Reading is an essential part of literacy. Teachers are responsible to support students in learning how to read in the style of the disciplines they teach—e.g., reading like a scientist, reading like a mathematician, etc. For example, in social studies, a teacher whose students are reading a secondary source text needs to support students in considering the context, looking for corroborating evidence across texts, and considering the source/author.
Educators who support reading literacy in their content areas do the following: teach discipline-specific reading practices; employ a variety of text types, encourage reading to use the information within the discipline.
To earn this microcredential you will submit two different pieces/types of evidence from the list below to demonstrate your consistent and effective instruction of discipline-specific reading skills. You will also complete a short written or video reflective analysis.
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The type of reading that leads to disciplinary literacy does not include memorization and simple recall. It is more than students answering basic questions at the end of the chapter. It is teaching students how to read within a specific content area and demonstrate their comprehension through discipline application.
Discipline-specific reading practices: Teachers will model for students how to read like experts in the discipline. They will use strategies to read relevant texts.
Using text variety: Provide students with a wide variety of texts of varying lengths related to disciplinary topics instead of relying on a single resource.
Reading to use the information within the dis: Teachers will provide opportunities for students to use information from the readings to do authentic work within the discipline.
Mr. Jefferson, an 11th grade U.S. History teacher at Washington High School, is beginning a unit on the Civil War. He carefully chooses three differing historical readings for his students: Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Robert Hicks's article "Why the Civil War Still Matters," and Charles Blow's "Lincoln, Liberty, and Two Americas." Mr. Jefferson will use a think-aloud strategy to model for his students how to read the texts as a historian. He will read one or more of the articles aloud with his students, making his thinking clear as he reads. He will then use a graphic organizer to model for students how to compare and contrast different perspectives on the same historical event.
Students will use their graphic organizer to finish reading the final article individually, using their historian reading skills. They will then engage in a class discussion as to what is the legacy of the Gettysburg Address and does it still matter today.
Video: Submit a 5-8 minute video of your reading strategy instruction. This video should demonstrate your effective and consistent use of modeling and using reading strategies to support your content standards. Video submissions should follow all relevant LEA (district/charter) and FERPA guidelines.
Student Work: Submit at least three samples of authentic student work produced during your instruction. These samples should demonstrate how the students have used reading to enhance their learning in the discipline (e.g., annotated readings, graphic organizers, photographs of products, writings). Include the assigned readings.
Lesson Plan: Submit a lesson plan that includes specific texts, a plan for how the teacher will model and scaffold reading those texts in the content area, and guidelines for the product students will be producing as a result of their readings. The lesson plan should demonstrate your consistent and effective use of reading instruction to support your content standards.
Testimonial: Submit a written or video statement from one of your students in which he or she describes how experts in this content area read and use texts. The testimonial should demonstrate your consistent and effective use of reading instruction to support your content standards.
Candidate's Choice: Submit another type of evidence demonstrating your consistent and effective use of reading instruction to support your content standards.
Candidates are required to make 2 evidence submission(s).
Criterion 1: Evidence demonstrates that the teacher uses best practices to teach specific reading skills within the target discipline.
Criterion 2: Evidence demonstrates that teachers provide students with a wide variety of texts of varying lengths related to the disciplinary topics.
Criterion 3: Evidence demonstrates the teacher provided opportunities for students to use information from the readings in authentic ways within the discipline.
Describe how you use reading instruction to model discipline-specific strategies, use texts of varying types and lengths, and how your students apply their readings to authentic work.
Explain how your students benefit from your reading instruction.
Criterion 1: Reflection explains how experts in the teacher's content area read.
Criterion 2: Reflection explains why the teacher chose the texts that were used.
Criterion 3: Reflection explains the connection between the reading and the students' authentic work.
AchievetheCore.org https://achievethecore.org/ This website has literacy strategies and sample lessons for teachers in any subject area to incorporate writing into their content instruction in a way that is authentic to their disciplines.
Disciplinary Literacy in Action: How to Create and Sustain a School-Wide Culture of Deep Reading, Writing, and Thinking Find it on Amazon.com This resource is a framework that keeps teachers’ subjects at the center of daily classroom life while also helping them weave in relevant, discipline-specific reading skills. Based on years of successful implementation, this powerful PL cycle "drops in" seamlessly to any school setting, so teachers schoolwide take on innovative practices of reading, writing, thinking, and doing within their areas of expertise.
Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?: Content Comprehension, Grades 6-12. Cris Tovani. (2004). Stenhouse. Find it on Amazon.com Description: Tovani shows how teachers can expand on their content expertise to provide instruction students need to understand specific technical and narrative texts. The book includes examples of how teachers can model their reading process for students, ideas for supplementing and enhancing the use of required textbooks, detailed descriptions of specific strategies taught in context, stories from different high school classrooms to show how reading instruction varies according to content, and samples of student work, including both struggling readers and college-bound seniors.
Guiding Readers Through Text: Strategy Guides for New Times. Wood, Karen B. [et al.] (2008). Delaware: International Reading Association, Inc. Find it on Amazon.com This text shows how to use strategy guides with their integrative and active approach to learning, to help students at all grade levels, in all content areas, achieve better comprehension.
Literacy Strategies for Improving Mathematics Instruction. Kennedy, J. (2005). Alexandria, VA: ASCD Find it on Amazon.com Chapter 2 is devoted to reading in the mathematics classroom: how teachers help students read and interpret mathematics text and discuss problem-solving strategies with them. It explains how mathematic reading instruction can improve student learning.
PDPro Course: Supercharge Your Questions with QAR: MIDAS Course # 40062 This online Canvas course through Davis School District’s PDPro series is available for any teacher. You’ll learn that the Question-Answer-Relationship (QAR) is a powerful strategy to help you teach students how to both ask and answer text-dependent questions.
Reading and Writing in Science: Tools to Develop Disciplinary Literacy Find it on Amazon.com The real strength of the book is the almost equal weighting given to the four strands of literacy; speaking, listening, reading and writing. This provides a useful prompt for the reader to go beyond the obvious when incorporating a greater literacy focus into their curriculum.
Reading for Understanding: How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in Secondary and College Classrooms Find it on Amazon.com This book lays out a model for reading apprenticeship, an effective method for expert readers of disciplinary texts to support students in developing similar expertise.
ReadWriteThink http://www.readwritethink.org/ This website is a searchable database of literacy strategies for any educator at any grade level. ReadWriteThink is a collaboration between the International Literacy Association (ILA) and National Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts (NCTE/LA).
Subjects Matter: Every Teacher's Guide to Content-Area Reading. Daniels, Harvey and Zemelman, Steven. (2004). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Find it on Amazon.com This text provides activities that help students understand and remember what they read in all content areas, as well as specific ways to use textbooks more effectively.
The Game Plan: A Multi-Year Blueprint to Create a School Culture of Literacy and Data Analysis. Kennett, D., Rathke, K., & van Brunt, K. (2016). New York: Rowman and Littlefield. Find it on Amazon.com This book has both (a) valuable reading and writing to learn strategies that are applicable in any content area and (b) a long-term plan to develop a school culture that supports disciplinary literacy.
Think Alouds in Elementary Reading Instruction https://www.mydigitalchalkboard.org/portal/default/Content/Viewer/Content?action=2&scId=507082&sciId=15533 Think alouds are a powerful way for instructors to model the specific type of thinking needed to comprehend and use a text from a particular discipline (mathematics, social studies, science, etc.). This site has a video of an elementary school educator teaching the Think Aloud strategy very explicitly to her students as she teaches them how to read an historical text – The First Amendment.
This Is Disciplinary Literacy. Lent, Releah Cossett. (2016). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Find it on Amazon.com Chapter 2, "Reading Within the Disciplines," discusses how reading looks in different content areas and provides strategies that work.