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Authentic Literacy

Michael Schmoker's Focus - Elevating the essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning

Rob Reetz

on 18 April 2014

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Transcript of Authentic Literacy

What We Teach:

Focus on content rich curriculum

Teach essential standards in sufficient

Provide adequate time for deep reading, writing and talking.
How We Teach:
Structurally sound lessons
Conscientious effort throughout lesson to assess understanding.
Authentic Literacy:
purposeful and usually argumentative
reading, writing, and talking.
Authentic !
Literacy for the sake of learning
Schmoker writes that college ready students can:
Read to infer/interpret/draw conclusions
Support arguments with textual evidence
Resolve conflicting views encountered in source documents
Solve complex problems w/ no obvious answer
Teaching Reading:
Teach Vocab
Establish a purpose
Teach/model close reading techniques
Interactive Lecture
Schools can't be a place where students go to
watch teachers work.
Learners need a chance to process new
information every few minutes
Circulate and assess student understanding
Engineer effective discussions that elicit evidence of leanring
What is the division of labor in your classroom?
Students would benefit from increased opportunities to read, write and discuss

Schmoker believes:
-Reading/writing/discussing should comprise as much as 1/3 of a student's school day

-schools should increase offerings of controversial non-fiction readings.

-Provide frequent opportunities for formal discussion of reading
Questioning is key to setting a purpose
and increasing comprehension

Pre-reading: generate questions using only
the language of the headline (main idea)

During reading: generate questions to "Stump the Teacher"

Post reading: Generate open ended questions on information not yet known:
questions related to the kind of information that might be included in a follow-up to this article
ReQuest Technique

Vocab Word sort (ISF Website)
Classification strategy where students cluster words together in meaningful ways
Teach and Model close reading
Teach them to show their work!
Students should highlight information that answers the questions they generated prior to or during the reading

students take on role of teacher to form questions about a reading selection, and the teacher models how to answer.
Teacher then scripts questions that require higher level of thinking with goal of teaching students to frame more inference based questions
Socratic Seminar
make it formal
provide questions for discussion in advance and require students to be prepared
choose a leader and have a clearly defined role for that leader
require textual evidence in support of argument
Teach discussion stems
For beginning or struggling readers
37 most common spelling patterns
50 most common transferable word chunks
High frequency word lists
Assigning writing vs. teaching writing

"If schools were to make just one change to make students more college ready, it should be to increase the amount and quality of writing students are expected to produce."
-David Conley
Socratic Seminar
Socrates believed we learn best by asking essential questions and testing tentative answers against reason and fact in a continual circle of honest debate.
Use formal names
Provide discussion questions in advance
Require stuents to prepare
Require studnets to use textual evidence to
support their argument
Stresses importance of effective lessons
Clear learning objectives
Guided practice - frequent opportunities to work in pairs
Checks for understanding (Formative Assessment)
4 Applications of Formative Assessment
Immediate instructional adjustment
Near Future Instructional Adjustment
Last Chance instructional Adjustment
Student driven adjustment in learning
Also referred to as "Stump the Teacher"
Schmoker believes few students receive careful, explicit, instruction on how to improve a single element or feature of good writing.
Research indicates teachers spend on average 3 minutes explaining a writing assignment before cutting kids loose to write
(Hillocks, 1987)
The best writing instruction includes
use of modeling and exemplars
continuous explanation and feedback
use of rubrics to provide "self-feedback"
students explicitly taught how to use rubrics to evaluation their own work
Explore and understand Authentic Literacy through the research and writings of Michael Schmoker.

Utilize "Reciprocal Teaching" method to increase students' ability to question, clarify, predict and summarize.

Discuss current reality of literacy instruction in your building, and possible ways to increase opportunities for students to read, write and discuss.

words are practiced daily
posted on word-walls
referred to incessantly
for meaning
These are great learning targets for our students
Reciprocal Teaching (See hand-out)
Collaborative routine for improving comprehension
groups of 4 (summarizer, clarifier, questioner, predictor)
give stopping point in reading for students to demonstrate roles and discuss
summarizer expresses key ideas
questioner poses questions, clarifiers answers
predictor offers guesses as to what the author will say next
Whip Discussion
Comments by students "whip" around the classroom.
Students may share a unique idea or connect and build on another student's idea.
Writing is perhaps the best formative tool
for assessing student thinking
At your table, briefly discuss the following two questions and choose one person to represent your thoughts:

What might you considering doing to increase or improve the literacy instruction in your classroom?

How might we as a district work to increase or improve literacy instruction within a P14 alignment?
Full transcript