Now a freshman at City College in New York City, Jason was a senior at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx when he wrote the following as part of a “reading autobiography” required for his graduation portfolio. “In class, he looked as if he were never paying attention,” said Nancy Mann, Hamer’s principal, but his reflection revealed
What does a year-long “academic literacy” course look like? One example offered by the teachers involved with WestEd’s Strategic Literacy Initiative uses three long units that build on each other, as follows: From September through November, the class focuses on “reading self and society”–finding and exploring written materials that interest each reader while building and reflecting on new skills and
Much of the “quiet crisis” in adolescent literacy has to do with empowering students to use language critically– seeing it not as a barrier but an entry into a world they can question and shape. As jason sat Through his seventh-grade classes in those days–the room crowded to bursting with New York City students like himself–he learned to tune out
How can you tell when someone is a good reader? What do teachers look for when they are trying to understand how well someone reads? Asking students this question helps begin to unpack and demystify the reading process, say researchers from the Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI) at WestEd, the federal regional educational laboratory in San Francisco. Not everyone realizes how
When student projects culminate with an artistic performance, says Brown education professor Eileen Landay, they set in motion a “community of practice” that opens students up to learning, as her diagram below shows. As they build skills in repeated rehearsals, she said, they regulate their own behavior; and the feedback they get has an obvious, logical purpose. “It creates a
Many Essential school secondary teachers have found help for struggling readers in the activity called “reciprocal teaching.” Aimed specifically at improving comprehension in the subject areas, this strategy has teachers and students enter into a dialogue in which they summarize, generate questions, clarify, and predict various things about a segment of text. Teacher and students take turns leading the dialogue,
“The more you empower kids, the more they can do,” said one Providence actor after working with Rhode Island public school students in the Arts/ Literacy Project, based at Brown University’s education department. The following factors are fundamental to the approach, which links local artists with classroom teachers and students to create performances and boost literacy: Literacy and Performance Objectives.
Jim Burke, Reading Reminders: Tools, Tips, and Techniques (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann—Boynton/Cook, 2000). Emily Cousins, Amy Mednick, and Meg Campbell, Literacy All Day Long (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2000). M.E. Curtis and A.M. Longo. When Adolescents Can’t Read: Methods and Materials that Work (Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books, 1999). C. Cziko, “Reading Happens in Your Mind, Not Your Mouth,” California English 3, no.