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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Literacy Strategies at Jay High School

On the day I visited Karina, she was working with a group of students at the high school, who were faced with challenges in the language arts area.  Since the support Karina provides for these students is linked to classroom activities, she was working on providing assistance with biology notes.  The plan of action they decided on was to meet with each student for a period of time and have each one take notes on key concepts using text features and then summarizing.  She began with the first statement with, "Without reading anything what do you think is happening in the diagram?"  As the student explained his understanding of the diagram, she supported him with clarifying comments.  Next, he read the first paragraph silently.  Throughout this section of the chapter, they talked back and forth, students summarizing their understanding at the end of chunks of meaning.

As students progressed through this process, Karina created class notes on large chart paper to allow students access to the information - to share later, but also to summarize for each student as they began their section of text.  Students appeared engaged throughout the process, one exclaiming, "This is easy! I thought it would be like 25 minutes."  Obviously, students were able to comprehend ideas several grade levels above their reading level - well supported with research.

Pairs of students worked around the room, relaxed and focused.  Karina provided support as needed.

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