Literacy in the Content Area Classroom: Strategies and Challenges. Gerardo Joel Aponte-Martínez I Am a Teacher Expo 2012 East Lansing, Michigan

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1 Literacy in the Content Area Classroom: Strategies and Challenges Gerardo Joel Aponte-Martínez I Am a Teacher Expo 2012 East Lansing, Michigan S

2 Overview Literacy is a key component of the content-area classroom - without good reading and writing skills, students cannot efficiently acquire information and accurately convey their learning. This workshop will demonstrate different reading, vocabulary, and instructional strategies that provide students the literacy skills to be successful in Social Studies or any other content-area classroom. S Challenges of Content Area Literacy S Strategies for Content Area Literacy S Practice Session

3 Challenges Challenges affecting skills S Limited vocabulary S Slow decoding S Impact of disabilities S Little practice Challenges affecting interest S S S Predispositions about schooling, content, learning Subject is not appealing Reading level is too high

4 Strategies S Previewing text S Activating prior knowledge S Building background information S Graphic organizers S Vocabulary strategies S Reading to learn

5 Previewing Text S What? Sets the stage for reading by identifying the structure of the text, supporting material, and key concepts to be encountered. S Why? Students create a purpose for reading, grasp important ideas, and draw connections to prior knowledge S Sample strategy: THIEVES T itle H eadings I ntroduction E very first sentence V ocabulary E nd questions S ummarize

6 !"#$% '"($% )$*+,-./01213)*$45$"-+6789(+:+(; Headings.!"#$%'( /!)*+#,-.'( 0!/,$012345'( 1!6708(9#0.$( :,$,4'( 2!;#.<*%.(*,+( ;14*='( 1!6,+( ><.$#1,.'( A*#,(/+*'( 3C##"*+D$+6"9,#GH$($B$6($69$ Students write notes or observations based on their preview

7 Activating Prior Knowledge S What? As students prepare to read, they consider what they already know about the topic and how it might relate to the reading passage S Why? Asking questions and thinking about ideas while reading helps them understand and remember text. S Sample strategy: K-W-L

8 Know Want to Know Learned

9 Building Background Information S What? Providing information related to the topic to be read, especially if the topic is very unfamiliar to the students S Why? It establishes concepts to be attached to the information acquired while reading S Sample strategy: pre-reading modeling activity or simulation

10 Graphic Organizers S What? Visually depict relationships among ideas in the passage. S Why? They help organize students thinking and knowledge S Types: S Cause and effect S Compare and contrast S Description S Problem and solution S Sequence or chronology

11

12 Vocabulary Strategies S Very important! Vocabulary concepts are the building blocks for knowledge in the content area S Steps: S Teacher provides description, explanation, or example S Students convert it to their own words S Students create a picture, symbol, or graphic representation S Teacher periodically returns to address the term in multiple contexts

13 My favorite vocabulary strategy S Frayer models involves the first three steps in one task 1. At the beginning of a unit, students completed Frayer models for three to five key terms in the unit 2. The best Frayer models were posted on a board for students to reference during unit activities and discussions 3. Frayer models were integral in assessment reviews

14 Reading To Learn S Learning to Read or Reading to Learn? S While the first exemplifies the type of reading involved in most elementary school and ELA classes, middle and high school content areas require students the latter. S Solution: Implement strategies to prepare and facilitate reading OFTEN

15 Reading To Learn Sample 7 th Grade Geography of the Americas In order to discuss the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, students read Out of the Dust. S The novel provided a story to help students understand the impact of these historical events on the life of a teenager. It was informational they learned important events, causes/effects, and solutions posited to different problems in that time period S The novel is written as a collection of poems, which allowed students to practice their reading with poetry. We identified main ideas and supporting details (in order to get our Social Studies facts), point of view, and author s purpose.

16 You try! J S Use the reading selected for you and list considerations you would need to make in order to teach with it. S Sample considerations. S Previewing S Vocabulary S Graphic Organizer

17 Sources S Irvin, J. (2002). Reading strategies for the social studies classroom. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. S Marzano, R.J. Pickering, D.J. (2005). Building academic vocabulary: A teacher's manual. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. S Peha, S. (2003) Switching gears: Helping students move successfully from reading literature to reading in the content areas. Teaching That Makes Sense, Inc. content_area_reading/content_area_reading.htm S Prentice Hall. (2005). World studies: The ancient world. Upper Saddle River, NJ. pp

18 Questions? Contact information: Gerardo J. Aponte-Martínez Doctoral Student Instructor Department of Teacher Education Michigan State University

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