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ELA/Literacy Shift Happens!

December 4th, 2012

Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of traveling around the State facilitating professional development sessions focused on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in ELA/Literacy.  While I am wrapping up the series for the fall, I am also looking forward to presenting the information again throughout the winter and spring.  I thought it might be useful to describe the session so that teachers will get a sense of what to expect.

The Six Shifts– A Constructivist Approach!

Many districts are in the process of “unpacking” the CCSS. That is NOT the focus of this session. Instead we  approach the ELA/Literacy standards from the perspective of “Six Shifts” in pedagogy and instruction-as well as for students and parents- required for a standards-based approach to be successful.

 Text Complexity

One of the most challenging ELA/Literacy Shifts is that of text complexity. In this session, we explore the three aspects of text complexity:

1) Quantitative Measures that assign a text to a grade band;

2) Qualitative Measures that address format, purpose, structure, and language features of the text; and

3) Professional Judgment teachers use to determine how suited a text is for a specific instructional purpose with a particular set of students.

We also take a look at some of the Smarter Balanced assessment items and discuss implications for curriculum and instruction. Since Maine students will be assessed with this system starting in the 2014-15 school year, it is important for teachers to understand everything they can about this “next generation assessment”!

Digital Tools

Throughout the session, participants use applications on the MLTI device as well as other web-based tools that support teaching with the Six Shifts in mind. These include the Preview Annotation Tools, Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, and OmniGraffle– to name but a few!

Discussions and Sharing

The session is designed for participants to share from their own experiences so that we can all continue to learn from each other. Since the ELA/Literacy standards are intended to be implemented across the disciplines, we discuss issues teachers are facing as they work with their colleagues who teach in the different content areas. Participants leave with a plan for who they should connect with about the CCSS back in their schools.

Who Should Attend???

This session is designed for middle and high school teachers who are using the MLTI devices. While most attendees have been ELA/Literacy teachers, the CCSS are intended to address literacy in other content areas as well, so all are welcome to attend! The design of the session is flexible to meet the diverse levels of knowledge/use of technology and of the CCSS. We do ask that you bring your MLTI device with the most recent image.

To register for an upcoming session in your region, please use this link: http://maine.gov/mlti/events/index.shtml

If you have any questions, post them here or contact me directly at mcallan@mlti.org!




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