Reading is a must!
When it comes to applicable cross-curricular skills, reading is at the top of the list. Beyond the walls of the school, reading is an absolute necessity for leading a healthy and productive life. While reading and literacy are regularly represented as ELA skills, they permeate every discipline in an important way.
Literacy simply defines the ability to read and write.As content specialists, much of our time is spent trying to make students literate in our area of expertise. Many of us are presenting daily tasks that require students to write about the content area. Math uses practice exercises that require one to read an expression and follow a series of written steps to solve the equation. Thus, a student must be able to read and write using math specific language; this is math literacy. Science is based on research and a desire to investigate the world around us. This research is published and built upon through decades and centuries. Students read and engage in experiments that will prove or disprove a hypothesis; then, students will reflect upon their findings using science terminology. Once again, this is literacy.
The same arguments can be made for every subject area in the building and this is why it is important to consider how teachers are implementing opportunities to read in every content area.
Creating a Meaningful class reading experience
Many classes use current events as a basic reading assignment. Maybe it is time to think about how we can make them more meaningful to students. Reciprocal Teaching is a tried and true group reading strategy to ensure students are reading for understanding and depth.
Teaching these skills can give you A 2:1 effect
It is very possible that a student could define their assigned role and be unable to facilitate the role correctly in this practice. Before you complete a full reciprocal teaching exercise, I would advise the teacher to complete at least one reading through each of the four lenses. In other words, take a class reading and practice summarizing as a group. For the next reading, everyone in the class is going to play the role of the questioner and progress through the reading sections with that mindset. In theory, that would prepare your class to attempt a reciprocal teaching reading for the fifth in class reading.
Why does this matter? Research concludes that Reciprocal Teaching can have a 2:1 effect on student achievement. That is reason enough to try for me. As always, the iCoaches are here to help if you want to learn more about this or other literacy strategies. Email icoachMK@mhrd.org to set up an appointment!
As the video below outlines, teachers can search for these materials by book, genre, grade level, literary device, text set, and theme. CommonLit also offers read aloud mode, guided reading questions, annotation tools, and free in-site translation to Spanish features to assist ELL students and teachers. These tools are clearly applicable for English and Social Studies teachers, but I quickly found full sets of Spanish texts, health topics, and readings for Science and Technology courses.
Building DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP is important!
The internet has grown into an incredible resource catalog for teachers and students, but as the internet continues to grow and develop, so does the need to train young learners how to navigate the digital world safely and securely.
Created by Google, Be Internet Awesome is a digital citizenship platform and curriculum. This program is designed to help build responsible young users of the internet and provides some terrific resources for teachers and parents.
"To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence."
This digital curriculum contains over 60 pages of activities, educator notes, student goals, scenarios, and discussion topics. It is available for free download HERE. The website also contains an interactive platform/puzzle game called Interland. This game uses puzzles to teach skills and thought processes that should be employed when using the internet safely. I only got to play a few levels, but I was rather impressed with the game. It was far beyond a simple internet game.
If you are interested in learning more ways to integrate digital safety into your curriculum, please feel free to email us at email@example.com.
The iCoach MK workshop blog catalogs all of our workshop materials and new resources in one location.