Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Using Wikis!

Did you know East Lansing Public Schools is on Wikipedia?   Take a look!

You can add information about ELPS!   I noticed our many Parent Organizations were not mentioned, so I added that.  If you want to add something, just edit the page and save!

Don't Forget Our ELPS Literacy Wiki

If you haven't seen it, visit it here. This Wiki is meant to be a companion to this Literacy Newsletter Blog and is a place we can store materials, share materials, and collaborate on our current projects.

Here you will find materials for our current projects, such as the RAISE work being done with a group of ELHS teachers, but also past professional development materials, both K-6 and 7-12, CCSS materials, commonly referenced research on reading and writing instruction, and materials you can distribute to parents and/or students.

Please navigate to the various pages by clicking on the links to the right. If you are looking for something, and cannot find it, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

UDL: Adolescent Literacy in the Content Area

To meet the needs of all learners, and make learning possible, I have modified my lesson in the Universal Design for Learning model (UDL).  The changes reflect considerations for recognition, strategic, and affective areas.

Goal-directed Instructional Design Plan - Adolescent Literacy in the Content Areas Author - Melissa Brooks-Yip
1       A problem or a need – With Common Core State Standards requiring literacy in all content areas, teachers will need to solidify their understanding of disciplinary literacy and reading for understanding.
2       A real-world performance – how the learning objective fits into a real-world activity or need.
Teachers will be aware of, understand, include in their lesson plan, and implement one or more of the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects.
3       An instructional objective – the objectives are based on the final outcome, activity or test. These objectives will each be different for the four types of knowledge; performing skills, recalling facts, identifying examples of concepts, and applying principles.
Teachers will read and understand the Common Core State Standards for literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects.
Teachers will solidify their understanding of the “Big Five” of adolescent literacy.
Teachers will create a lesson plan to incorporate one a reading, writing, speaking, or listening strategy into their content area literacy.
4       A set of essential content – the basic ideas and skills that will allow the learner to complete the task or understand the content
Teachers will need to read/review the elements of adolescent literacy in the content area through research articles available online, and other online resources.
·       UDL: Summarize and provide main points in another format.
·       Find or create a webcast explaining the findings of research, or a PowerPoint or other presentation format to include visual/audio cues.
Review of professional development sessions on adolescent literacy:
UDL: Provide paper copies to those who need it.
After reading the articles, webcasts, and reviewing the professional development presentations, teachers will create their own lesson plan incorporating one of the elements into a lesson in their content area.
5       An evaluation consisting of a test or observation – an assessment, observation or product showing that the objectives can be accomplished in the real-world setting
Teachers will submit their final lesson plan to our Companion Wikispace.  The lesson plan must be in the Backwards Design model (Wiggins and McTighe) format and focus on incorporating one of the five elements of adolescent literacy into their content areas, and meeting at least one CCSS.
Teachers will deliver the lesson to their students and video tape the teaching.  A follow-up lesson will be to watch and reflect upon the lesson with their TLT partner (Teachers Learning Together).
6       A method to help participants learn – the method to deliver the content; a lesson.
In addition to meeting with me personally after reviewing our past professional development sessions as outlined above, teachers may use the following resources for ideas and examples:
*UDL: for continued support, Provide chat sessions (Adobe Connect, Google Hangout).
-Provide one-on-one time on the telephone.
Utilize Google Docs to provide feedback on student work and/or work on it with them.
   Meaningfullness – content and activities must have meaning for the learner.
This lesson and activity begins to meet the CCSS expectations for teachers to incorporate literacy in the content areas.  Administrators look for this upon teacher evaluation.
   Pleasant consequences – the effects that achieving the goal will have on the learner
Knowledge of meeting teaching objectives, CCSS, and the needs of their students as learners.
   Novelty – an attention-getting, humorous or curious manner that relates to the useful information in your lesson
Several online resources are available: Blogs, videos, and example plans, in addition to face-to-face time with myself (literacy consultant/instructional coach) and a peer/fellow teachers.

      Socialization - a strong motivator for student learning
Teachers work with their TLT partner, formerly arranged through work Kevin Feldman training around student engagement and motivation.  These partners frequently work together on plannig and observing each others teaching.  Trust has been built between these teaching partners.
      Audience – For what audience are you designing this lesson? Consider the following:
   Age:  Adult learners- content area teachers
   Skill level (including technology skills).  All adults are college educated, although technology skill level may vary.
   Prerequisite knowledge (including technology background): Teachers will need to know basic lesson plan design, and how to access our past professional development on our Blog and Wikispace. UDL: Provide some background knowledge of the lesson plan structure and technology (via article or video) or one-on-one support.

      Technology Needs – the computers, software, programs (such as Angel or other CMS’s) printers, equipment, Internet access, time in the computer lab will be needed to successfully complete your technology-rich lesson.
Teachers may use the PC with internet access available in their classrooms.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Literacy Implementation Guidance for 

ELA Common Core State Standards

     The International Reading Association has issued a concise, detailed statement regarding guidelines for implementing the Common Core State Standards. 
      This statement zeroes in on specific language in the Standards, including new meanings of key terms, major shifts in instructional focus, and critical points on which the Standards are simply silent. In each instance, the committee has given bulleted recommendations that address the identified challenge by offering practical strategies for moving forward. -IRA

     If you haven't had a chance to read this short document, it is well worth your time for the clarification and understanding it provides.   You can download it at the IRA site. 

Digital Literacy: Reading, Writing, 

Speaking and 

Listening with Podcasts

     Ever consider creating podcasts with your students? What is a podcast? 

     The word podcast is a play on the word broadcast combined with the word iPod.You do not have to have an iPod to listen to a podcast.  Anyone can create a podcast on any topic with new, original content and share their creativity with the world. (from

   ReadWriteThink has a guide for grades 3-12 teachers on creating podcasts with students.  Podcasts can be used across grade levels and content areas. This tool provides the nuts and bolts of creating a podcast, including links to video tutorials with thorough instructions and free software. Peruse the "Extras" section to access resources with free audio and images to use with your podcasts.

    I enjoy working with digital literacy and technology in the classroom.  If you consider doing podcasts with your students and need help, please contact me!