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Literacy Off The Page: Focus on Foundational Literacy

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Core Text: Biblioburro
by Jeannette Winter 
from Wonders: McGraw-Hill

Participants in this workshop gained deep knowledge of the essential components of reading, how to develop foundational literacy skills, and what happens when reading breaks down. Using text from the Wonders curriculum as a launchpad, we took a closer look at Enriched Literacy, which maintains that students need three components of literacy to be successful: Social Emotional Literacy, Foundational Literacy, and Applied Literacy. So, if (and only if) students feel safe and available to learn, then teachers will be able to teach the skills necessary for reading. When students have a purposeful application for those skills, they are more likely to reach proficiency on tests AND to become literate, compassionate, creative life-long learners.

Essential Question/Big Idea:

How can people help out their community?

Focus Standards:
  • 2.RL/RI.1.1 - Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

  • 2.RI.1.2 - Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.

  • 2.RL.1.2 - Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

  • SS.2.C.2.4 - Identify ways citizens can make a positive contribution in their community.

Mindful Moonshot Morning Routine 
Leslie Connelly, K-2 Coach and Educational Consultant, led participants through the "Mindful Moonshot Morning" routine to Unite, Connect, Disengage Stress and Commit. Table groups made up a chant and team hand to represent the strands of reading that make up Word Recognition & Language Comprehension:
  • Background knowledge
  • Vocabulary
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Language Structure
  • Literacy Knowledge
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Decoding and Spelling
  • Sight Recognition
 - Scarborough Reading Rope
School board member Tiffany Justice shares her love of learning and support of SDIRC teachers. 
Returning presenter Kurt Wootton, author of A Reason to Read: Linking Arts to Literacy, speaks about how Enriched Literacy is critical to student success. 
Debbi Arseneaux, Moonshot Institute Program Manager, kicks off the morning by unpacking how Enriched Literacy will serve the students in our classrooms.

Fran McDonough, Moonshot Academy Manager and Educational Consultant for The Learning Alliance, walks attendees through the Seesaw process. Seesaw is a digital app to document and track student learning.

"My biggest takeaway was how I can build community while integrating literacy!" - Participant feedback

Moonshot Talks:
Building Mental Models, What's In A Word, and From the Word to the World

In a series of high impact "Moonshot Talks," Liz Remington, Co-Founder of The Learning Alliance and Director of Professional Development, unpacks the simple view of reading. She explains how we learn to pull print off the page and make meaning of text, and highlights what the research says about how we best learn to read. Liz has an extensive background in literacy development and holds a Masters in Special Education.

See, Think, Wonder: A Pre-Reading Strategy

Participants use the thinking routine SEE, THINK, WONDER to make connections and build prior knowledge with the text Biblioburro. They add their thoughts to a cordel to make their thinking visible.

Kurt Wootton highlights how thinking routines like this one can be used to prime thinking as a pre-reading strategy and as a way to create a mental model.

Word Level Reading

Participants were introduced to several ideas for highly engaging activities for students that focus on building phonemic awareness and fluency. In, they found onset and rime pairs  around the room and then grouped their words into word families. With Story Nuggets, Nutty Professor style, students have plenty of opportunity to practice reading with meaning and intention. They also learned a routine for introducing vocabulary, one of the biggest challenges for struggling readers.  

The team showcased several strategies to demonstrate comprehension of the text through collaboration and physical actions in a Pop-up Interactive Reading, and then through writing and sketching in a bookmark graphic organizer. All these activities structure students for success and mastery of the focus standards. 

Language Comprehension

"I really got an understanding of what foundational literacy is and how you need all components to be a fluent reader." - Participant feedback

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Read, Write, Think and Create. In the afternoon, participants rotated through several possibilities for independent Enriched Literacy centers, teacher-led small group instruction, and a Moonshot Rocket experience.  

CREATION STATION: Participants choose a material to manipulate as a hands-on way to retell the main idea and key details of the story Biblioburro, using their graphic organizer from the morning. 
READING & WRITING STATION: Participants have a chance to explore curated collections of connected texts and try out a thinking map and a sentence stem handout to help hold students accountable for independent work as they move toward mastery of both ELA and Social Studies standards. 
Participants saw a variety of ideas for independent activities to support developing the foundational skills targeted in the morning.

Independent Enriched Literacy Centers

Moonshot Reading Rocket

Bridget Lyons, Arts Enriched Literacy Specialist and Moonshot Rocket Manager, facilitated a powerful experience to showcase how students can make personal connections to the social studies standards and the content and apply their learning through reading and writing stories to help their community. 

Socratic Seminar for Elementary

Kurt Wootton shared Socratic Seminars, a strategy for facilitating student-centered discussion that goes deep into text while also building critical thinking and collaboration skills. Adapted with suggestions for elementary students, this activity supports the development of oral language skills necessary for reading success while also targeting the skill of asking and answering questions. 

"The cohesiveness [of the workshop] helped me remember more information because it connected to my real world classroom." - Participant feedback

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