Improving Adolescent Literacy Content Area Strategies at Work

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-12-24
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Practical, straightforward, and affordable, this guide gives middle and secondary school teachers the tools they need to support their students’ comprehension and success in literacy and in content area learning. The classroom-proven strategies and procedures included are taken from the authors’ and their colleagues’ experience in middle and secondary classrooms. Each chapter opens with a vignette from an actual classroom to show readers effective teaching in action and to give them a look at how the chapter’s instructional approach works within content area teaching. Research-based rationales for each strategy follow the vignettes and provide an in-depth look at how to implement the strategy, along with examples of each strategy across the curriculum. The Enhanced Pearson eText features embedded video and assessments. 


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Author Biography

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College having been an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award, the Farmer award for excellence in writing from the National Council of Teachers of English, as well as a Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education. He has published numerous articles on reading and literacy, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design as well as books, such as Better Learning Through Structured Teaching, Rigorous Reading, and Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading.


Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is a Professor of Literacy in the Department of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University. She is the recipient of the 2008 Early Career Achievement Award from the National Reading Conference. Nancy has published in The Reading Teacher, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, English Journal, Voices in the Middle, Middle School Journal, Remedial and Special Education, TESOL Journal, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Early Childhood Education Journal, and Educational Leadership. She has co-authored (with Doug Fisher) books on formative assessment (Checking for Understanding and Formative Assessment Action Plan), instructional design (Better Learning for Structured Teaching), data-driven instruction (Using Data to Focus Instructional Improvement), and brain-based learning (In a Reading State of Mind.) Nancy is a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California, and has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels for two decades.  She is a teacher-leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College, where she learns from her colleagues and students every day.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Make Content Area Strategies Work for You 1
Shifting Responsibility from Teacher to Students 3
Transparent Teaching and Transportable Learning 3
Distinguishing Teaching from Learning 4
Classroom Assessment Practices 6
Selecting the Right Assessment 6
Types of Informal Assessments 7
Using the Results of Informal Assessments 11
Types of Formal Assessments 11
Using the Results of Formal Assessments 12
Link the Results of Assessment to Instruction 12
Conclusion 13
Chapter 2 Engaging Questions and Discussions 15
Creating Quality Questions 17
Discussions: Structures for Students to Discuss Questions 23
Using Questions and Discussion for Assessment 27
Reciprocal Teaching in English 32
Questioning the Author in English 33
ReQuest in Social Studies 34
Question–Answer Relationships in Science 35
Reciprocal Teaching in Mathematics 37
Student-Generated Questioning in Electives 39
Conclusion 40
Chapter 3 Deepening Interactions with Texts 41
Reading Aloud 42
Planning for Read Alouds in Secondary Classrooms 44
Shared Reading 44
Planning for Shared Reading in Secondary Classrooms 45
Close Reading 49
Planning for Close Reading in Secondary Classrooms 50
Assessment of Interactions with Texts 50
Close Reading in English 51
Shared Reading in Mathematics 52
Shared Reading and Think Alouds in Social Studies 54
Shared Reading in Science 56
Read Alouds and Shared Reading in Electives 56
Conclusion 58
Chapter 4 Robust Vocabulary Learning 61
The Importance of Vocabulary Knowledge 62
Vocabulary Acquisition 63
Vocabulary Instruction 64
Using Vocabulary for Assessment 65
Vocabulary Instruction in English 65
Vocabulary Instruction in Social Studies 68
Vocabulary Instruction in Mathematics 70
Vocabulary Instruction in Science 72
Vocabulary Instruction in Electives 73
Conclusion 75
Chapter 5 Transformative Graphic Organizers 77
Teaching and Learning with Graphic Organizers 78
When to Use a Graphic Organizer 79
Types of Graphic Organizers 81
Teaching Graphic Organizers 84
Using Graphic Organizers for Assessment 84
Graphic Organizers in English 86
Graphic Organizers in Social Studies 89
Graphic Organizers in Mathematics 92
Graphic Organizers in Science 93
Graphic Organizers in Electives 94
Conclusion 96
Chapter 6 Making and Taking Worthy Notes 97
Why Teach Students How to Take Notes? 98
Setting Up Students for Successful Notetaking 99
Using Notetaking and Note Making for Assessment 100
Notetaking in English 102
Notetaking in Mathematics 105
Note Making in Social Studies 107
Taking Notes with Guest Speakers in Social Studies 109
Note Making in Science 111
Notetaking in Electives 113
Conclusion 117
Chapter 7 Purposeful Writing to Learn 119
Defining and Defending Writing to Learn 120
Applying Three Kinds of Knowledge 121
Developing Writing Skills 122
Using Writing Prompts for Assessment 124
Writing to Learn in English 126
Writing to Learn in Mathematics 128
Writing to Learn in Social Studies 130
Writing to Learn in Science 133
Writing to Learn in Electives 135
Conclusion 136
References 137
Index 143

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