Tuesday, July 29, 2014

TURN CCSS Summer Conference - Day 2 and Diving into Depth of Knowledge, Making Sure They Get it: Comprehension Skills in the CCSS

In case anyone is wondering if I made it out to a game, I did. It was a wonderful day for baseball and Wrigley Field did not disappoint. I would have taken a picture of my hotdog, but it was so delicious, it was eaten before I had a chance to think about it! Here are some pictures I did remember to take:

The Cubbies won! Apparently, it was a surprise to even their fans! Hence, a great night for Chicago Cub fans everywhere.

Today’s presentation at the TURN Conference will be on Depth of Knowledge and Comprehension Skills.

Click HERE to Access the Slides for Today
The links below are great resources of Blooms Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge.

2.     Hess’ Cognitive Rigor Matrix & Curricular Examples | Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy
7.     Common Core State Standards: Rigor | Bloom's Taxonomy and Norman Webb's depth of knowledge 

Common Core Critical Thinking Reading Passages - College and Career Readiness
Critical thinking reading passages are the foundation of Socratic seminars and quality close reading. Selecting reading passages that inspire curiosity, critical thinking and can be used for either close reading or Socratic seminars takes pre-planning and a bit of text analysis. One of the best methods for selecting Critical Thinking Reading Passages is using a Syntopical examination of how many great ideas the passages contain. Dr. Mortimer J. Adler created a list of 103 philosophical topics that can be used to analyze text for the quality of ideas presented. Text selection is key to quality close reading and immersive Socratic seminars
1.    Socratic Seminar - My favorite Rubric and Guide 
The purpose of a Socratic Seminar is to achieve a deeper understanding about the ideas and values in a text. In the Seminar, participants systematically question and examine issues and principles related to a particular content, and articulate different points-of-view. The group conversation assists participants in constructing meaning through disciplined analysis, interpretation, listening, and participation
2.    Socratic Seminar: Participant Rubric- Students Participant Rubric (Peer-Evaluation and Self Evaluation)
3.   Socratic Seminar Rubric - Basic Participant Rubric
Dr. Mortimer J. Adler Co-Founder and Chairman Center For the Study of the Great Ideas

The list of 103 ideas is broken between the two volumes, as follows:

Volume I: AngelAnimalAristocracyArtAstronomyBeautyBeingCauseChanceChange,  
Life and DeathLogic, and Love.

Volume II: ManMathematicsMatterMechanicsMedicineMemory and Imagination,
TimeTruthTyranny and DespotismUniversal and ParticularVirtue and Vice
War and PeaceWealthWillWisdom, and World.

Depaul University:
ReadWorks -K-8 Reading Passages

How to find Lexile® Scores
One website that helps determine the Grade Level Equivalency (GLE) of a passage is called STORYtoolz. You simply copy and paste your text into the box, and it averages several different GLE programs to provide an overall GLE score. 
The other website provides information about the percentage of words in a passage that are high frequency words. This vocabulary profiler website looks daunting, but it's really quite easy to use. You simply copy and paste your text into the box and click the submit window. You will then be shown the percentage of words in the text that fall within the 1,000 most high frequency words and the 2,000 most high frequency words. 
Use these websites to check readability levels of passages your ESOL students read to ensure that you're providing students with readings that are level appropriate. As a rule of thumb, ESOL students should know 90% to 95% of the words in a passage to be level-appropriate.
Helps you read more, understand difficult English faster, and learn words in new ways.
Another resource that I discovered recently is the Readability Calculator at Online-Utility.org. The tool allows you to either enter a URL or directly copy and paste text into a text box. Their algorithm is more or less spelled out in the analysis, and the results are estimated for several different metrics including the Flesh-Kincaid. This is a must bookmark for any teacher.
Another web-based resource available to determine a Lexile® score. A Lexile® score takes into account the frequency of the vocabulary used within the text, as well as sentence length. This is an alternative to a Grade Level Equivalency measure. 

The Lexile® Analyzer is a tool developed by MetaMetrics that you can use to determine a Lexile® score for text that you write or select to ensure that the text is at an appropriate reading level for your students. After submitting your text on the Lexile® Analyzer, the tool will generate a Lexile® measure. To do this, you first have to register on the Lexile® website with your email address and password. Then you prepare your text by saving your text as a plain text file (using a ".txt" extension). Then you upload the file, and the analyzer tool will generate the Lexile® score.

Literacy Leveler – Quickly Determine a Book’s Reading Level
Literacy Leveler is a an iOS app (iPhone and iPad versions available) that allows you scan a book’s ISBN barcode and discover the reading level of the content of that book. Literacy Leveler supports Lexile®, DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment®), and Guided Reading leveling systems. If you don’t have a book’s ISBN barcode available, you can search for books by title or author. After discovering the reading level of a book’s content you can add it to a library in Literacy Leveler. Literacy Leveler’s database is focused on books that are appropriate for elementary school and middle school students.
Video clip I showed during this session: 
Organize Your Thinking to Critically Analyze Text
Grade 5 / Social Studies / Reading CCSS: ELA.RI.5.2 ELA.SL.5.1

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer TURN Conference & K-12 Common Core Instructional Strategies

I’m working this week in Chicago, Illinois. They don’t call it the “Windy City” for nothing! As I walked out of the Chicago O’Hara airport, I felt the gust of wind. It was actually refreshing and whimsical. It is a beautiful city that I can’t wait to explore after my presentations at the Regional TURN Summer CCSS Conference. I am also looking forward to having a hot dog “Chicago style” at Wrigley Field. Tonight, the Cubs play against the Rockies. I came here over a decade ago but the Cubbies were out of town. I have never been inside the stadium. I can’t wait to see the old hand operated scoreboard. Here's something about me some don't know, I’m a baseball fanatic. I always cheer for my home team, the Dodgers, but love visiting vintage stadiums.

My presentation at the TURN Conference for today will be on K-12 Common Core Instructional Strategies. As I was planning this workshop, I knew that my time would be limited and that I needed to choose strategies that would best target the needs of my audience. There is only so much you can cover in seventy-five minutes. Hence, I am posting additional resources that will cover gaps or include more elaboration from today’s discussion.

Sentence Frames and Sentence Starters
Sentence Frames for Summary.doc    

A video from the Teaching Channel on how to structure writing with sentence frames.
2-minute video


Click HERE for a resource with Websites of Interest: Inquiry

Interactive Read Alouds
Visit a previous post on my blog on Read Alouds. In this previous post, I went into depth how to use various strategies during interactive read alouds in the classroom. Click HERE to take you there. 

Resources for the classroom that I discussed today: 

I use the Steps to Structuring an Academic Class Discussion to guide how I group the students. I also constantly focus on academic language development. All the lessons that I prepare always have a vocabulary component. You can look at some of the CCSS strategies I used in my collaborative presentation at CTA Good Teaching Conference, in Anaheim, California. Click on the following to view them: Literacy Strategies. These strategies were compiled by Norma Sanchez, from the California Teachers Association (CTA).
How can we get our students to have meaningful discussions?
  • Provide opportunities for extended discourse & engagement with academic registers
  • Develop meaningful collaborative tasks that allow students to use their full linguistic/cultural resources
  • Teach students strategies to engage in varied communicative modes

Strategies to Activate Knowledge

Strategies to Engage the Learner

Strategies to Strengthen Literacy

Culturally Responsive Teaching Instructional Strategies:

Think aloud - Teacher reads passages and models thought processes for students on how to ask themselves questions as they comprehend text. 
Reciprocal questioning - Teachers and students engage in shared reading, discussion, and questioning with the goal being to help students learn to ask questions of themselves about the meaning they are constructing as they read. 
Interdisciplinary units - Recommended that teachers include and connect content learning with language arts and culturally diverse literature. Topics drawn from children’s lives and interests (sometimes from curriculum) demonstrate how to make connections across the curriculum through culturally relevant literature. 
Scaffolding - Teacher explicitly demonstrates the difference between what students can accomplish independently and what they can accomplish with instructional support. 
Journal writing gives students opportunities to share their personal understandings regarding a range of literature in various cultural contexts that inform, clarify, explain, or educate them about culturally diverse societies. 
Character study journals permit students to make their own personal connections with a specific character as they read a story. 
Open-ended projects allow students to contribute at their varying levels of ability and explore a topic of interest drawn from their readings of culturally rich literature. Artifacts, including writings, poems, and/or letters, from students’ lives or culture can represent an ethnic or cultural group. 
Cross-cultural literature discussions groups - Students discuss quality fiction and nonfiction literature that authentically depicts members of diverse cultural groups. 
Character reading - Students form opinions about a specific issue or cultural concept put forward in the text or respond to a significant event that occurred during the character’s life.