “what does it mean to be a reader? what does reading look like? or what type of reader to you want to be-come?” (p. 354).

Strategic tutoring-- According to Biancarosa and Snow (2006), this method is important because it provides focused individualized attention for the struggling reading. Specifically, thistype of tutoring is referred to as strategic because it “emphasize[s] that while students may need tutorial help to acquire critical curriculum knowledge, they also need to be taught ‘how tolearn’ curriculum information” (p. 18). Within this model, tutors are taught learning strategies to
help students complete subject-area assignments. The goal of the tutoring is to empower thestruggling readers to read independently using the learning strategies (Biancarosa & Snow,2006).

Diverse Texts -- These texts of various topics and difficulty levels, make reading more accessible to struggling adolescent readers who may otherwise get frustrated with the difficulty level of texts.

Intensive Writing- "Writing instruction also improves reading comprehension" (Biancarosa and Snow, 2006). When students read and write together, they enhance their critical thinking skills.

* From "Taking Another Look at Struggling Adolescent Readers." Brooks-Yip & Koonce, 2010

Parental Involvement
Teachers Involving Parents
You’ll find interactive homework for science, language arts, and math. This site gives you suggestions, formats and templates for involving parents in schoolwork, along with research, resources, and training on involving parents.


Members of this English Language Arts Network (ELAN) will share information about literacy and serve as liaisons between Ingham ISD and their own districts. The ELAN will provide an opportunity for teachers to collaborate with colleagues. Participants are provided with updates on current issues and resources to teach English language arts. Topics for discussion are often chosen by participants. The network is facilitated by Amy Kilbridge, Ingham ISD English language arts consultant.

Audience: Middle and high school English language arts and special education teachers
Date(s): October 6 and December 8, 2010; February 2, March 9, and April 27, 2011
Time(s): 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Ingham ISD, TEC, Room 302
Cost: No charge for Ingham County educators; $75 for out-county educators
Credit: 0.8 SB-CEU, pending MDE approval
Contact: Debbie Kirchen at 517.244.1251 or
*You can STILL join even if you did not attend in October or December.