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RESULTS THAT LAST: A Literacy Model for School Change

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Catalogue Number:  000102
ISBN Number:  978-157110-486-1
Producer:  Stenhouse Publishers
Subject:  Professional Development
Language:  English
Grade Level:  Educators
Country Of Origin:  U.S.
Copyright Year:  2003
Running Time:  120

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What are the features of a school change model? Can these characteristics be captured and shared with other schools? How can all members of the school community work together to effect change? In this four-part video series, teachers and administrators explore specific ideas for implementing an apprenticeship literacy model that includes on-the-job experiences in five critical areas:

assessing change over time in reading and writing progress;colleague coaching and mentoring teams in the classroom;school-embedded professional development;a curriculum that uses literacy as a means for monitoring and promoting school-wide changes;built-in accountability for assessing student (and program) performance.The replicability of the model is illustrated across four schools and seven classrooms.

Program 1: Leadership for Literacy
This segment illustrates the seven features of a comprehensive literacy model for school change. One of the most important features is a curriculum for literacy, which places a high priority on reading and writing and includes six essential elements of a balanced literacy program. Authentic examples from classrooms and team meetings illustrate the comprehensive nature of the change process. Four principals explain how they support teachers in implementing changes in their teaching practices, and they provide concrete details for managing a school climate that includes literacy team meetings, peer coaching, and mentoring sessions. The principals discuss the importance of using assessment to study change in student learning as well as in program effectiveness, and they authenticate each feature with examples from classrooms or team meetings. The program presents a balance between practical implementation issues and a theory of school change.

Program 2: Assessing Change Over Time in Reading Development
This program provides explicit guidance and clear examples for studying the reading development of emergent, early, transitional, and fluent readers. Teachers share specific details for assessing a student's reading level, including introducing a book, recording observations, and analyzing reading behaviors on a reading checklist. The segment illustrates how teachers can use formal and informal assessments to study change in students' reading behavior, specifically changes in fluency, comprehension, and decoding abilities. It also shows how teachers can use a reading assessment wall for studying individual and group progression along a guided reading continuum.

Program 3: Assessing Change Over Time in Writing Development
Here teachers will get explicit guidance and clear examples for studying change in the writing development of emergent, early, transitional, and fluent writers. An important focus is placed on the reciprocity of writing to reading, and vice versa. To illustrate the process, classroom teachers analyze the writing samples of writers at different stages and relate those samples to their reading behaviors. Three types of writing assessments are demonstrated: formal assessments that use writing checklists to document change, informal assessments based on daily conferences and portfolio analysis, and a writing assessment wall for studying individual and group progress along a writing continuum.

Program 4: Teachers as Agents of Change
This video provides explicit guidance for implementing coaching conferences and literacy team meetings that occur within the natural context of the school day. Classroom teachers demonstrate the importance of school-embedded professional development that includes literacy team meetings for collaborative problem-solving around teaching and learning issues and peer coaching and mentoring sessions around a specific learning goal. The three components of a coaching conversation are illustrated in three contexts: guided reading, literature discussion groups, and writers' workshop. Specific details are included for implementing effective literacy team meetings. Throughout the program, teachers demonstrate how to create an environment that promotes on-the-job learning.

At a time when comprehensive literacy models are more important than ever, this staff development series provides schools with guidance for getting results that are long lasting and self-extending.

About the Authors
Linda Dorn is a professor of reading education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she is the director of the UALR Center for Literacy. She teaches graduate classes in literacy theory, research, classroom practice, and literacy leadership.

Carla is a literacy specialist with the Arkansas Department of Education. She has twenty-one years of experience in education, including teaching in the primary grades and Literacy Coaching.

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