ED 656 Week 4 Reading Response

Adolescent literacy instruction is a topic of concern that has been garnering increasing attention over the past couple of years. On a national scale, politicians, researchers, educators, and other school personnel in charge of educational policies have been working tirelessly to promote the adequate development of literacy in order for adolescents to be prepared to work and live within the changing 21st century. It has become apparent that many adolescents and adults are not equipped with the literacy skills necessary in order to succeed in postsecondary education and the working world. According to an article written by Daniels and Zemelman titles “Subjects matter”, there are a series of strategies and tools that need to be utilized to ensure that true literacy development is taking place. These strategies state that adolescent students should be able to make connections using their own personal experiences, possess the ability to develop their own ideas and make predictions about the material, and they should be able to envision scenarios from the text and identify the author’s writing style (4). Educators within the school applied the strategies using tools such as “post-it notes, admit/exit slips, and text annotations” (Daniels and Zemelman, 4). Of the skills needed for true adolescent development, it is important that students can make connections to their own personal experiences. It is nearly impossible for a student to be able to access a higher-level article if it is not relevant to some aspect of their life. How can an adolescent student dig deep and synthesize a text if they cannot make personal connections or envision the scenarios being expressed in the text?

Personally, within my classroom anytime I assign an article, or some form of digital media I like for my students to read it multiple times, each time with a new lens or from a different perspective. I find this to be very effective because every time my students reread the article they are able to extract new information or make new connections, and really synthesize the material. It’s so important that as educators we employ as many tools, strategies, and resources as possible to ensure that there are multiple entry points into the texts that we assign so that we are effectively providing adequate scaffolding, differentiation and literacy instruction.

A common theme amongst teaching literacy is that students need to be able to relate to the reading in order for them to truly be engaged and be willing to learn. According to the article “Text Complexity and Young Adult Literature” written by Marci Glaus, students don’t necessarily need to read the classic literary works in order to develop literacy skills. There are a plethora of novels that are centered around the lives of teenagers where the literary elements can be identified, however the classics can still be used for acquiring literacy skills in complex stories (408). Adolescent literacy relates to the common core standards in that there are three ways in which adolescent text complexity can be adequately measured. Quantitative text complexity measures lexile levels, sentence length, and word frequency where qualitative text complexity measures chronology, structure, language, and cultural/background knowledge (409). A good way to incorporate quantitative and qualitative text complexity in your classroom is to find an article or some kind of text that is both challenging and interesting/relevant to the content your teaching. Give your students the room to explore the material using the aforementioned tools and strategies and allow them to chunk the material and synthesize new ideas and conjure up meaning for themselves.

Group D

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Sub-Group of ED 656 - Fall 2018

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