Monday, July 7, 2008

L 517 Brozo - Motivation

pg 133-162
7 Guidelines for Creating Motivating Contexts for Literacy & Learning
  1. Elevate Self-Efficacy
  2. Engender Interest in Learning
  3. Generate situational interest (for a particular lesson)
  4. Connect outside- with inside-school literacies and learning
  5. Make an abundance of Interesting Texts available
  6. Expand Student Choices and Options
  7. Structure Collaboration for Motivation
What might get in the way?
  1. students who come to HS already defeated - feeling like they can't succeed in reading - providing enough background knowledge to be successful- or choosing activities in the communities in which students have a great deal of bg knowledge
  2. active participants vs passive learning, how does it relate to their lives, provide opps for enjoyable reading
  3. time, money/resources, assessment pressures

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

L 517 Brozo CH 2 - PRincipled Practices for Effective Reading and Learning

pg 23 - Literacy and content area learning strategies are effective only when they are applied in appropriate ways and not as a "one-size-fits-all" approach.

Principles that Promote engaged Reading and Learning
1. Connect everyday literacies and funds of knowledge with academic literacy and learning.
2. Use assessment as a tool for learning and future growth - CATs
3. Engage and sustain effort in reading, writing, and thinking
4. Express critical perspectives and interpretations
5.Gather and organize print and non-print sources for increasing understanding of information and ideas
6. Expand and generate new understandings using information and communication techniques

L 517: Tovani CH 1

FEwer strategies are better if taught well and used meaningfully

Use of real questions when interacting with text.

Good readers monitor their comprehension - recognize when confused and do something to repair it.

Thinking strategies
1. Activating backgruond knowledge - connect new to known
2. Self-questioning to clarify
3. Drawing inferences
4. Determining what's most important in text vs details
5. using fix-up strategies to repair confusion
6. Use sensory visualization to enhance comprehension
7. Synthesizing and extending thinking

Fix-up strategies- how to get unstuck when text gets confusing
1. Make a connection between text and - your life, knowledge of world, another text
2. make a prediction
3. stop and think about what you've read
4. Ask yourself a question and try to answer it
5. reflect in writing what you've read
6. visualize
7. use print conventions
8. re-tell what you;ve read
9. re-read
10. Notice patterns in text structure
11.Adjust your reading rate - slow down or speed up - look for definitions in text.

As content teachers - think of your role as teaching content but also teaching students how to remember and reuse the info we ask them to read.

Why teach strategies? To help them be more thoughtful about their reading - meaning arrives because we are purposefully engaged in thinking while we read... (pg 9)

Adolescent Literacy: Brozo CH 1Adol Literacies and identity

"Adolescence is marked by an active and self-conscious process of identity construction" (pg 7)

4th grade slump - they lose interest in more formal academic endeavors..."As young people become more cognitively astute and self-aware they seek contexts that support their growing sense of autonomy, desire fr social networking, and identity development." (pg 8)

What works?
Offer a curriculum that is responsive to the interest and abilities they b ring to school and pays attention to who they are as individuals.

Language, culture, and identity are intertwined...

Literacy in everyday lives of youth-IM, Internet, compu games, using tech like MP3s

Schools should make room for the ways student discourse has changed - expressed through variety of media...
What counts as literacy?" (pg 13) Help them translate the familiar to the unfamiliar - literacy on their terms to literacy in academic arenas...

Dispelling stereotypes about adolescents and thinking of possibilities.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How I have used this blog this semester

This blog was really useful to me this semester! I used it to:
  • process the readings - as I read, I took notes on significant passages - it helps me to remember and understand what I'm reading
  • one aspect of the power of blogs is the ability to tag postings - that allowed me to categorize each post according to theme or topic -E.G. Was it a wrap-up post or was it a post on reading strategies?" By giving each post several meaningful tags, I can then search by that tag to gather the postings later - If I want to just read my wrap-up posts to help me write my final course reflection, I can do that because I've been posting and tagging all along. SO the blog can help me to synthesize my thinking
  • Just the fact that I've tried to write an entry for each reading I do - helps me to process the reading more - I can then pull out sections of my own thought to add to the discussions in Oncourse
  • It would have been nice to have input into the blog from others - but I got this from the online discussion in class - so this worked as a personal reflection space and resource gathering location
  • I was able to share this application of blogs with faculty locally - I ended up helping a communications faculty incorporate blogs into her course this term - a course on political ads - students used the space to look at ads and discuss them - As I saw the potential of my own blog in helping me in the writing process - I talked to her and we decided to do a follow-up session with her students to get them to use a blog to help them write their research papers - reflective writing as they read sources + tagging(organizing their thoughts) + input from classmates = better paper.... we'll see...

Books of Interest

Because I am not teaching children, I'll use this space to write about books that may be useful to my faculty - resources on teaching and learning in higher ed

Teaching and learning resources for higher ed from NEA -

Sunday, March 23, 2008

KVS: Keeping Track Moving FOrward Ethnographic Approach to Assessment

Definitions of Ethnographic Study on the Web:

  • The systematic collection of data derived from direct observation of the everyday life of a particular society, group or subculture. ...

  • CH 8 - pp 116-134

    1. use a number of data sources to safeguard against simplistic thinking/conclusions

    2. Fieldwork= collecting data but also knowing how to access it, revisit, analyze, and use it


    • Taking notes - use notebooks or observation sheets to focus you on what you are looking for - learner characteristics or group process or observations of minipresentations
    • Replaying activities - videotape or record interactions so you can look at them later
    • Surveying students - when we have direct questions on our minds - or want input about what is working or not...
    • Tracking activity - what ideas have students been interested in over time, or how have certain students' social interactions changed over time, or how have reflections of each changed over time -describing growth articulating goals
Evaluating Growth, Determining goals - not a linear process - converging, expanding never-ending students learn from and about...

  • working with others
  • learning how to develop and pursue agendas
  • learn to research multiple viewpoints
  • learn to listen to others
  • learn to re-think their previous positions
  • learn to envision different futures, etc.
  1. Revisiting Data - put it in your schedule so you do it - make it part of a regular routine
  2. Choosing a Focus - create an observation sheet to guide our inquiry
  3. Using FLexible Systems: Narratives, Observation sheets, and Locally Generated Criteria - list descriptors aligned with what you hope they are learning how to do - from these, create the obs sheets, surveys, checklists, etc.. that let you record activity and see growth over time
  4. Gather many perspectives - more than one observer - staff, students themselves
  5. Set goals - students should be able to set concrete goals for their learning and moving forward
CONCLUSION - Literacy is more than mastering a list of sequenced skills, it is becoming a certain sort of person (pg133)

Invitations get students to become not just readers/writers... but THINKERS:
  • becoming literate includes...
    • asking questions
    • developing agendas
    • exploring perspectives
    • going public with their thinking
    • generating new questions and
    • working to challenge a simple understanding of the world
Invitations get students to use language as they were learning language!!!!! This has always been my underlying philosophy about language teaching and learning...

KVS: Teaching in the Moment

Observing students in process is important - identify what they need in the moment - and decide how to teach it - teach students by:
  • naming what they are doing
  • offering advice to help move the group or individuals forward by - asking critical questions,using multiple ways of knowing, talking with or back to texts
  • demonstrating new inquiry (CL) practices - reading critically,engaging in democratic dialogs,choosing language that supports collaborative Inquiry, introducing other CLs

Introducing other CLs
  • counternarratives to stories told - in newspapers, magazines, essays, books, etc...
  • Talking POints (organize your thoughts before speaking)
  • Note taking -what's important?
  • Committees - we don't get stuff done alone - form a committee to take it forward to action

KVS: Teaching Inquiry through Strategy Lessons

Becoming a critical inquirer (pg. 82)

Help students move beyond fact finding, retelling, and making personal connections - to - issues they explore as a means to create a more just world.

Shifting kids awareness from finding out what to becoming aware of the practices and processes they use as critical inquirers... like shifting focus from listening to a teacher teach content (the "what") to watching "how" she is teaching...

How do you get them to see the processes they are using?

Mapping paths of inquiry - sketch a kind of storyboard of the actual group process - they can then share and discuss with other groups the different processed used.

Sorting Questions and Responses - Data-gathering questions vs process-questions vs critical questions

Imagining Alternative Scenarios - highlight productive invitation processes, but be open to new and different ways to approach things

Learning from Experience -
build skills over time

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Focus Study Ideas

I have been wanting to expand upon my reading on adolescent lit - and came across a topic that I think can be the focus - Ethical use of technology - cyber bullying as one topic - videotaping people (teachers) without their knowledge another - cheating - plagiarism - accessibility - inviting people to think about all the power and flexibility that technology gives us - but just because we CAN do more things doesn't mean we SHOULD do them...

Using the Jenkins white paper and adol lit guiding principles as back drop

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

KVS: Selecting Supportive Materials

Chapter 5

Invite students to use their:
  • social
  • cultural
  • linguistic resources to...
  1. construct
  2. negotiate
  3. interrogate meaning
Select texts that:
  • reflect cultural and linguistic diversity
  • represent diverse perspectives, purposes, authorial positions in a range of genres
  • encourage students to become readers of visual images, music, intonation, etc...
also consider CL approach - texts that encourage
  • disrupt the commonplace
  • consider multiple viewpoints
  • focus on sociopolitical
  • Take Action
See the checklist on page 80 for selecting diverse texts

KVS: Identifying Issues, Themes, & Possibilitites

Start with the known.... what do we know about our students and what they are interested in -
aiming curricular design at who our students are - things that provide insight into their lives and thinking.. not just about what they do and like...

During activities look at student work, listen to their conversations, take note of their questions and ideas.

Move beyond the known...look at the social issues that surround student interests - draw them deeper - give them new perspectives, point out anomalies, - ponder how the world is and how it could be

Connect what you find out about students (casual conversations, student writing, lit discussions, student art, music, or dramatizations etc.) to new invitations


Language(s) spoken

What I know about their cultural lives, experiences, and resources they bring to the classroom

What I’ve noticed you’re interested in and thinking about

What have I missed? What are other issues and interests on your mind?

Reflect on what you know about your student and write invitations to take them deeper/beyond - or suggest invitations that might be of interest to them.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

KVS: Invitations


Van Sluys, K. (2005). What If and Why? Literacy Invitations for Multilingual
Portsmouth: Heinemann.

Properties of Critical Invitations (pg. 5-6)
  1. Occur in social learning environments
  2. Focus on making meaning around one experience
  3. Welcome varied experiences, languages, and resources
  4. Represent our best current understandings
  5. Embrace opportunities to use multiple ways of knowing to construct and contest meaning
  6. Value alternative responses
  7. Promote the social aspects of learning by taking up issues in students' lives and placing inquiries within social contexts
  8. Encourage practices that reach across all dimensions of critical literacy
  9. Invite further inquiry

Saturday, March 1, 2008

KVS: 4 Elements of Critical Literacy

pg 20-21

Elements of CL that should be considered...
  1. Disrupting the Commonplace
  2. Considering Multiple Viewpoints
  3. Focusing on the Sociopolitical
  4. Taking Action

Friday, February 29, 2008

KVS: Invitations - 4 Common Features

Invitations usually have 4 common features... (pg 30)

1. An initiating experience - position the invitations in relation to participants' current understanding and within their social contexts. Definitions, perrspectives, quotations, histories, sample scenarios, and/or questions may frame this element of the written invitation

2. A formally presented invitation: "You are invited to..." - these 4 words signal to participants that they are the decision-makers, able to chart their own course

3. Possible questions to pursue. Since all teaching, learning, and human interactions are political, suggested questions often encourage participants to place their personal experiences w/in social contexts and/or approach issues from critical perspectives

4. Related resources - Assemble diverse resourcves related to invitation issues to facilitate rich inquiries. Allow for a variety of ways in which to construct meaning - language, art, drama, math, etc...

Monday, February 25, 2008

DIBELS: Arguments

List what you understand Ken Goodman’s five most critical points are and the evidence that used to support these points? (Please answer from your point of view not his.)

1. DIBELS actually harms children’s ability to learn to read meaningfully

Anecdotal evidence (including parent and teacher feedback) is given documenting the harm that DIBELS can cause children. In the text, a parent describes in great detail what happened to her child when given DIBELS in kindergarten. Her son was categorized as a problem reader and was recommended to repeat a grade level. The mother knew her son was a thoughtful and careful learner and understood without training that the test scores did not accurately reflect her son’s reading ability. The family was so traumatized by the experience that she decided to home school her son rather than keep him in a school system that would not accurately assess his skills and abilities. Ken Goodman asks the reader to question the usefulness of an assessment instrument that would label a child who is thoughtful and reflective about reading as a poor reader simply because they cannot read fast or read nonsense words.

2. DIBELS is out of alignment with what it claims to measure

Alignment is such a key component in the validity of any assessment instrument. Does the assessment measure what it claims? In the case of DIBELS, the stated purpose of the tests is to assess student skills in 5 areas: Phonemic Awareness, Alphabetic Principle, Fluency with Text, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. The underlying assumption is that each of these skills builds on the previous (and predict success in the next) and that learning to read is a linear process. We begin with the premise that learning to read means a student is learning to make meaning from text. That process is not linear but holistic in nature. Because DIBELS measures speed and accuracy in the five skill areas, it does not effectively measure a student’s ability to make meaning from text, nor does it take into account how people learn to read. The tests are therefore out of alignment with their stated goals and are therefore invalid.

3. DIBELS encourages students to become fast readers who are not good meaning-makers

When students reach us in college, we often see students who are not readers. They don’t enjoy reading and they don’t know how to successfully read complex academic texts. This is now not surprising after reading where students have been on their way to college in terms of their reading. The Goodman text and video give many examples of the ways in which the DIBELS tests (by nature of the test and test-takers themselves) get the idea that the goal is to score well on the tests. To score well means they need to be able to read fast and accurately. However, the tests do not encourage students to read carefully and with reflection or meaning. So the act of reading becomes a game of sorts (although a high stakes one!) where participants are involved at a low cognitive level – get it done, get it done fast, and be accurate. Move up those skill levels! This instead of reinforcing messages (by way of activities, emphasis, and assessments) that encourage deeply engaged, meaning makers who are developing an understanding of the reasons why we read, the skills to read well, and an enjoyment of reading.

4. DIBELS encourages teaching to the test and curricular development based on the tests, rather than encouraging curricular development that has as its outcome, skilled readers.

Because the data from DIBELS are tied to NCLB initiatives, that means funding for schools is also tied to them. Of course, then, the scores wield an incredible power. This dynamic flips good instructional and curricular design on its head. Not only does it take time away from instruction as teachers spend more and more time on testing, but it encourages a teach to the test mentality because the stakes for schools and teachers are so high. If schools want funding, they need data to document student progress. DIBELS provides a slick package that on the outside looks like it can deliver both the data and a logical rationale for instruction and intervention (but we now understand the myriad of reasons why the tests do neither well).

In order to show student progress (and ultimately to get the needed funding), the logical conclusion is to prepare students to do well on the tests. Therefore curriculum design gets hijacked down this path (which wouldn’t be all bad IF the path led students to become effective readers). The problem, however is that the tests do NOT accurately determine whether students are good meaning–makers in relation to text and so the logical outcome is that students come out the other end of educational systems doing what DIBELS lead them to do: read quickly and accurately (but perhaps without meaning).

Assessment, when done properly, provides data that can inform both teaching and curricular design decisions. That means, then, that the assessment instruments used must be accurate, valid, and reliable. The goal of any instruction should be to help students reach the stated learning outcomes – that is in this case to become good readers (i.e. meaning-makers). Assessment is one tool that teachers can use to help students reach the objectives, but it should not be the only tool, nor should it become or replace the focus of instruction.

5. DIBELS data gatherers assume that testers will be consistent in scoring and that they are able, in just a few minutes, to assess students’ strengths and weaknesses as readers.

Reading well requires such a complex combination of skills, that I am wary of any testing system that describes itself as fast, easy, and reliable. The other issue that I take with this testing system is the impact that the data has on children. If they don’t score well, then educational decisions are made that can affect them for their entire educational careers, such as being labeled as a slow reader, or feeling like they are not good readers because they read slowly and thoughtfully, or being held back a grade because they don’t score well on the tests.. Publicly posted scores allow children to become focused on test scores and not what they might represent (and in this case what they represent is false anyway). Children don’t know the difference. They only know their score in relation to others and what that says about them.

If testers are not properly trained to score the tests consistently, then all the efforts to compare data across states are invalid. I clearly remember when our literacy center (ESL) got a new test series. All those who would be scoring the tests (which were used for placement only) met to work through how we would score the exams. We worked long and hard at bringing this into consistency across scorers – and this paid off for us because we ended up getting very effective placement into our leveled courses which we hadn’t had before. The tests were used again as we tried to determine when students should move up a level. However – I have to say that even as we scored (and got data) our guts were telling us, more often than not, almost immediately where students should be placed. So any test that also takes the experienced teacher’s judgment out of the equation is suspect to me. In our case, the test scores acted more as a confirmation than anything else for us.

Part B:

What are the five most powerful arguments opposing his points and the evidence that is used to support these points? (Please answer from your point of view.) I wrote this from the point of view of someone supporting DIBELS.

The availability of statistically meaningful data support DIBELS use

As of the printing of the Goodman text, data for over 2,000,000 students have been gathered, making a very substantial sample size. In addition, the authors of DIBELS, seek to show through the data that the outcomes of the tests are both reliable and valid.

The goals for using DIBELS match those set out by No Child Left Behind mandates (based on the National Reading Panel’s big five sub-skills).

In order to continue to receive federal funding, schools must document that they are able to get the majority of their students to show satisfactory progress in different categories. Reading is one of those key areas. So schools need a way to gather data and show progress in reading. DIBELS comes along and purports to give schools the ability to document student progress in reading in a very short amount of time and at the same time, help teachers remediate with students who are struggling in the different sub-skills. The sub-skills in DIBELS follow closely the big five areas that the NRP determined to be the most important aspects of learning to read: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

DIBELS is easy to use

With only one-minute samples of a student’s work, teachers are supposed to be able to tell what students need in order to be better readers. The tests are broken down by grade level and sub-skill, so teachers don’t have to even think about when to administer the tests or to whom. The results indicate the sub-skills that need work before children can move onto the next skill.

DIBELS fits nicely into textbook planning

One of the underlying assumptions made by the makers of DIBELS is that the sub-skills are acquired sequentially and linearly as children learn to read. This makes things very nice for textbook publishers because they can simply plug in activities and assessments that target the sub-skills needed to do well on the tests. The design order is already decided, based on the tests themselves. Again, no thinking required here. Just plug it in and go. This saves time and money on the part of the publishers because design time and collaboration time is cut down.

DIBELS is a one size fits all solution

By starting with the assumption that learning to read is a sequential and linear process for all students means that designing tests based on this sequence is a straightforward and unambiguous process. Students acquire one sub-skill at a time and readiness for each subsequent skill depends on the successful acquisition of the previous skill. Since learning to read is a universal process, the tests retain their validity across cultures so they can be used by native speakers as well as second language learners equally well.

Part C: A one sentence response as to which side of the issue you stand.

Because we begin with the proposition that reading is a holistic process, the goal of which is meaning-making, the DIBELS arsenal of tests is invalid because it parses out the measurement of a student’s reading ability to disconnected sub-skills, such as the speed with which students can read nonsense words, and it is non-aligned with the actual outcome we are trying to measure: a student’s ability to make meaning from text.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

MC: Compassion, Action, And Change

Marie Cowhey warns us while teaching:
  • not to reinforce stereotypes (example of feeding the poor)
  • not to oversimplify complex problems and their solutions
  • we shouldn't fail to teach for understanding about the underlying causes of problems and to see the local efforts to improve things
  • not to further stigmatize people with the problem who may be in the school community
Reminds me of the Ralph Nader documentary - he describes the scene at the breakfast table and his father reading the paper - he would see a problem and give homework - by dinner they had to come back tot he table with a solution...

They collected and volunteered not out of pity, but out of understanding and empathy - learned to transform their compassion into action...

Black Ants & Buddhists: MC

The story of the black ants - to kill or not to kill - reminds me of the scene in 7 Years in Tibet where Brad Pitt is trying to build the movie theater for The Dalai Lama - but construction stops because of the earthworms that the monks find in the way... Everything stops while the monks painstakingly sift all the earth to remove the worms from harms way... amazing scene!!

OK - point is - finally an illustration of a WL classroom - a critical literacy classroom - sooo helpful to "see" what it is like...
Cowhey mentions a few strategies of interest...

  • EVERY DAY she reads aloud to children - using a variety of texts types
  • Helping to build comprehension using a variety of strategies
    • HElping students make connection - text-to-self, text-to-text, text-to-world
    • a second read aloud - focusing on a philosophical question - on-going - emphasis on listening skills and oral language development.
Each chapter in the book looks at questions that teachers ask about teaching critically...How do you...
  • keep teaching age-appropriate
  • keep it authentic and relevant so kids care
  • do it all yourself?
  • handle it if families react negatively
  • know if kids are getting it

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Coming Into Focus

OK, I've really been struggling with this course, trying to find my place and my questions!!! I know there is a reason why I chose this class, but I was so unsure about things!! I usually like to follow my instinct when I get a hunch, but I can't see the whole plan - and it usually works out...

FINALLY things started to click in terms of my own learning and authentic questions...

I wanted to know how kids learn to read and how that connects/informs what I know about adult literacy and how I teach already.

SO as I searched in vain for an I-Search paper - it led me to the answers I was seeking!! - I started to look at the literature on adolescent literacy and things started to click - literacy as a contiuum through life - and the middle years as the missing/neglected topic of study - The reading is amazing and it focuses on content area reading, so that connects directly with what college students need to be able to do as well... So a topic of interest and connection - I feel sooooo relieved to have finally ofund this link.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Here is a question that has come to my mind...

In whole language, we are looking to teach in an integrated, top-down fashion, using many different types of authentic materials - a strictly skills based program doesn't cut it in terms of helping students to become meaning-makers and reading lovers... Do I have it so far?

My question now... (jumping forward a few years when kids reach content courses) - What I read is that a strategies approach is best - teaching students strategies - like recognizing structures of academic texts, skimming, active reading strategies...BUT - is this just the same old thing - skills based in disguise - separating parts out from the whole

Is this analogy apt? ... that phonics taught in isolation (in elementary) is akin to reading strategies taught in isolation in higher grade courses?

If that is the case - is anyone doing anything similar to WL in upper classes/higher ed? I am looking into the Reading Apprenticeship Program (WestEd) which seems to be starting downt his ally a bit -

Is my thinking on target and do you know of any people doing WL work/application in higher ed where content is king?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Week Three Update

I wanted to share this, but couldn't find the right spot to put it in our forums, so, here it is...

I am really enjoying this class, and am learning a lot, but am learning things probably very differently from many of those in the class. I have very little background in K-12, so I am having difficulty processing the readings (because I don't have a place to hook it onto - without the experience), processing your postings, making meaning (for me - usually involves applying it to what I do), and retaining it... I'm doing it - but it is taking a looooong time!!

I am feeling very overwhelmed and challenged - by the reading, reading the postings, trying to reply in ways that I can contribute - always seems out of the flow of things - wondering if I'm disrupting things more than adding to them because my experience seems like from left field...and then trying to do the activities which I can't pull from experience (except my own - but that is another cognitive load, because I have to think about my own experience and understand it -

Anyway - I just didn't want to feel isolated in the challange, which is why I'm sharing it - in a F2F class, I could just chat with folks before or after class, but online is another matter - and as an instructional designer - this part of online learning fascinates me and so I still have open questions for myself in this role...

Makes me think of students and how we have to be conscious of PACE and AMOUNT of work and giving people TIME they need to make the connections - may take longer when experience or background knowledge is old, or needs to be retrieved from a deep place - or concepts are new...

GWB: Procedures for Miscue Analysis CH 3

Chapter 3
Miscue Analysis = Collection and examination of a single complete oral reading experience followed by re-telling.

Miscue= observed Response (OR) that doesn't match what the listener expects to hear (the ER)

Selecting students - not anyone with too many struggles for the beginning analyst

Selecting materials
  • s/be new material to reader - but NOT new concepts - interview, brainstorm, discuss readers interests and background to choose materials that will contain known concepts
  • at a challenging level but not so much so reader cannot continue independently - maybe one grade level above
  • s/be an entire cohesive story - of interest to reader and well-written - a poem, a chapter, a story, an article - newspaper article - rarely shorter than 500 words
  • consider predictability - nursery rhymes can be more predicable than prose - strange spelling/punctuation can affect pred. too - more predictable texts are good for readers who need confidence building
Seek a balance between predictability and concept knowledge

Teachers will select materials that show reader's strengths and development over time.

Miscues become more numerous after the 1st 200 words

Preparing the Typescript

s/be authentic - students reads from original or exact replication

typescript is prepared for the listener - to record miscues, verbal asides, and significant non-verbal actions - on last page info about redaer and text are recorded

0123 = 01-textpage 23=line of text on page

Data Collection
Before taping
audio equipment - quiet, comfortable location, pencils - let students leaf through passage to see length
Tell reader they are being recorded, title and general topic(this story is about baseball for example), they should imagine they are reading alone (so no help while reading - but they should use the strategies they always use while reading) - they will need to re-tell and discuss the story afterwards - give chance ot ask ?'s before beginning

Stopping the Reader - only under 2 conditions - 1)no miscues being made - 2)can't continue to read independently - extremely uncomfortable

if you stop for 1), thank student, ask for re-telling (see if just reading or reading with understanding) - choose either a less predicatble text or longer text to get more miscues

if you stop for 2) - check for understanding - if none - choose a more predictable text and start again

During the Reading
s/last around 15-30 minutes - thank reader, take materials, then start re-telling

if reader stops before end, and it last >60 seconds, ask them what they do when they read alone and hit a block - reassure that any strategy is OK

Reader's Presentations: Oral Re-Tellings, & Other Reader Responses

Re-telling -
often oral - can be other - set to music - acting, drawing, etc.
Re-telling can never fully measure the total comprehension of the reader!

Before the reading - have an outline of content - know the material fully and deeply
View re-tellings as new stories - because of transaction!

Unaided re-telling

Don't ask information-giving questions

Aided Re-telling
drawing on info given by the reader during re-telling - ask open-ended ?s to extend retelling
use same words and pronunciation used by reader in re-telling

Questioning strategies
(pg 47)

Asking process questions - why they did what they did during reading - why chose certain strategies? - what prompted certain corrections

See Reminders about re-telling - pg 49!

Marking Miscues
use recorded session to listen several times and complete markings

  • Substitutions - written above - with brackets if needed
  • "extended p" through text= pause - with seconds lasted
  • reversals - switching of words - either written above with brackets or wavy line weaved through reversed words
  • bound morphemes - circle deleted parts (endings, suffixes, pre-fixes, etc.) or re-write above as said - add added parts above with carrot symbol
  • Repetitions/regressions - overt re-reading of a part of text - circled "R" above and underline section that is repeated - number the line if repeated more than once - final read through that matches text isn ot underlined
  • repeating and correcting - circled "C", underline, and initial miscue written above
  • repeating and abondoning correct form - circled "AC"
  • repeating and unsuccessful correction - cirlced "UC"
  • empty circle means 2 things happened at same time
  • partials sound with dash "ca-"
  • non-word substitutions "$" for invented spelling
  • dialect and other variables circled "d"
  • misarticulations - things that usually go away with age- busgetti - circled "a" with $spelling
  • intonation shifts - with accent marks
  • split syllables - slash mark thru word (90 degree verticle)
See Appendix "A" for list

All miscues are marked on the page - but may be coded or analyzed differently depending on which of 4 procedures is selected(Chapter 4)

GWB Reading Strategies

The reading process...

What does what I'm reading mean to me - transaction
Reader uses complex plans or strategies to make meaning from text:

Reading Strategies
  • sampling
  • inferring
  • predicting
based on knowledge and background experiences - cyclical and integral processes
  • confirming
  • integrating
Constructing meaning:
  • Your purpose for reading
  • The relat'p of what you're reading to your view of the world
Cueing systems
  1. graphophonic - relat'p between oral and written language
  2. syntactic - relat'p between words, sentences, and paragraphs - word order, tense, number, gender, grammar - Ability to ask, "Does this sound right?"
  3. semantic - relat'p between language and meaning
  4. pragmatic
I remember very clearly someone asking me - well, how do you know its' right? And I said, I just sounds right - and I remember as a kid, when doing grammar exercises - just instinctively knowing what was right, because it just sounded right - and i wondered why it didn't just sound right for other kids - why did I have that and they didn't was it reading that gave me that knowledge? Is there a carry over to ESL and language acquisition?

Experienced readers balance the use of strategies and systems - Beginning readers need help in integrating both in their reading processes.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Instructional Design Hat

OK, stepping out of student mode to ID mode for a minute...

Right now I am:
  • student in 2 online courses
  • online facilitator-in- training in 2 different settings - one with students in a developmental college and one working with faculty
So one of my learning goals is to find out more experientially about online learning design and facilitation

What am I learning? - important to find balance of interaction, rigor, activity in design - otherwise it is too much to process... what is too much?

  • OK, we are reading several texts and responding using different discussion strategies each week.
  • So we are responding in writing to the text - then we are responding to each other on the same text - that means reading all the postings and replying more
Thought - break us up into groups - so that we have less to keep up with in individual posts - and gives us more space/time to think about those postings and respond meaningfully - we can still read and post to others if we want to...

  • we are also doing 1-2 activities that ask us to apply the reading in some way or further process it - post those and comment again
  • we are thinking ahead to papers and projects that are coming up...
So, where is this working/breaking down for me?

Seems like too much to process with reading everyone's postings, projects, and activities - run out of steam and mental space to process anything - I think fewer posts/activities to read and respond to others would be better - groupings might help - switch groups every few weeks to get to know more people? - same amount of reading and activities, but fewer peer responses to process...

What's missing in terms of facilitator interaction? For me - the voice of the person with more experience, drawing us out, drawing us further through targeted questions and challenges - feedback on assignments in a timely, meaningful, individualized way - where are we getting it - where are the gaps?

RTL: Literature Teaching

This is the place to put into practice the 4 reader practices of Freebody and Luke's Model (1999)

  1. Code breaker - outside text, suing strategies to get in
  2. Text Participant - inside text
  3. Text User - reading with a purpose - reads to understand, participate, and make use of text
  4. Text Analyst - steps back to analyze through social critical literacy lens - what's author's motives for writing - how did they try to shape the reader?
Teacher models them in whole class literature sessions - include new author voices and differnet styles of text

  • re-read to make meaning
  • respond personally
  • encourage and accept different interpretations
  • discuss what she's learned thru reading
  • interrogate the text
  • question the author's motives
  • wonder if there is a different point of view
  • initial entry into a book isn't always easy
  • responses to reading should be grounded in the text - but this branches out to many interpretations based on reader's world
This gives kids a repertoire of ways to engage with the text (pg 147)

Developing a love of literature
We want kids to:
  • enjoy, feel, empathize
  • learn about their own lives/lives of others
  • delight in the craft of writing and illustrating
  • learn about their communities, culture, the wider world, other ways of being, other times
  • get hooked on books!
Principles of Lit Teach
  • Let kids choose texts!
  • Book Talks are essential! - pose questions, broaden our understanding, share our insights, explore hunches, discuss issues, develop interpretations (151)
  • There is no one interpretation of literature
  • Children s/be allowed to generate their own questions - teacher models question types

Class breaks into small groups to give students the time and opportunity to use them in meaningful group activities

RTL: Critical Literacy - Text Analyst

Developing Socially Aware Students

Reader as Text Analyst - readers question how texts position themselves - interrogtate texts, question author motives - ask whose voice is missing - what is the power structure - how are minorites portrayed?

Classroom Practice - read critically ----> Take action - reading/writing connection

RTL: Reading for a Purpose" Text User

Different texts for different Life Activities - help kids find books that satisfy their life purposes (pg 124)- isn't that the push of young adult lit? To help kids process life things like divorce, racism, suicide, etc... to find themselves in the books - or to help them find empathy for those in situations unknown to the reader?

Genre Teaching - be careful not to stifle creativity by requiring strict adherence to genre form when writing...

Reader Purpose vs Author purpose - (and teacher purposes!) - all transactional - once the writer wrote it - hey let go - things are going to happen in the transaction!!!

Children and Magazines - target children's interest! Use what they are reading already!

Levelled reading books - be careful -- sends message that value is place on moving up thru the levels not reading for meaning - choose books with good stories, interesting characters, compelling twists - with something to generate real discussion!

Integrated Curriculum - like ESL - if students see learning English as something they only need to think about during ESl class, then it loses its power and potency - integrate it across curriculum and students can make the connections

Sunday, January 20, 2008

GWB: discussion strategy

Quotable Quotes – Save the Last Word for Me! Discussion strategy

RMI - Quote & Response (but not why chosen)

Why I chose it

Both reader and author are active in constructing meaning (pg 20)

Key to understanding process of reading as transactional – leads to change 0 for me, that is what education is all about – change - growth

Important differences exist between oral and written language that stem from the various purposes for which each is used & the ways in which each is used. (21)

Points out distinctions between formal and informal, written and oral

Oral – turn taking

Written – stylistic use of the genre – once upon a time…

They are parallel systems each with unique forma and purposes

Children as young as 18 months begin to develop a fully functioning and rule-governed system

Connection to ESL sound learners – learn a system that isn’t standard system – and it isn’t explicit – they just do it based on what they have heard – miscues could help to shed light on their processes!!!

Reading is most predictable when the language of the written text and the ideas expressed are similar to the oral language and conceptual knowledge of readers (23)

How to choose texts then?

…students know what reading is used for (23)

Not all – our kid in adult literacy course – from a non-literate family – text did not signify…

All 4 language systems must be intact and interacting whenever reading occurs (29) graphophonic, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic

Context of reading/point of view can be very different depending on text, reader, author, place being read, time

Readers having long-distance conversations with authors

Disconnect in higher ed – no connection between reader/author/content – online learning seeks to get people interacting with all…

Does sampling strategy mentioned on pg.30 have s/thing to do with ADD? Brain not being able to sample?

In some instructional settings, readers may be willing to continue reading when they are not comprehending – (33)

getting it done? But what have you learned?

GWB: 4 assumptions

4 assumptions about language, thinking, & learners (pg. 20)
  1. reading is an active process
  2. reading is a language process
  3. Readers have knowledge about language
  4. authors have knowledge about language
Both reader and author are active in constructing meaning - transactional

Language cueing systems are the sources of information that readers use in their transactions with text as they seek to understand (25)
  • graphophonic - sounds & written form
  • syntactic - the way human organize the sentences of a language in relation to other sentences - whether for purposes of reading, writing, speaking, listening - is its syntax
  • semantic - meaning - therefore influenced by culture & beliefs
  • pragmatic - context
All of these cueing systems work within the socio-cultural context of reader/author - pragmatic system - language occurs in a context - how we use it or interpret it, depends on context

Reading Strategies
  • initiating & sampling strategies - look at title - sample some text and pictures
  • predicting strategies - inferencing - guess based on previous knowledge
  • confirming strategies - was guess right or wrong - leads to self-correcting
sampling happens in all perceptual processes - listening for eg - allows senses not to be overwhelmed

seems like many of the strategies are happening without reader consciously attending to them - automatic?

cyclical processes

RTL: Phonemic awareness, phonics, phonetics

Chapter three is on code breaking - entering the text - One thing that stands out - any of the steps in isolation becomes less meaningful - integrated approach is best...

One of my assumptions about phonics became clear - but is it right?

I have always thought that phonics had value because I believed that our vocabularies inside our heads - the words we have heard over and over but may not have read - are much larger than our read vocabularies (as kids) and so - if kids could sound out a word - then they might be able to connect it to a word they know from having heard it... Is this in error?

Friday, January 18, 2008

RTL: Reading begins at birth

I never thought about reading beginning at birth before - it really changes the way you think about reading then doesn't it? Means we are interpreting and making meaning out of everything we encounter - we see something, make a connection in the brain to what it is - thus making meaning - so reading a text is just another way to make meaning out of our environment... (preface)

GWB: The Man Who Kept House

OK, I just read that little story and now I'm supposed to write down everything I remember...
  • a man thought his job (cutting wood in the forest) was harder than his wife's
  • she tells him he hasn't a clue what she does
  • why don't they switch for a day, but he should know that he'll have to watch the baby, make the butter, feed the animals, and clean the house
  • so the next day they switch - he starts to feed make the butter thinking this is easy! THen he hears the baby
  • she is outside! He runs out to get her and brings her back in - only to discover that he left the door open and a big pig has knocked over the butter churn and spilled it all on the floor
  • He starts to feed the baby and then hears the cow mooing. Thinking the cow must be hungry too, he goes out - he has no time to collect food, so he puts the cow on the roof, thinking it can find food there (is it a grass roof?)
  • then he's afraid the cow will fall, so he ties a rope around the cow's neck(?) and puts it through the chimney, tying the other end to his ankle - thinking that will keep the cow safe
  • Oh yes... he put porridge on the fire to cook
  • But now the cow does fall anyway, and yanks him into the chimney, hanging upside down over the porridge - the cow half suspended on the side of the house.
  • The wife comes home, sees the cow, cuts her loose which causes the husband to fall face first into the porridge
  • She discovers the house dirty, the baby crying, and her husband in the porridge.
  • The next day her husband goes back to the forest to cut wood - never again to complain that his job is hard and hers easy.

GWB: Miscue Analysis

Understanding MA helps one to build a personal model of reading...YES - this is what I have been after for myself - to understand what is happening when we read!

So far...
  • Reading miscues can illustrate both the positive aspects of reading and those areas that can use support.
  • Listening to students read without interruption provides a window on the reading process (pg. 3)
  • There is a single reading process and it is the same for proficient and non-proficient readers (pg. 5)

Week Two Highlights

OK, we are moving into the Wilson text and Goodman's Reading Miscue Inventory. I feel like finally - a window into what it looks like as children start to learn to read!! This is really helpful!!

What stands out so far
  • That the 4 reading skills shouldn't be taught in isolation
  • Listening to students read without interruption provides a window on the reading process (pg. 3 Goodman)
  • There is a single reading process and it is the same for proficient and non-proficient readers (pg. 5 Goodman)
  • There are no reading errors, only miscues that give the listener a window into the reader's thought processes

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Week One Overview

Where have we traveled this week? From introductions to the TORP to BRI, to the Pearson article.

Thinking about
  • what the powers that be want (testing/accountability) versus what is best for kids as they learn to read
  • TORP - still don't feel like I have enough background knowledge or experience to make an informed discussion about my beliefs on reading - that's OK - what will I think after this class - will be interesting
  • BRI
  • Pearson article - what stood out...

    1. Reading as language rather than perception..... hmmm so is that the idea behind the Master's Program being called Language Education versus Reading?? Really interesting. So far this article has been incredibly helpful with helping me understand things

    Also I see the connections between ESL language acquisition and these ideas - so it is giving me something to hang the new ideas onto... good, helpful

    2. Throwing the baby out with the bath water??? This is a question I often have throughout my educational career. It seems that the psycholinguists are throwing out the skills in favor of natural language processes - My question is this - do they have to be mutually exclusive - aren't there times when skills really are helpful? Or not?

  • 3. One of the most revelatory questions for me came on page 27...

    What would the teaching of reading and writing look like, if we assumed that children can learn to read and write in much the same way as they learn to talk?
    Holy cow!!! First, I had never considered this at all - In ESL, we talk a LOT about the Universal Grammar(UG) in the brain - a theoretical location that is "turned on" for young children that gives them a heightened ability to learn (implicitly) all the structures, rules, etc. about language that they need to be able to acquire spoken language - The theory then says that at some point this UG turns off - so they observe that's why younger children can more easily acquire language and why it gets more difficult as people get older because they no longer have the same access to the UG in their brains....
    If the UG theory holds true, then wouldn't it be doubly important to get kids into text-rich settings as early as possible, so they have access to the UG for a longer period of time.. That seems to jibe with other things I've read and the emphasis and money spent on early reading programs

  • Does the problem become for those kids who didn't have rich exposure early on - like trying to teach senior citizens a second language - possible - takes a lot longer, is not as easy for the older learner....

  • This was one other idea that jumped off the page at me - page 80....

    Meaning is something that resides not in the head of the reader, nor on the printed page....instead.. meaning is created in the transaction between reader and document...

    Meaning as "poem" relaly struck me - the way a poem can sometimes say it just right or capture just what you are thinking - I found this really interesting!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

RTL: Chapter One Lessons Learned

OK, finished Chapter One and I'm starting to see a picture of a "Reading to Live " classroom - one where I would like to be a student... yet...

I can still hear the poor teachers' voices saying how pulled they are between what is and what it should be - what a terrible position to be in - and how tough it is to not have a say/voice and have to follow prescribed reading programs that may be very different from the one described here...

RTL: 4 Resources Model

Luke and Freebody (1999) - Four Resources Model
4 possible sets of reader practices:
  1. Code breaker - outside text, suing strategies to get in
  2. Text Participant - inside text
  3. Text User - reading with a purpose - reads to understand, participate, and make use of text
  4. Text Analyst - steps back to analyze through social critical literacy lens - what's author's motives for writing - how did they try to shape the reader?
Suggestions for practice - a sort of checklist for reading programs....

Does your program/course/classroom...

  • provide readers with decoding skills?
  • make readers strong in their self-perception as meaning-makers
  • empower them to use a wide variety of texts in their daily lives
  • enable them to analyze texts critically
  • give them the reading practices needed to participate fully in society
Reading materials are authentic - written for a real-life purpose - not for the teaching of reading.

Literacy program aims to have reading as:
  • social practice
  • to build identities
  • to build understanding of communities and cultures
  • dynamic, purposeful, alive
  • children feel valued

RTL: Language as Social Practice/Purpose

OK, this just turned everything I knew on its head...

language is now being described as social practice rather than as communication (transmitter - receiver - OK - every communication course I've had goes out the window, too - ha!!)

Language is learned interactively as individuals engage in social contexts... OK, this jibes with the idea of negotiation of meaning in ESL lingo...

BUT what if someone is just sitting there reading to learn quietly alone... does this mean the social context is now between the reader and the author? OK, that makes sense.

Reading Involves Purpose
When we read, we always read with a when reading is evaluated, the purpose (of text and reader) should be taken into consideration - e.g purpose for reading a poem and reading a medicine bottle... would success be gauged in the same way?

*** Make sure that classroom reading serves authentic purposes - link to children's lives

RTL: Miscues

pg. 4 Goodman (1969) used the term miscue to replace error when describing someone's oral reading. This ushers in a change in perspective - no longer are readers making errors, rather they are negotiating and constructing meaning as they work through the text.

Looking at miscues (such as omitting words, substituting words, or self-correcting) then provided a positive way to analyze the meaning-making process of readers.

Example - miscues during a reading of a poem on T-shirts - indicated that the reader had a very good handle on the meaning of the poem - so the miscues were inconsequential - Fluent readers often make changes to text.

On the other hand, HS students who were poor readers, often read slowly, with great accuracy, yet had little understanding of the meaning. In fact, the more they paid attention to getting things right at the word level, the less likely they were to comprehend the passage - an inverse relationship occurred!!!

RTL: Word naming versus understanding

pg. 2 - LW's comparison of 2 reading examples was powerful -

1) Angela's Ashes - the emotional connection to the story and characters - the interaction with the text - understanding it!


2) the modem manual - she could recognize the words, say them correctly and read the entire thing fluently - but she hadn't actually read anything because it had no meaning for her.

Reminds me of reading a second language - you may know the rules of pronunciation, but that doesn't mean you know what the words and text mean... I could "say" German fluently, but that doesn't mean I knew what it meant!

pg. 3 Kenneth Goodman's - 1969 - description of reading process:

  • graphophonic (letters and sounds) - visual cue
  • syntactic (sentence structure or syntax) - brain cues
  • semantic (using experiential knowledge on life meanings) - brain cues
So... the reader looks at text - sees the letters/words and the brain becomes engaged to make connections to what the reader already knows about language and life and then creates "meaning"

Interpretation of the text is always situated then with the reader + text - what the reader knows, what they understand about the world - so no 2 people will interpret text the same way - so no "right" answers only plausible ones...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Reading to Live: Lorraine Wilson

I've started the Lorraine Wilson text by reading the preface by P. David Pearson who co-wrote our opening article on Learning About Literacy - a 30 Year Journey... and I was excited reading his words - eagerly anticipating this read - and at the same time, I felt strangely comforted (after the anxiety I felt over feeling that I don't know anything and that everything feels so chaotic!)

This line in the Preface struck me particularly and I'm sad I can't start reading right now...

"...reading and writing are tools for communication, learning, enjoyment, and personal insight, the means to help us live our lives more productively, more honestly, more graciously, and with greater personal satisfaction....Food may be the fuel for our bodies, but reading - and the ideas, emotions, and insights we encounter in the process - is the fuel for our hearts, souls, and minds.

Getting Started

Before I launch in to the content of the journal... why I chose a blog for my journal - Well, it seems like the perfect tool! A blog, by its nature is a journal...BUT it also allows others to join in the conversation through the comments option... BUT EVEN BETTER - TAGS enable authors to organize , categorize, and search their own postings - so for example, as I go along, if a thought from one book we've read comes to mind, I can post it, tag it with the author's name, and voila! I can search for all the postings about that one text and they will all appear together.... so it helps my learning on different levels - a place to reflect, a place to synthesize, a place to share, and a place to organize, integrate, and re-organize thoughts.... So with that said.... here goes....

I feel a strange excitement at the beginning of this journey....

Often when I'm stepping into new territory, I feel this anxiety, excitement, chaos. I don't know where I'm going, except inside.... but inside what? This first week of Elementary Reading, I have this overwhelming feeling of chaos - there are so many theories and opinions out there - so much conflicting research (reminded me of the ESL studies) no one has the definitive answer - or at least the "What we know right now" answer yet - and surely I don't even know where to start... but once more, with excitement and enthusiasm, I begin a journey to answer a question....

How DO people learn to read and what can teachers do to help?