Monday, December 3, 2012

Bringing Informational Text Into the Classroom Will Transform Learning for All Students!

Common Core Standards will have classrooms shift from fictional to informational text.  If students are to be fully prepared to meet the demands of university or the global work force, they will need far more than fictional text to reach that goal.  This is not to say that fictional text has no place in the school curriculum.  Rather, it means that it should not be the sole source of reading material available to students.  With all teachers in all disciplines addressing informational text in their classes, students will have on-going multiple experiences with this form of writing. 

For ELLs, the text they must interact with is the actual grade level one and not the simplified ELD ones.  It may seem a bit overwhelming at first glance, but through SDAIE (Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English) techniques as well as other approaches to teaching ELLs, teachers can assist those students in making sense of the grade level text.  Will their reading and writing be at the same level as the native speakers?  Probably not, but with modifications of assignments, project based learning activities, structured cooperative groups, text analysis, vocabulary development within the lesson, word walls, concept maps, etc., they will grow in language while they slowly digest content.  Gone are the days when an ELL would be assigned a buddy to translate all day.  This approach robbed the English speaking student of classroom instruction and generally failed to deliver teacher-grade instruction to the ELL.  ELLs are capable of rising to teacher expectations. 

This link is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  There are great videos on informational text delivery in classrooms along with a plethora of resources to support teachers in raising the bar! INFORMATIONAL TEXT



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