Join ReLeah Lent for a series in Disciplinary Literacy, during which she will share strategies for deep reading, writing, and thinking across content areas.
Session one: Reading as a Tool for Talk
Many kids have become expert at skimming texts to answer questions, often without thinking about the content or even knowing what they’ve read. In addition, the complex vocabulary found in many disciplinary texts can make reading even more inaccessible. How do we engage students in active, thoughtful reading that leads to deeper content-area understandings? A valuable, often-overlooked partner to reading is discussion, a type of accountable talk based on what they’ve read. Join ReLeah as she explores the connection between reading and communicating ideas--and how establishing a reciprocal relationship between the two can engage students in richer learning. Leave with some activities you can use right away to create a motivating bridge between reading and talking.
Session two: Writing as a Way of Learning
Writing is often used as an assessment: What do kids know and how well do they know it? Essays, a common form of such assessment, can turn into a copy-and-paste exercise or a re-telling of teachers’ lectures. One way to help kids strengthen their writing skills and learn content more deeply is to teach them how to use writing as a way to reinforce, clarify, or work through the messy business of understanding: writing as a way of learning. Such ungraded (or completion grade) assignments create a safe space where students can make mistakes or experiment with their own ways of organizing or communicating information. They come to rely on writing as a tool for unlocking scientific, mathematical, historical, or other disciplinary knowledge. What’s more, when kids write more, they gain the confidence, flexibility, and skills to tackle more complex writing projects.
Session three: Curiosity as a Means to Engagement
While it seems that some students will never become engaged no matter what we do, there is a secret to motivation: igniting curiosity. Small children exhibit boundless curiosity, but by the time they advance to middle and high school, they are more adept at answering others’ questions than coming up with their own. It takes practice for kids to become comfortable once again with the magic of curiosity or to develop an intrinsic interest in a topic other than, say, video games, but it can be done. Learn about the science related to curiosity and engagement along with some activities and practices that can help students in all content areas tap into their desire to know.
ReLeah Lent was a middle and high school English, social studies and journalism teacher before becoming a founding member of a statewide literacy project at the University of Central Florida. While there, she worked with a team to develop Florida’s Reading Endorsement courses and coordinated literacy leadership teams in schools across the state. She is now an international consultant— speaking, writing, and providing workshops on topics ranging from literacy to leadership teams.
ReLeah Lent has authored ten books on education and has been published in numerous journals, including Educational Leadership, the Journal of Staff Development, and NCTE’s English Journal as well as being a frequent speaker for these organizations and in many schools and districts.
Each session will run from 9:00 am - 10:30 am (MST). There will be an opportunity to attend a hosted re-broadcast from 4:00 - 5:30 pm (MST).
If you are unable to attend the "live" session, or the hosted rebroadcast, the session recording will be available for 30 days for you to view.