The Early Language Gap is About More than Words
Our Study of Early Literacy (SOEL) group here at WISD has been deep into reading recent research and learning from top experts at local universities. Dr. Tanya Wright from MSU shared this video illustrating the importance of teaching more than just vocabulary words. Look below the "tip of the iceberg" to reveal what is included in truly understanding the meaning of a word.
*from the Shanker Institute
Writing Collaborative: Addressing Instruction for 21st Century Writing Skills
Writing Collaborative was developed at WISD by five Washtenaw County teachers. The mission of Writing Collaborative is to understand writing in content areas in order to make explicit the processes and strategies needed to expand and improve student writing. Writing Collaborative believes that:
- Teachers should maintain ownership for their students’ writing in their content area.
- An interdisciplinary approach is key to improving student writing.
- Content area teachers who understand their own writing processes are the best mentors for their student writers.
- Teachers are the best teachers of other teachers.
- Educational practice should be balanced with theory and research.
- Students should have flexibility and choice when writing.
- Reading Apprenticeship provides a foundation for better writing instruction.
Interested in training?
During the initial 3-day training, Writing Collaborative helps teachers help their students determine:
Ø What we do when we write
Ø The practices of successful writers
Ø How to help students attend to their metacognition and
make thoughtful choices as writers
make thoughtful choices as writers
Ø Four Sure Things Teachers Can Do to Improve Student Writing
· Mind the GAP: genre, audience, purpose
· Use models and modeling
· Increase opportunities for students to write
· Give appropriate feedback
*See the bottom of this post for dates and registration info.
*We are interested in learning more about the needs of teachers in the area of writing instruction. Please take this SHORT SURVEY to help us continue quality professional development in this area.
*Have you already been trained in Writing Collaborative? If you are a secondary science or social studies teacher looking to work more on your content area writing instruction, Dr. Chauncey Monte-Sano and Dr. Leah Bricker at the University of Michigan are offering opportunities. Contact Melissa Brooks-Yip at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-994-8100 ext 1266
Finding the Right Books for Common Core-
In Reading Today, Lauren Aimonette Liang (University of Utah), Naomi Watkins (University of La Verne), and Deanna Day (Washington State University/Vancouver) suggest ways to find challenging, high-quality texts that match the criteria of the Common Core State Standards. “Be aware of the various types of nonfiction, and strive to include a variety in classrooms,” they urge. Teachers should also consider different formats: picture books, magazines, novels, how-to guides, and a variety of informational texts.
They suggest the following websites as resources:
• Booklist: http://booklistonline.com/commoncore
• International Reading Association: www.reading.org/elacommoncore
• Hornbook’s Nonfiction Notes:
• School Library Journal: www.slj.com/category/standards/common-core
• Text Project: www.textproject.org
• World of Words: http://wowlit.org
In addition, Liang, Watkins, and Day recommend the following books (each with a Lexile level):
• Island: A Story of the Galapagos (J. Chin, Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, 2012 – 900L)
• Lincoln’s Grave Robbers (S. Sheinkin, Scholastic, 2012 – 930L)
• Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk Into Treasure (M. Wolfe, Feiwel and Friends, 2013 – 1030L)
• Frog Song (F.Z. Guiberson, Henry Hold & Company, 2013 – 950L)
• The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure (M. W. Sandler,
Candlewick, 2012 – 1270L)
• Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure (J. Murphy,
Clarion Books, 2012 – 1200L)
Upcoming Literacy Professional Development
Writing Collaborative (grades 4-12):
February 6, 7, and March 7, 2014 at WISD 8:30-3:30
April 29, 30, and May 16, 2014 at WISD 8:30-3:30 *See flyer here
Reading Apprenticeship (grades 4-12):
January 28, 29 and February 12, 2014 at WISD 8:30-3:30
April 22, 23 and May 14, 2014 at WISD 8:30-3:30 *See flyer here
Speaker: Dr. Timothy Shanahan on elementary literacy and the CCSS. March 11th , 2014 12:30
*All details, costs, and registrations can be found on WISDGoSignMeUP!