Comprehensive Literacy Plan for Santa Rosa School District

It is the goal of the Santa Rosa School District Literacy Plan to implement the developmental,
accelerated, and preventive reading program requirements that will ensure that students can
read on grade level before entering Grade 3, and to diagnose and accelerate the reading
performance of all students in all grade levels. The plan is designed so that every student will:
Receive reading instruction which reflects best teaching practices;
Be assessed regularly to plan for instruction;
Read fluently on grade level before entering Grade 4;
Receive appropriate intervention and remediation services as needed, Grades K-12;
Learn strategies for reading complex content area texts;
Improve performance in reading on district and state-mandated tests;
Read a required minimum number of books during specific time periods to assure development

and maintenance in reading fluency.
Our current school system has many strengths, and a very large percentage of our students
learn to read at the appropriate time. However, each school has a small number of students who
do not learn to read on grade level; in order to assure that all students in Santa Rosa School
District learn to read, we must restructure some of our current literacy instruction and focus
our resources on proven practices.

In order to implement this plan the district must provide extensive staff development focusing
on effective literacy instruction at all grade levels.
Research supports the adoption of the following staff development opportunities:
 Phonemic Awareness and Balanced Literacy for Kindergarten and Grade 1 Teachers
Phonemic awareness is the understanding that spoken words are composed of a limited number
of identifiable, individual sounds (or phonemes). Children in the beginning stages of learning to
read should be taught to recognize and manipulate onsets (the beginning consonant sound of a
word or syllable) and rimes (everything in the word after the initial consonant sound).
As children learn to use letters to represent words, they need to think about the sounds that
compose the words.

Research shows that phonemic awareness is the most powerful predictor of success in beginning
reading, and for most children, a necessary prerequisite for learning to read. In fact, children
who do not develop phonemic awareness do not go on to learn how to read. A balanced approach
combining language- and literature-rich activities develops proficiency in reading.

 Literacy Strategies and Best Practices for Kindergarten through Grade 5 Teachers
All elementary teachers need training in integrating instruction to include shared reading, guided
reading, literature grouping, independent reading, shared and interactive writing, independent
writing, and intervention activities and strategies.
Reading Recovery for Selected Grade 1 Teachers
The Reading Recovery program in Santa Rosa School District has proved successful with many
students in its first year of implementation. This program of highly intensive, individual reading
instruction, supported and facilitated by Title I, requires continual staff development to maintain
the current level of service and to expand to meet growing needs.
Phonics Training for Selected Elementary and Middle School Teachers
Intensive phonics instruction may be necessary in order to provide intervention for students at
various grade levels who have failed to achieve appropriate progress in learning to read.
Regularly used in elementary grades to achieve a balanced literacy approach to learning to read,
phonics programs have also achieved significant success with middle school students in certain
categories.
Early Literacy Inservice Course (ELIC) for Grade 2-5 Teachers
ELIC focuses on how children learn, rather than just what they learn by reinforcing strengths in
teaching language, extending teachers' understandings of how children learn to read, giving
teachers practical techniques for monitoring and interpreting children's reading development,
and helping teachers make appropriate program and teaching decisions.
Power Writing for Grades 3-6 Teachers
Power Writing is a formulaic program of writing, useful in teaching early writers and less
fluent writers a basic approach to structure and content. Power Writing strategies may serve
as intervention techniques for students failing to score a 3 on Florida Writes!
Strengthening Reading Comprehension and Critical Thinking Skills for Grades 4-8 Teachers
Based on a program created by Roger Farr, this training centers around modeling, coaching, and
reflection techniques for improving reading comprehension. Teachers are trained to teach students
how to think while they read, how to monitor student progress, and how to use authentic
assessments of student achievement.
Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies (CRISS) for Grade 4-12 Teachers
CRISS is designed to help students learn more effectively throughout the curriculum by focusing on
teaching students how to learn through reading, writing, talking, and listening. The program offers
creative and motivating strategies for addressing reading and writing in the content areas and builds
a bridge to continued support among all disciplines and grade levels.
Literacy Workshop for Adolescents for Middle and High School Language Arts Teachers
Literacy Workshop is a reading program initiated by Dr. Janet Allen to allow English teachers to teach
reading to adolescents. Based on best practices research, Literacy Workshop has proven successful in
adapting good strategies (guided and shared reading, modeling, independent reading, assessment) to
the particular needs of adolescent readers. A straightforward and sensible approach, this program
shows untrained English teachers how to become good reading teachers.
Six Trait Analytic Writing Model for Grade 2-12 Teachers
The Six Trait Analytic Writing Model provides criteria for teachers and students for describing the
traits or qualities (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions) that
define good writing. The program, which aligns with Florida Writes! and the Sunshine State Standards)
teaches students to assess their own writing, to plan revisions, to read critically, and to determine
growth over a period of time. Six Traits Model has proved successful in raising 3 scores on
Florida Writes! to 4, 5, and 6 scores.
Creating Readers Using Assessment and Instruction for Grade 4-12 Teachers
This component relies on six identified traits of an effective reader: decoding conventions, establishing
comprehension, realizing context, developing interpretations, integrating for synthesis, and critiquing for
evaluation. Teachers continually assess student readers and give them feedback, moving students from
a passive reading experience to an active reading experience which links reading to critical thinking
(as required by FCAT).
Assessment Techniques and Strategies for All Teachers
All teachers should be able to regularly assess student reading difficulties and strengths in order to
provide appropriate instruction to meet individual needs. Appropriate training in the use of Silvaroli
Reading Inventory, Phonemic Awareness Diagnostics, Kindergarten Readiness Checklist, Kindergarten
End-of-Year Screening Instrument, Guided Reading Assessment Procedures, Running Records,
Anecdotal Records, and school, district, and other assessments.
Best Practices in Literacy for Administrators
Several effective inservice models provide principals and other administrators with strategies to
assess and modify their schools' reading programs.
In addition to staff development, the implementation of a successful literacy plan requires
the modification or addition of several programs:
Title I
The Title I program in the district should focus on literacy instruction. Funding formulas should be
modified to provide necessary resources to assure that all students read fluently at grade level before
entering Grade 3.
Lead Reading Teacher
In order to successfully implement the literacy plan and monitor the progress of students in learning to
read, the Santa Rosa School District should place a specially trained reading teacher at each elementary
school to supplement each school's staffing allocation. The lead reading teacher should have daily
contact with students in addition to being a resource for facilitating staff development and monitoring
instructional strategies and progress.
District Adoption of Uniform Instructional and Assessment Materials
To assure consistency among schools and grade levels, teachers and administrators should design
and implement an adoption process that identifies basic instructional materials for reading and literature
at specific grade levels. These materials must reflect the Sunshine State Standards and the Grade Level
Expectations adopted by the state and the district. Grade level benchmarks reflect uniform assessment
techniques for identifying adequate progress in literacy. The adoption process would apply only to base
materials; choices of supplementary materials would not be prescribed.

Expanded Supplementary Reading Programsxpanded Supplementary Reading Programs
The District should implement a summer reading program and/or other supplementary reading
programs to aid students who are struggling to remain on grade level in reading. Community and
parent involvement should be solicited to provide reading enrichment opportunities to all students,
focusing primarily on those with academic improvement plans. Courses in Intensive Reading should
be offered at the middle and high school levels and be required of all students identified as making
inadequate progress.
Instructional Time
The District must make a strong commitment to dedicating a specific portion of daily instructional time
to literacy. Students in grades K-3 must receive 120 minutes of consecutive, uninterrupted hours of
language arts/reading instruction daily. Students in grades 6-8 should receive formal reading instruction.
Students in all grades should have a daily independent reading homework assignment, assuring that students and their families also make a time commitment to
literacy.
Content Area Reading Instruction
Students must receive instruction in reading strategies in order to meet the unique requirements of the
individual subject area. Because FCAT makes students accountable for reading comprehension in the
content areas, teachers of content area courses will receive professional development in the critical
reading strategies that are effective in their subject areas.
Estimated expenses to implement these recommendations are:

1. Reading teachers at each school (15 x $52,000)                                      $780,000
2. Inservice for elementary teachers ($15.00/hour X 30hoursX 6 per grade
X 6 grades X 15 schools + trainers)                                                                $243,000
3. Inservice Administrators (consultant fees for
30 administrators x 30 hours)                                                                          $ 10,000
4. Summer Reading Camps                                                                             $100,000
5. Bus transportation for Reading Camps                                                        $ 22,000
6.CRISS training for 90 teachers                                                                     $ 25,000
7.Literacy Inservice (30 hours for 120 teachers) for middle
and high school teachers                                                                                  $ 75,700
8. Six Traits of Effective Writers and Six Traits of Effective Readers training
(facilitators and 50 teachers)                                                                            $ 40,000
9. Reading in the Content Areas training for middle and
high school (facilitators and 75 teachers)                                                          $ 18,000

We expect these training initiatives to be completed within five years.

Components for Effecting Change in Literacy Instruction
1.Teacher Knowledge and Instructional Practices
1.Teacher Knowledge and Instructional Practices
a. Phonemic Awareness Training
b. Training in Effective Literacy Instructional Strategies
c. Training in Effect Literacy Assessment Methods
d. Training in Selection and Implementation of Effective Materials
2. Administrator Knowledge and Effective Practices
a. Training in the Reading and Language Arts Content Standards
b. Instructional Leadership in Literacy Program
    1. Daily Schedule Includes 120 minutes of Reading.
    2. Effective Literacy Instructional Materials are Consistent School-wide and Aligned with District Curriculum
    3. Articulation and Assessment of Literacy Program is School-wide
    4. Involvement in Literacy Grant Opportunities is Active.
    5. Implementation of Summer Reading Program is Achieved.
3. District Practice
a. District-wide Reading Series and Language Arts Adoption following Extensive Curriculum Mapping
b. Extensive Staff and Facilitator Development in Literacy Instruction at All Grade Levels and Subject Areas
c. Commitment to Effective Intervention for Low Achievers
d. Commitment to Focus on Literacy on All Content Areas
e. Additional Reading Instructional Staff at Selected Schools
f. Expansion of the Reading Recovery Program
g. Refocusing of the Title I Program on Literacy Instruction
h. Promotion of Summer Reading Programs
i. Promotion of After School Reading Programs
j. Grant Writing for Securing Additional Funding


Staff Development For Effecting Change in Literacy Instruction
Phonemic Awareness Training --------------------------Grades K-1
Early Literacy Inservice Course (ELIC)-------------------Grades 2-5
Literacy Strategies Inservice------------------------------Grades K-5
CRISS Training-------------------------------------------- Grades 4-12
Reading Recovery Teacher Training--------------------- Selected Teachers
Phonics Programs-------------------------------------------Grades K-5
------------------Selected Middle School Teachers
7. Power Writing--------------------------------------------Grades 3-6
8. Literacy Assessment Training---------------------------Grades K-12
9. Six Trait Writing Model Training------------------------Grades 2-12
10. Six Trait Reading Model Training----------------------Grades 4-12
11. Literacy Workshop Training----------------------------Grades 6-12
12. Literacy Strategies for Administrators-----------------All Principals
Assessments for Effective Literacy Instruction
Silvaroli Reading Inventory---------------------------------All Grades
Phonemic Awareness Diagnostics--------------------------Kg, Grade 1
Kindergarten Readiness Checklist--------------------------Kg
Kindergarten End of Year Screening Instrument--------- Kg
Guided Reading Assessment Procedures------------------All Grades
Running Records---------------------------------------------All Grades
Anecdotal Records-------------------------------------------All Grades
School Based Assessments---------------------------------All Grades
District Assessments---------------------------------------- All Grades
Other Assessments(Gates McGinity, Woodcock)------ -   All Grades
Florida Writes and Six Traits of Effective Writers Rubrics------All Grades
Six Traits of Effective Readers Rubric--------------------All Grades
COMPONENTS OF A BALANCED LITERACY PROGRAM

- Santa Rosa School District - Balanced Literacy Program ZK-12

Professional Development: Intensive training for all staff K-12
Curriculum Standards: Sunshine State Standards and Grade Level Expectations
Instruction: Staff well-trained in best practices
Parent and Community Support: Ongoing development
Interventions and Safety Needs: Provided as necessary
Preschool Articulation: Screening and placement instruments provided
Assessment Tasks: A continuous program of appropriate assessment
Equals - Santa Rosa School District - Balanced Literacy Program K-12

Section 1 Components of a Balanced Literacy Program and an outline of
Santa Rosa School District's Plan to Implement the Program

A BALANCED LITERACY PROGRAM
Literacy must be viewed as the ability of individuals to communicate effectively for the real world. This must involve teaching the abilities to listen, read, write, speak and view things with thinking being an integral part of each of these processes.     J. David Cooper
A balanced literacy program is a powerful vehicle that enables children to become successful, independent readers and writers. Exemplary teachers provide a comprehensive program by integrating instruction in reading, writing, listening, viewing, speaking, language and literature. As they model good reading and writing, they connect skills and strategy development across the literacy spectrum.
Other disciplines such as social studies, science and mathematics are integrated as well, providing substance for research, discussion, problem solving, journal writing, oral reports and debates. The textbook alone is not enough; these curricular areas have literature that is rich and abundant and can be used to develop many higher order thinking skills. Providing these experiences ensures children will have a balance of supportive and challenging learning opportunities.

Shared Reading Children observe the teacher reading an enlarged text and are invited to read along. Skills and strategies are practiced in a relaxed environment.
Guided Reading The teacher guides small groups of children in the reading of texts at their instructional level. The teacher observes and supports the child's use of strategies with prompts and questions. Reciprocal teaching, which focuses on predicting, questioning, clarifying and summarizing, is effective with older students.
Literature Groups Small groups of children participate in discussions that focus on negotiating meaning of text: giving personal reactions, clarifying certain words or story parts, predicting, summarizing, relaying insights.etc.
Independent Reading Children read on their own or with partners, independent of the teacher from a variety of genre. This practice at a level of success builds fluency and comprehension.
Shared Writing/

Interactive Writing

The teacher and students work together to compose messages and stores. The process provides opportunities to teach reading and writing skills and strategies in a supportive writing environment.
Writers' Workshop Students are engaged in writing a variety of texts with the teacher guiding the process by modeling, providing mini-lessons, conferring, and giving children the opportunity to share. Teachers use this workshop format to teach students how to write in different genre and how to improve the quality of their writing. Students have choice within parameters of the prompt given or the genre or quality being studied.
Independent

Writing

Children write on their own, independent of the teacher; this includes journal writing, self-selected writing and retellings.
Intervention Extra support for reading and writing exists for those who need it. This intensive instruction is appropriately fast paced and tailored to student needs and learning styles.

DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES OF READING AND WRITING            
Most children learn to read by the time they are seven or eight years old; but to become truly literate, they will go on learning to read throughout their lives.
Moria McKenzie
Children progress through the developmental stages of emergent, early, and fluent readers and writers as they become more proficient readers and writers. These developmental stages are not determined by grade level, but by a child's experiences, understanding, attitude and the expectations that they child has for reading and writing. While these categories are roughly age related, it is obvious that there is a great deal of overlap. At the same time, a self-extending system must be in place by grade three. Children who do not appear to be making satisfactory progress must have high-quality intervention with a strong diagnostic component and continuous assessment, preferably at an early age. The intervention must help students achieve accelerated progress in learning the critical skills of literacy. That means it must be well timed, consistent and intensive.
Emergent readers are just learning that illustrations and books tell a story. These readers are developing concepts about print, such as directionality and word-by-word matching, and may know letters and several high frequency words. They use pictures and rely on their knowledge of oral language. With emergent readers teachers move from shared to guided reading, focusing on helping children independently read texts that are easy for them and that they have read before. Beginning books for this level should have natural language, a clear matching of pictures to text, repetitive text and predictability. At this stage children often memorize the text as part of the developmental process. This stage occurs for most children at ages 5 to 6.
Early readers are in the stage when true reading is beginning to occur. These children are developing strategies for reading and self-correction and can read appropriately selected texts accurately, using pictures for support, once the teacher has introduced the text. The teacher's concern is to help children further develop their ability to read, check and use all three cueing systems: meaning, language structure and phonics. This stage occurs for most children at ages 6 to 8.
Fluent readers have gained enough control of reading so that self-correction is automatic. Miscues make sense or are self-corrected. Reading is fluent and reading strategies are used effectively and efficiently. These children are becoming involved in stories at deeper levels of understanding and silent reading gradually becomes a natural form of behavior. These children have developed a self-extending system that enables them to learn more about reading every time they read. Most children become fluent at ages 7 to 9.
Emergent writers use scribbling and letter-like approximations to convey meaning. Many words are represented by the first letter sound of the word. Some very familiar words may be spelled correctly (mom, dad, love, etc.). This stage occurs for most children at ages 5 to 6
Early writers write beginning sounds, ending sounds and some vowels using conventional spelling more often that not. More words are spelled correctly than are approximated. They write simple sentences and use details to explain ideas. They are learning to connect spoken and written language. These writers are beginning to use minimal editing skills. This stage occurs for most children at ages 6 to 8.
Fluent writers express more complex ideas with greater ease. They write in a variety of genre for many purposes and can produce well-written pieces. These writers can use self-assessment tools to enhance writing and can use editing and proofreading skills to improve the presentation of the message. Most children become fluent writers by ages 8 to 10.
Development is unique and complex; therefore early emergent and fluent readers and writers may occur at any grade, depending upon the student.

READING OVERVIEW
CONDITIONS FOR LEARNING

For students to be successful, they must be engaged in their learning process. Engagement occurs when they are in a low-risk environment with an individual they trust, and with experiences they believe are meaningful and attainable.
It is the teacher's responsibility to provide such a climate where students:
*have the resources they need to support their learning
*watch and listen as their teacher and others demonstrate what good reading and writing looks like and sounds likes.
*see models (newspapers, fiction/nonfiction, poetry, flyers, pamphlets, posters).
*work with their teacher to analyze examples of different reading and writing genres so they know how to be successful when they read and write.
*are held accountable for those things they are able to do independently
*practice reading and writing, applying what they have learned.
*are given feedback which refines their learning
If we have these conditions in classrooms, we will have successful learners.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR LEARNING
The teacher provides time, choice and response:
*time to: practice, share, discuss, analyze, think and revise.
*choice of: topics, materials, people to work with, location and ways to share learning
*response from: teacher, peers, materials/technology, parents and others.

LEARNING EXPERIENCES
Reading Aloud
What: The teacher reads aloud daily to the whole class from a variety of children's literature (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry).
Why: Reading aloud is the single most influential factor in young children's success in learning to read.
*Builds listening skills and vocabulary
*Aids reading comprehension
*Develops a positive attitude toward reading
Shared Reading
What: The children (or a small group of children) see the text, observe the teacher reading it with fluency and expression, and are invited to real along. The teacher can use this opportunity to focus on skills and strategies. Eyes on text with voice support is shared reading.
Why: Shared reading gives an authentic reason to practice skills and strategies:
*Creates a low-risk environment
*Provides support so that the children can join in and see themselves as readers.
Guided Reading
What: The teacher selects books for a small group with the expectation that all children can read the selection at an instructional level (90 to 94 percent word match). The teacher observes and supports the reader with prompts and questions.
Why: Guided reading provides the teacher with time to observe reading behaviors:
*Lets the teacher see the children functioning as readers
*Helps the teacher know what to stress next to move the children forward
Independent Reading
What: The child selects and reads texts, an integral component at all states of reading development.
Why: Independent reading provides practice and builds fluency and comprehension.
INSTRUCTIONAL GROUPS
Varying the way in which students are grouped for instruction is necessary to encompass different learning styles as well as methods of delivery. Students may be grouped according to ability and/or interest. On any given day, students are instructed in a variety of groups. Flexible grouping lends itself well to the development of the child and to different teaching styles.
Whole group instruction - is suitable for reading and writing with children. The teacher demonstrates and models for the whole group. Participation by the students is encouraged. Shared reading and writing may also be delivered using whole group instruction.
Small group instruction - is delivered to a portion of the class. Students may be grouped according to ability, interest, text level and needs for instruction. Small groups are flexible, constantly changing to meet the needs of the children.
Independent instruction - allows children opportunities to practice and problem solve using known strategies with either new or familiar material.

THE THREE READING CUE SYSTEMS
Because reading is such a complex undertaking, no single strategy works best to teach reading. Rather, many useful strategies should be employed. Developmentally, children first connect the rich experiences and emotions of stories to their lives. A child who is read to is often found "rereading" a beloved story by using the pictures from the text and the memory of the story line for retelling. (This involves semantics.) Later the child will be able to say more of the text using memory of phrases. The more repetitive the story text, the easier it is for the child to make connections between what is remembered, what is heard and what is written. Gradually, the child makes a clearer match between what he or she says and what is written.
The Three Reading Cue Systems*    
              Story Sense                 Natural Language                            Sounds and Symbols
Prior Knowledge=Meaning                    Structure= Knowledge of English                Visual
Test                     (Semantic Cue System)    (Syntactic Cue System)                                      (Graphophonics Cue System)
Illustrations        Does it Make sense?         Does it sound right?=Grammatical patterns        Does it look right?

                                                                   and language structure
Analogies                                         Print Conventions
M=Meaning=Does it make sense?                         Directionally
S=Structure=Does it sound right?                         Word spaces
V=Visual=Does it look right?                                   Letters
                                                                              Beginnings and endings
                                                                              Punctuation
Children read and reread favorite stories until they master them. They begin to look very carefully at words. They may notice beginning or ending letters or check a word with one on a previous page to see if they are the same (using graphophonics). Once they are able to read every word perfectly, they look for another book. Some children focus a great deal of attention on reading and writing and quickly develop deep understanding, seemingly with little effort. Others have some basic knowledge of literacy - familiarity with the language of stories and with particular letters, sounds and words. - but they need help figuring out the complex process of reading text. As children work with text, they develop a network of strategies that allow them to attend to information from different sources. Information from these sources (the three reading cue systems) is the foundation for reading text. We need to focus readers' attention on using all three reading cue systems - the semantic, the syntactic, and the graphophonic - in an integrated way.
When children use semantic cues, they use prior knowledge and comprehension of the story line to help them read. Children should be taught first that reading makes sense. Syntactic cues involve children in the use of a book's language structure and grammatical patterns as well as children's current knowledge of the English language.
Children who are acquiring English as a second language and those with minimal literacy experiences may need additional support with the sentence structure of written texts. Graphophonic cues deal with the relationship between sounds and graphic symbols: letters formed into words, divided by spaces, and arranged on the page and the conventions of print such as punctuation.
To ensure children learn to coordinate the cueing systems, they need time every day for reading and writing. Guided and independent reading and writing provide opportunities for children to practice coordinating the cueing systems. The most useful tool for getting a true picture of both what a child has learned and can do at a particular point in time and for guiding instructions is the running record.   *Source: Marie Clay, Reading Recovery

READING STRATEGIES GOOD READERS USE
What is a good reader? This is a simple question with a complex answer, depending upon whether or not the student is learning to read or reading to learn. A good reader who is learning to read has not only acquired skills (i.e., letters, sounds, words), but uses those skills in a strategic way while reading. A good reader who is reading to learn can not only read the material, but applies higher-level thinking skills (i.e., inferential) while reading.

Anyone who has taught someone to ride a bike knows that merely explaining or demonstrating the process is not enough. Learners must experience riding the bike for themselves. Experience is a very powerful influence on the construction of reading strategies. Good reading instruction provides students not only with opportunities to practice skills, but also with powerful teacher demonstration and instruction that will guide them in the use of reading skills when reading to learn or learning to read.
This listing of skills/strategies is included for clarification of ideas. It is by no means all-inclusive.

LEARNING TO READ READING TO LEARN
Concepts about Print                                        Before Reading
Knows directionality - left to right                      Predicts content and purpose of reading using:
Matches one to one                                          table of contents *index
Demonstrates book knowledge-cover,title          *headings *glossary
Associates letters and sounds *major words     *graphs
Distinguishes between a letter and word             *illustrations *charts *captions
Before Reading                                                During Reading
Uses title and illustrations to predice                    Integrates phonics, word structure and context clues
                                                                        to identify words and construct meaning
Locates known words                                             Rereads
Activates prior knowledge                                       Skips words, Reads on, Revises prediction
, Uses graphic sources to get information
During Reading
Uses illustrations for clues                                      Rereads, retells, summarizes, discusses, clarifies   

Rereads                                                                Identifies the main idea and supporting ideas
Reads on to determine meaning                              Makes inferences
Substitutes another meaningful word                       Draws conclusions
Uses initial and final letters                                     Identifies chronological order
Sounds words out                                                  Infers author's purpose
Looks for little words in big words                           Compares and contrasts
Uses syllabification                                                 Notes cause and effect
Changes pace(slows down,speeds up)
Asks: Does it make sense?                                     Skills and strategies are developed
         Does it sound right?                                      Effectively withing the context of authentic literacy events
         Does it look right?                                         Teachers should not wait for skills and strategy instruction to
Self-corrects                                                         happen. They plan and provide opportunities for children to
Seeks help when they can't read                             engage in modeled, shared, guided, and independent reading
Uses convention of print(punctuation)                      and writing.
After Reading
Identifies main idea
Identifies supporting information                             "Students must have time to read..." We suggest that 70-80
                                                                                percent of the time allotted to reading
Sequences events                                                   instruction be devoted to Real reading and writing with 20-30
Rereads, retells, summarizes and discusses.             percent of the time spent in working on instructional strategy
                                                                           lessons that include thinking and talking about reading and writing.
Ask yourself: Am I planning and providing meaningful opportunities for students to practice skills and strategies before, during and after reading?
Learning to Read
Given developmentally appropriate instruction and materials, students will progress through the emergent and early reader phases to become fluent readers.

Emergent Readers Early Reader Newly Fluent Readers
Students will: Students will: Students will:
Understand that print contains a meaningful message. Match each spoken word to its corresponding written word (one-to-one correspondence.) Rarely interrupt the meaningful flow
of reading to decode words.
Demonstrate an understanding of concepts about print (e.g., left to right, top to bottom, starting point). Know and use an increasing number of high frequency words. Consistently integrate and use cueing
systems (phonics, meaning and structure)
to confirm the message of the text.
Imitate reading-like behaviors Begin to use the cueing systems (phonics, meaning and structure) to confirm the message of the text. Use all the information in text (on page,
prior chapters, author's style, etc.)
to confirm the message.
Reproduce language patterns orally from familiar books. Demonstrate an awareness of details of print (e.g. punctuation, bold print, variations in format, etc.) Retell, summarize,
and infer meaning.
Know most letters in some way (name, sound, word starting with). Begin to apply reading strategies to other text types. Self-monitor and self-correct
while reading.
Use initial sounds in their writing. Retell and summarize text in sequential order with supporting details. Use inference, deduction, and prior
experiences to predict and make
meaning from text.
Retell text. Begin to self-monitor and self-correct while reading Read flexibly and strategically
from a variety of texts.
Use illustrations and prior experience to help predict and bring meaning to text. Use illustrations and prior experiences to infer, deduct, predict, and make meaning from text. Ask questions as an extension
for further reading.

WRITING OVERVIEW
CONDITIONS FOR LEARNING
For students to be successful, they must be engaged in their learning process. Engagement occurs when they are in a low-risk environment with an individual they trust, and with experiences they believe are meaningful and attainable.
It is the teacher's responsibility to provide such a climate where students
*have the resources they need to support their learning
*watch and listen as their teacher and others demonstrate good reading and writing
*see models (newspapers, fiction/nonfiction, poetry, flyers, pamphlets, posters).
*work with their teacher to analyze examples of different reading and writing genres so they know how to be successful when they read and write
*are held accountable for those things they are able to do independently
*practice reading and writing, applying what they have learned
*are given feedback which refines their learning
These conditions will create successful learners.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR LEARNING
The teacher provides time, choice and reponse:
*Time to: practice, share, discuss, analyze, think and revise.
*Choice of: topics, materials, people to work with, location and ways to share learning
*Response from: teacher, peers, technology, parents and others.
LEARNING EXPERIENCES
Teacher Modeling
What: Teacher modeling provides the most support for students of all ages. In a writing lesson, the teacher is the writer, talking, thinking our loud and making thought processes known to the students. In the modeled lesson, the teacher demonstrates in context concepts about print, letter-sound correspondences and writing conventions.
Why: Students need writing models if they are to become effective writers. Teachers need to model how they value writing in their day-by-day routines and demonstrate a love of writing.
Shared Writing
What: A text is negotiated and composed by the students and teacher. The teacher acts as scribe. This demonstration of the writing process is accompanied by an ongoing dialogue between the teacher and students.
Why: Shared writing is useful in helping beginning writers make the connection between spoken and written language. The process also provides opportunities to teach reading skills and strategies and creates written resources for the classroom. Students develop an understanding of the writing process and may apply this understanding of the writing process and may apply this understanding to their independent writing.
Interactive Writing
What: The teacher guides group writing of a large-print piece which can be a list, chart, pages of a book, a message, a letter or another form of writing. The process of writing is modeled and demonstrated by the teacher with the participation of the students. The teacher selects letters, words, or other writing actions for individual students to do; the pen or marker is shared. A message is composed word by word with a high level of teacher support.
Why: Interactive writing is a highly effective method of demonstrating and reinforcing reading and writing strategies. Students get meaningful instruction in phonics by hearing sounds in words., constructing words and recognizing letter clusters and word families. It provides a meaningful text for rereading, material for a print-rich environment and a good example of standard spelling. Students take an active part in the writing process with the teacher using each child's strengths.
Independent Writing
What: Students independently produce written texts, using skills and strategies previously modeled. Students may write drafts, proofread, discuss, reread the written texts, confer and edit. The teacher roves the room, working with individuals, conferring, observing or taking notes.
Why: Independent writing provides practice and allows children to use what they have learned. It helps children make connections between reading and writing.
READING/WRITING CONNECTION
During reading time, teachers and students talk about what authors do. During writing time, teachers and students talk about what authors do. Students soon realize that whey they read, they consider what authors do and whey they write, they try what authors do. Reading actually becomes a model for writing.
The wider the range of resources and models, the richer the writing. "Everything we've ever read comes into play when we write" (Atwell). Reading well-written pieces on topics of interest to students will inspire them to borrow genre, topics and techniques for their own writing.
"Reading and writing are interrelated: what is learned in one area makes it easier to learn in others" (Fountas & Pinnell). Developing readers must write, write, write, because during writing, children naturally study sounds, analyze words, and discover patterns.
From the time students enter school, they need many opportunities to read and write, to see their teachers read and write and to receive instruction on appropriate techniques. In writing they specifically need demonstrations and models so that they learn to focus on a subject, organize their writing, provide supporting details and proofread for spelling, grammar and punctuation. These are some of the techniques good writers' use. Stressing these techniques, beginning in kindergarten, will not only prepare students for the Florida Write! Test, but will also prepare them for a lifetime of writing.________________________________________________________________________

"As well as being valuable in its own right, "Combining reading and writing leads to outcomes
writing promotes ability in reading. "                     not attributable to either process alone."
"Becoming a Nation of Readers                              J.David Cooper
Section 2
Goals of a Balanced Literacy Program In Middle and High School Grades
Balanced Literacy Workshop for Adolescents designed byDr. Janet Allen
Program for Secondary Students
Multiple Levels of Understanding
Strategies of Good Readers
Skills of Good Readers
Results of 96-97 UCF Literacy Project
CReating Independence through Student-owned Strategies
Northwest Regional Education Laboratories:
Keys to Successful Reading Reform
Traits of an Effective Reader
Traits of an Effective Writer
A Balanced Literacy Program for Secondary Stuents

Reading Writing Literacy Assessments
Read Aloud Read Aloud Independent Literacy
Explorations
Self-assessments
Shared Reading Shared Writing Conventions of Print/Language Teacher-constructed
Assessments
Guided Reading Guided Writing Surface Features of Text Test-taking Strategies
Independent Reading Independent Writing Focused Discussion
Strategy Lessons Strategy Lessons Vocabulary Enrichment

Shared Reading
Many terms have been used to refer to methods of supporting students by reading with them. These include read along, cooperative reading, assisted reading, unison reading, choral reading, and shared reading. The main idea behind all these approaches is that of support for students. This support will ensure that the students can enjoy material that they cannot as yet read for themselves. Students can also be introduced to the riches of book language and given shared opportunities to develop the strategies of sampling, predicting, confirming, and self-correcting for future independent use. With the teacher doing the decoding, students are able to focus on making meaning from text and connecting the text to their own lives.
Guided Reading
Guided reading is an approach which enables a teacher and a group of students to talk, read, and think their way purposefully through a text, making possible an early introduction to reading silently. The techniques of guided reading enable the teacher to involve students in wondering what will happen next, to respond to ideas, and to identify with situations and characters in books. In this way students come to know reading as a process of actively reconstructing meaning, and not as a recitation of words. It is a process of predicting one's way through print.
Independent Reading
Independent reading is the time when either the student or the teacher chooses material for reading independently. "Clocking up reading mileage" makes skilled, independent readers. Quiet time, during which all students read silently, may be the only opportunity for uninterrupted reading in a busy and noisy day.
Adapted from Janet S. Allen and Reading in Junior Classes by the Learning Media Ministry of Education in Wel
Multiple Levels of Understanding
Verbal Association Level
*everyday use
*definitional/single
*contexts
*wide and varied
*interactive reading
*teach words as they
*appear in context
Partial Concept Knowledge
*deeper level of understanding
*knowledge of multiple meaning possibilities
*explicit strategies for words integral to story's
meaning
*graphic organizers to extend definitional knowledge
Full Concept Knowledge
*deep level of understanding which includes
knowledge of word families, multiple meanings, and
ways to extend definitions to applications
*is able to discriminate word from similar words
*Explicit strategies for connecting and extending words
*opportunities for students to integrate word and concept in
meaningful use            Dr. Janet S. Allen



Stategies Good Readers Use
1.    Access prior knowledge
2.    Set purpose for reading
3.    Create mental images to visualize vague descriptions
4.    Ask questions
5.    Define words in context
6.    Look back; reread confusing parts
7.    Predict; change predictions
8.    Think aloud to make sure of understanding
9.    Make analogies
10.    Fit new materials into personal experience
11.    Think about opinions, attitudes, reactions
12.    Summarize
13.    Take notes; use mapping
                     Dr. Janet S. Allen
Skilled Readers
Know
large                                             Know how to                            Have confidence that new words can be learned
Numbers                                                  effectively learn new words            Know how to use resources
of words                                                 Know how to use content              Know to use strategies
Know that words are                                Know how to use structural nalysis    Know how to use connections
connected                                                To activate prior knowledge
to concepts                                                     
Know that                                                                
reading                                                         
increases vocabulary
Know that words can have multiple meanings
Literacy Project Reading Comprehension Results, 1996-97 Freeman Coney, 111, Ed. D. Educational Improvement Services
After years of unsatisfactory reading test scores, from middle schools located in low socioeconomic areas, the district chose to
use a different approach to provide reading instruction to students from these schools who had not learned to read.
A novel approach, the Literacy Project, was created by high-level district administrators that emphasized two basic strategies.
First, there was extensive use of the Literacy Workshop where teachers were trained to use the best practices in reading research.

Instuction was guided by principles set forth by Dr. Janet Allen, an instructor at the University of Central Florida.  She believes
that these types of students will learn to read given the appropriate length of time spent on reading,  the willingness to be
innovative in the selection of strategies to teach reading and the provision of adequate resources for reading instruction.
Second, educators at the Vanderbilt University Cognition Institute had developed a unique, technology-based reading instructional system. 

This system, called the Peabody Learning Lab, is preexisting knowledge and experiences to build upon called "anchors! Students from low
socioeconomic areas were usually deficient in these areas, so the Peabody Learning Lab strategy chose to furnish these experience and
knowledge via videos and computers.  From these "anchors," reading is developed by using computer technology and the skills associated
with the best practices in reading research.
These approaches were developed to be mutually supportive.  Over three years, the Literacy Project has grown from three pilot schools to

all middle schools, selected ninth grade centers, Jones High School and one elementary school. Also, the types of students in the Literacy Project
have expanded to include ESOL and SLD students.  What follows are the conclusions from an analysis of pre-post test results from the
Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) test given during the past school year.
*Analysis of average DRP test score gains among the national norming group (Grades 4 through 11) revealed the gain to be 1.0.
  Similar analysis of Literacy students found the gain to be 6.4 which is more that three times the national norming group. 
  This finding is noteworthy because Literacy Project students contain a higher proportion of poor reading students than the norming group.
*Spectacular gains (above 7.0 DRP units) were found for Grades 5 and 9. Grade 11 also had high gains, but the sample size was too
  small to have meaning.
*ESOL students had high gains (above 6.5) and some SLD student had modest gains (less than 6.00, but more than 4.00).
*The Literacy Project has demonstrated success in improving reading comprehension among students with previous problems. 
  Most of these students have not risen to the reading proficiency levels of their peers, but they have closed the gap.
Comparison of Literacy Students with Norming Groups,
1996-97 DRP Units at P=.75 for Fall 1996 and Spring 1997
(Interpolated)Norms

Comparison of Literacy Students with Norming Groups,
1996-97 DRP Units at P=.75 for Fall 1996 and Spring 1997
(Interpolated)Norms

*N Gain = Test gain of National Norming Group from Fall to Spring.
**L Gain = Test gain of Literacy Project regular students from Fall to Spring.
***Difference = L Gain - N Gain.

Grade

Time of Year

n

National

Literacy

Difference-

Means N Gain

Means

L Gain

Fall

28

45.36

3.66

26.46

6.25

+2.59

4

Spring

49.02

32.71

Fall

17

51.80

2.14

30.47

9.94

+7.8

5

Spring

53.94

40.41

Fall

668

55-51

1.12

38.87

4.73

+3.61

6

Spring

56.63

43.60

Fall

595

57.76

3.33

42.99

6.41

+3.08

7

Spring

61.09

49.40

Fall

329

62.93

0.83

43.79

5.12

+4.29

8

Spring

63.76

48.91

Fall

244

63.70

2.60

45.50

12.16

+9.56

9

Spring

66.30

57.66

Fall

19

68.07

0.61

41.00

5.63

+5.02

10

Spring

68.68

46.63

Fall

5

68.89

0.97

39.20

12.00

+11.03

11

Spring

69.86

51.20


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Read 10
Intervention for Struggling Readers  Grades 4-8
Read 180 is a new research-based reading intervention program proven to raise levels and test scores of struggling readers in grades 4-8. 
It was developed for the 20-30% of students who are reading two to three years below grade level.  It supplements the Literacy Workshop
designed by Dr. Janet Allen.
Read 180 is based on Vanderbilt University's well-researched, individualized instruction program, which has been used for more than four years
with great success in Orange County, Florida.  During the innovative four-year project involving thousands of students, many students
gained up to two years growth in a single year, based on standardized test.
Read 180 accommodates students' independent reading abilities.  Material span four levels, providing for students at reading levels of grades 1.5-8
and continually tracks the students' progress and automatically adjusts the level to match increasing abilities.  Instruction is centered around
interesting content-rich topics that are presented via a video segment on a CD-ROM. Students read leveled text that relates to the video segments,
using the computer for individualized assistance.  When a student demonstrates mastery of all the activities for a video segment, he begins the instruction
cycle again with a new Video segment.  With each new video segment, students are gradually exposed to and learn more and more words that parallel the
increasing complexity of the scope and sequence.
In all cases, the Orange County students made significantly larger gains that did the national norming group. Perhaps what is most impressive is the
data for the 9th grade students who have had a long history of failure.  They began the year with DRP scores equivalent to the 4th grade national
norming group.  These 9th grade students ended the 1996-97 school year reading at a level equivalent to the scores of the 7th grade national norming group.
Overall DRP Test Gains by Grade
1996-97
(Regular Students)
                                                     Means
Grade n Pretest Posttest Difference
4 28 26.46 32.71 6.25
5 17 30.47 40.41 9.94
6 668 38.87 43.60 4.73
7 595 42.99 49.40 6.36
8 329 43.79 48.91 5.16
9 244 45.50 57.66 12.20
10 19 41.00 46.63 5.63
11 5 39.20 51.20 12.00

DRP Test Means by Type of Students
1996-97
								DRP Means
Type of Students		n	Pretest	Post test	Gain (PostT-PreT)
1. Regular				1677	42.29	48.70	6.41
2. ESOL (combined)		166	41.36	48.48	7.12
	ESOL (full year)		152	41.41	48.43	7.02
	ESOL (one semester)	14	40.57	50.23	9.66
3. SLID (combined)		65	25.97	31.37	5.40
	SLID (one hour)		53	26.26	31.06	4.79
	SLID (full year)		12	24.67	32.75	8.08
4. Alternative			12	51.08	55.17	4.09
5. All Students			1920	41.71	48.14	6.43
CRISS    PRINCIPLES AND PHILOSOPHY 
Theoretical Base for Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies

To enhance student teaming, CRISS employs several concepts, drawn from cognitive psychology. First, students must be able to integrate new information with prior knowledge. Second, students need to be actively involved in their own learning by discussing, writing, organizing and third, students must self-monitor to identify which strategies are the most effective for a given set of learning materials. These behaviors need to be taught by content teachers to maximize the acquisition of course materials.
CRISS growth in understanding the processes which lead to thoughtful readers. The following key principles drawn from this cognitive and social learning research lay the foundation for PROJECT CRISS for the practical strategies that are found in the workshop and text: strategies are designed to develop thoughtful and independent readers and learners.
1. Background knowledge is a powerful determinant of reading comprehension. Readers interpret text based on their own background or prior knowledge. Researchers tell us that integrating new information with prior knowledge is at the heart of comprehension. The richer our background, the richer is our comprehension. The more we bring to a reading situation, the more we can take away (Pearson and Fielding, 1991).
2. Good readers are actively involved in making sense from their reading. CRISS strategies take the notion of the active learner to heart. Whenever we teach, we think about ways to actively involve out students. Moreover, thinking about active involvement has led to changes in our own conceptions about teaching. We aren't on stage very much, giving our lectures, or asking hundreds of questions. Instead, our students are far more engaged in their learning and in the process learn content more effectively.
3. Students need many opportunities to discuss with one another what they are learning. Conversations among communities of learners occur throughout the CRISS project. Discussion is student rather than teacher centered. Most conversations occur among students. This is far different from other views of discussion where the teacher remains the authority figure with students reciting answers to teacher directed questions. Discussion is critical for developing higher level reading skills and for refining understanding. CRISS strategies create an environment for cultivating the exchange of ideas.
4. Good readers are metacognitive or aware of their own thinking. CRISS provides students and teachers with many opportunities to make their learning public. Teachers model their own learning processes when introducing learning strategies. Students talk and write about learning through process conferences and discussions. When teachers and students share their cognitive secrets, they are more likely to internalize processes. They become more aware of how learning and comprehending takes place.
5. Students need many opportunities to write about what they are learning. Writing helps each of us make personal sense out of our reading. Each of us writes to understand. It is a way of knowing. If we can explain things to ourselves and others, we can claim knowledge as our own. Writing forces organization. It helps us see clusters of information and hierarchies of ideas. It also helps us become metacognitive. Because it is such a powerful vehicle for learning and thinking, it is integrated into practically every component of the CRISS project.
6. Good readers and writers have an intuitive understanding of the author's craft. They know how text structure aids comprehension. Good readers know different poetic forms as well as the structure of a math word problem. CRISS strategies help students become aware of the author's craft. Students learn ways to get inside an "author's head" to determine an author's style of presentation. They can then use this knowledge as a basis for a variety of studying and writing strategies.
7. Good readers know a variety of ways to organize information for learning. The past thirty years of psychology have demonstrated that learning and memory depend upon organizing information. The more organized, the better remembered. Through the CRISS project, students learn flexible ways to organize information from both narrative and expository text. These include main idea strategies such as power thinking, selective underlining, two column notes, and concept mapping.
8. Students learn to become strategic when teachers teach these processes directly through explanation and modeling. Most students do not know how to learn. We have to show them how. When introducing a new strategy, we need to take the stage. We show, tell, model, demonstrate, and explain not only the content, but also the process of active learning. As the student becomes comfortable using the strategy, there is a gradual release of responsibility from teacher to student.
9. Students come to understand by attacking a topic in a variety of ways. Our conception of understanding goes beyond knowing the specific information in a piece. It is a matter of variety of "thinking" activities with a topic, such as explaining, finding examples, producing evidence, generalizing and representing the topic in a new way (Perkins and Blyth, 1994), CRISS strategies are designed to help students build understanding. We want our students to carry out a variety of learning activities that not only show understanding of a topic, but also aid them in advancing a topic beyond what they already know.
The CReating Independence through Student-owned Strategies (CRISS) project promises to give workshop participants a "grocery store" of ideas which operationalize the above principles and philosophy, Choose those that make the most sense for you. You aren't going to put everything in the cart. As you walk down the aisles think about how these ideas can be adapted to your own situation. Add your own ingredients. Change strategies to fit your various domains whether it is a science lab, a hands-on activity in mathematics, a field trip or a short story. Take what we offer. Shape it. Mold it. Give students control, so that they leave your classroom with knowledge and power over their own learning.
From: Santa, et. al., CReating Independence through Student-owned Strategies, (c) 1996, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, IA. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

 KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL READING REFORM
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
*Identify and define what your district believes good readers should know and be able to do at various grade levels. Create a mission statement for your teachers, administrators, students, parents, and community members. A strong mission statement serves as a common goal that everyone can help achieve.
*Use common terminology for reading terms, kindergarten through graduation, to talk about your beliefs, definitions, goals, and standards in respect to reading. Using the same language when talking about pertinent issues encourages clear communication and a common vision. Even when programmatic approaches vary, strive to define terms such as comprehension and reading process so that your entire staff agrees on meaning and usage.
*Establish goals and dream big. Establish a goal that 90% of third graders will be reading on grade level by the end of third grade, or that a majority of eighth graders will meet the standard on the state assessment reading test. Enlist the support of your community and parents to help achieve your goal. Set enough time so that you can take little steps toward a big accomplishment.
*Develop criteria that will be used to assess student achievement. Have grade-level groups in your district determine specific criteria that will be used to assess student growth. When criteria is used, there is no "right" or "wrong" answer; instead, criteria indicate the level of quality.
*Align your curriculum, kindergarten through graduation, with state and local reading standards. By aligning your curriculum with the standards, you ensure that everyone is headed toward the same destination: growth in achievement! Create consistency and fluidity between grade levels. The elementary should be aware of the middle school's benchmarks, and the middle school should be aware of the high school's benchmarks. By aligning curriculum, establishing "best" instructional practices, and using common assessment methods, you make the journey of a reader clear for everyone: students, teachers, and parents.
*Develop multiple sources of assessment that reflect your standards. Reading is difficult to assess. Students go through a "process" when they read. Yet, to assess their growth as a reader, we must assess an echo of that process through some sort of product. In order to create the most valid and authentic picture of an individual reader's level of competency (with regard to standards), we need to use a multi-layered system of assessment. We advocate implementing a portfolio of assessments.
*Understand that creating a comprehensive plan for reforming reading practices in your district is an on-going, sustainable effort that will take time. It takes time and energy to stretch our understandings and grow as professionals. Keep your end goal in sight: Students will become better readers, able to comprehend texts with insight and purpose; they will be able to interpret and synthesize texts and the world where they live; and finally, they will be able to apply their reading knowledge to make good decisions and choices in their lives ahead.

 The Traits of an Effective Reader
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory

The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory initiated the research and development of a reading assessment program in October 1996 with funds provided by the federal Office of Educational Research and Improvement. NWREL hired Lesley D. Thompson, a reading response critic and college instructor, to head the program's development. Dr. Thompson conducted an exhaustive literature review and research inquiry into the question, "What do good readers know and what are they able to do?" The research synthesis identified six traits of an effective reader:
Decoding Conventions: decoding words, decoding symbols, decoding grammar and punctuation, reading aloud with sentence fluency, recognizing genre and mode, oral fluency enhances meaning of text
Establishing Comprehension: establishing plot, selecting main ideas, distinguishing between major and minor characters, distinguishing between significant and supporting details, describing turning moments, conflicts, resolutions creating a purposeful summary.
Realizing Context: finding vocabulary reflective of the text, describing setting, describing historical time period, finding evidence of social issues, realizing cultural overtones
Developing Interpretations: locating problems, ambiguities and gaps in texts, selecting clues and evidence to analyze problems, revising interpretations with new information, connecting interpretations to a bigger picture
Integrating for Synthesis: put information in order; list, sort, outline information; compare and contrast; cause and effect; compare to personal background experience; use multiple sources to create an "integrated" analysis
Critiquing for Evaluation: experimenting with ideas, expressing opinions, raising questions, challenging the text, challenging the author, noting bias and distortion, distinguishing between fact and opinion
The traits are, in essence, reading the lines, reading between the lines, and reading beyond the lines.

With a strong theoretical base, the reading assessment project moved into the development of workshop materials and the pilot testing of classroom materials in 1997. Since that time, more than 1000 teachers and administrators have been trained in the program, which is now being used in eighteen states. The program was chosen as one of ten "exemplary" programs produced by the regional educational laboratories across the country in January 1999. A guiding principle of the program has been the creation and distribution of authentic, practical, and hands-on materials to aid teachers in the classroom towards achieving state standards and benchmarks for their students.

 SIX ANALYTIC TRAITS FOR ASSESSING EFFECTIVE WRITING
IDEAS
This trait is the heart of the message, the central idea and the support for that idea. Raters look for clarity (the message must make sense), focus (the topic is narrowed to manageable size) and quality details (beyond the obvious or general).
ORGANIZATION This is the internal structure-the skeleton of the piece. Raters look for an inviting opening that gets and holds a reader's attention, sequencing that is both logical and effective, careful linking of one idea or paragraph to another, and an effective ending that ties up loose ends and leaves the reader with something to think about.
VOICE This is the personal quality of the piece, a sense of the writer behind the words-their individual fingerprints on the page. Raters look for a "flavor" or tone appropriate to the purpose for the writing and the audience, a sense of commitment to the topic, involvement in the writing, enthusiasm, and integrity.
WORD CHOICE Raters look first for correct and accurate use of language, words that are vivid and precise rather than general, and language that is appealing, memorable and noteworthy. Effective, original use of everyday words rate high scores. Misuse of language or over-reliance on the Thesaurus tend to hurt scores.
SENTENCE FLUENCY This trait focuses on the rhythm and cadence of the piece-how does it play to the ear when read aloud? Raters "listen" for smoothness and easy flow. They also look f or variety and logic in sentence beginnings, differences in sentence length, and variations in general patterning.
CONVENTIONS This trait reflects the general correctness of the piece. Raters look for writing that been edited/proof read with care. They check spelling, punctuation, grammar and usage, paragraphing, and use of capital letters. An addition, another dimension of Conventions called *Presentation* can be use to expand this trait into areas of handwriting, neatness, format and layout.
Developed by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Portland, Oregon

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