week 4

 

Models of adolescent literacy instruction range due to content taught, grade level and student population based upon demographics especially ENL groups. Despite the ever so changing flexibility of students, educators must follow Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and align their lessons to meet them. This puts teachers on a tight leash on what they can really do. In the article “Subjects Matter” by Daniels and Zemelman, they listed some pro’s for the state standards by illustrating that the standards aid to guide students as well as provide support in classroom discussions and debates among peers. In addition, such standards will further the focus on comprehension and critical thinking. These standards need adjustments that will allow teachers to be let go of that leash. In my school our focus over the years is to improve our students reading comprehension and writing skills. To accomplish this students are given a scaffold or what we call a graphic organizer to assist their writing as they read. This scaffold is called a MEAL paragraph. M stands for main idea. E stands for evidence. A standards for analysis. L stands for Link. All teachers at my school have a routine students understand and follow within all classrooms when it comes to annotating text and writing their essays. The skills applied are from the CCSS, which are indicated within the writing rubric. Although I make sure all students follow this rubric and style of writing within my classroom, I’ve come to really learn that all students have different learning levels as well as have different learning styles. Routines are great for students in order to build efficiency however, what about those students that struggle with this way of writing and reading. Obviously not all students can read the same text despite being in the same grade. However, one of the many factors that influence reading comprehension is interest in content. In the article “Text Complexity and Young Adult Literature,” Glaus exclaims that students that have negative feelings associated with reading, such as those experienced with difficult texts they perceive as having little relevance to their lives, tend to be inattentive, disengaged, and uncommitted. This is true for every teacher. The models we use for adolescent literacy is always changing from class to class due to the range of student population and grade especially since some content is perceive as difficult compared to others. Nevertheless, the tools at our disposal to support student growth contain a vast, wide range of materials. Not all scientific reading has to be articles. Different forms of reading give adolescents student choice to interact with text they find difficult but allow them to engage in a way that strengths their learning. My favorite statement from Glaus is when she mentioned that the lexile levels created by the CCSS are adjusted for students however they happen to not fit as well as they perceive with the actual grade levels. This brings into play that the vast demographics of students illustrate the complication of increased text complexity levels that may not be suitable. In my classroom I have EMERGING (been in the US for no more than a year) ENL students who are held to the same CCSS as the rest of the student population. Regardless of their different levels of English language I still hold them to high standards despite my ‘tight leash.’ I have used many ENL practices I learned over the last year along with techniques my colleagues use, however, practically I know it won’t be enough for them to score as high as other general education students who are proficient in English. But my goal is student growth. The usage of the MEAL paragraph model helps with literacy instruction, but I still struggle with literacy instruction for these Emerging ENL students. This year I am aiming to find additional techniques for literacy instruction for the population to develop their mastery in writing and reading comprehension, not just in science but in all subjects.

 

    • Gerald Ardito

      By Gerald Ardito

      Giuseppe,

      Thanks for this week's reading response.

      This really struck me:

      In my classroom I have EMERGING (been in the US for no more than a year) ENL students who are held to the same CCSS as the rest of the student population. Regardless of their different levels of English language I still hold them to high standards despite my ‘tight leash.’ I have used many ENL practices I learned over the last year along with techniques my colleagues use, however, practically I know it won’t be enough for them to score as high as other general education students who are proficient in English. But my goal is student growth. The usage of the MEAL paragraph model helps with literacy instruction, but I still struggle with literacy instruction for these Emerging ENL students. 

      It sounds like you are identifying a place where the standards and good intentions for these literacy standards may not match up with where our real students are. Am I reading that right?

      • Giuseppe Marchica

        By Giuseppe Marchica

        Yes you are reading that right professor. Realistically, 'Entering' ENL students are far below the literacy standards due to the language barrier faced. Realistically language acquisition takes year to process and comprehend a new language. Having ENL students meet the same expectations as general students who are proficient in the English language isn't practical. As a growing and optimistic teacher, I still try my best to have my students meet or excel those expectations, however since it is not practical it ends up being detrimental for future student achievement. 

      Group B

      Here is the online home for Group B.
      Sub-Group of ED 656 - Fall 2018