Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Literacy in the Content Areas

     Supporting reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking is essential for the content in every classroom and every grade. 
  To engage students in literacy tasks and skills in every classroom, teachers can carefully choose how to respond to students to promote that thinking. Consider these teacher talk stems and metacognitive questions while facilitating content with students.  These talk stems help to get students thinking rather than simply acknowledging an answer as right or wrong. Students can answer these questions in writing, through discussion, or if they can't answer them, this may mean re-reading is needed! 

What did you mean by that?
How does that work?
Can you explain that?
Tell me more.
What did your partner say?
Does anyone have a different idea?
What makes you think that?
Any other details about…..?
Where did you see that in the text?
How did you figure that word out?
Are you making a prediction?
How do you know that?
What was your process for figuring that out?
Talk to me…elaborate.
Did anyone else have an idea about that?
How did you figure that out?
*For more information, check out Reading for Understanding- the companion text to Reading Apprenticeship teacher workshops.
Organized Interaction- 
Clock Buddies for Partnering  
        As a former English teacher, I frequently partnered students for discussion, peer editing, and reading. One thing I used consistently and found very useful was the Clock Buddies organizer. Clock Buddies is meant to be a quick and easy way to create pairs for partnered activities while avoiding the problem of kids always having the same partners.  It begins with a clock face, with slots for names at each hour.  Each student has his/her own copy of the clock to make "appointments" with  12 different classmates. Students can keep these to use all semester or year long.  See the whole description on this site, and download a copy of a clock.  

Upcoming Literacy PD at WISD

Writing Collaborative teacher workshops (secondary content areas):

Fall 2013: Oct. 22, 23 and Nov. 14
Winter 2014: Feb. 6, 7 and March 7
Spring 2014: April 29, 30 and May 16
Reading Apprenticeship teacher workshops (secondary content areas):

Winter 2014:  Jan. 28, 29 and Feb. 12
Spring 2014:   April 22, 23 and May 14
 *See flyer here

Early Literacy: 
Tim Shanahan on Early Literacy:  March 11, 2014

*All details, costs, and registrations can be found on WISDGoSignMeUP!