“Strategies for Student Success” Oregon Summer Institute

This past week I traveled to Portland Oregon to present four workshops at the 2006 Superintendent’s Statewide Conference sponsored by the Oregon Department of Education.  More on the conference.  Each workshop considered Rigor, Relevance and Literacy from a different perspective. In two sessions we used my TurningPoint audience response system to gather feedback and guide our discussion. TurningPoint can produce a variety of reports and can even track results by individual responder. Want to know more about TurningPoint response systems? Contact Mike Venrose at mvenrose@turningtechnologies.com

For each I’ve uploaded a PowerPoint handout and audio podcast of the presentation.

Rigor, Relevance and Reading for Struggling to Average Readers
RealPlayer Video rmvb 50 minutes    PPT Handout 1.4MB pdf    Audio 14MB wma 65 minutes
Boost student achievement with rigor, relevance and literacy strategies for academic success. Designed for high school teachers of all disciplines, the session demonstrated that teachers don't have to sacrifice content or become a reading teacher. Teachers found out how to support their subject area while building student literacy skills in defining and summarizing. For a more – Content Reading Strategies that Work 

Rigor, Relevance and Reading for High Performing Students
PPT Handout 1.6MB pdf    Audio 18MB wma 65 minutes
Designed for honors / AP level teachers who think that an engaging learning environment is more than an inspired lecture. Learn strategies to enable your students to read, reflect, and write like historians, scientists, mathematicians, and literary critics. Teachers found out how to support subject area mastery while building student literacy skills in defining, summarizing and analysis. We used an audience response system by TurningPoint. For a more – Content Reading Strategies that Work 

9th Grade Academy – A Small Learning Community that Works
RealPlayer Video  rmvb 55 minutes    Audio 11MB wma 65 minutes
Boost student achievement with rigor, relevance and literacy strategies for academic success. This workshop traced the success of the ninth grade academy at East Irondequoit CSD, an inner-ring suburb of Rochester NY. High standards, parent partnerships and assessment driven instruction are helping teachers of all disciplines support their subject area while building student literacy skills. We used an audience response system by TurningPoint. For more- Small Learning Communities that Work

Publishing – Academic Success for Struggling Readers and Writers
RealPlayer Video  rmvb 55 minutes    PPT Handout 1.6MB pdf    Audio 14MB wma 65 minutes
This workshop showcased examples of successful programs that have motivated struggling readers and writers.  The power of publishing enables students to think like writers, to apply their learning strategies and to organize and express their learning. Participants will also learned simple technology tips that produce great results. For a more – Read / Think / Write / Publish

Literacy in a Copy / Paste World

Opening Day Faculty Keynote Address
Grayson County Schools
, Leitchfield, KY July  28, 2005

New technologies have put students in charge of the information they access, store, analyze and share. Yet many schools function as if they still controlled the flow of information.

The copy / paste culture creates a bottom-up takeover of the information flow. Our students can be creators as well as consumers of content. New technologies have unleashed individual and collective creativity and redefined the meaning of literacy in the digital age. This presentation answers the questions:

“What is literacy in the 21st century?”
“What can schools do to promote a new literacy in the copy / paste world?”

It explores exciting new opportunities to reinforce literacy and interact with students, colleagues and information in ways that can revitalize teaching and learning. Download Literacy-in-a-CopyPasteWorld.pdf (1.7 MB) pdf handout

I also ran a one day training session "Strategies for Rigor and Relevance" for about 130 Grayson County middle and high school teachers. We used my TurningPoint audience response system to gather teacher feedback and guide our discussion and planning. Here’s a report of the responder data Download Grayson-Audience-Response.pdf  (144 KB) pdf. TurningPoint can produce a variety of reports and can even track results by individual responder. Want to know more about TurningPoint response systems? Contact Mike Venrose at mvenrose@turningtechnologies.com

Model Schools Conference Updates

The June ’06 Model School Conference in Orlando was a great success. The conference was hosted by Willard Daggett’s International Center for Leadership in Education. As a Senior Consultant for the ICLE, I presented four workshops. I’ve included workshop descriptions and updated handouts below.

I pleased to come home to this email from one of the participants:

Hi Mr. Pappas,
I saw you this week at the model schools conference and attended two of your sessions, the one on Publishing and Strategies for Rigor, Relevance and Reading for High Performing Students. I was completely moved, motivated and excited. …I cannot wait for school to begin again so I can put your ideas and strategies into practice!  I wanted to thank you for reenergizing me and giving me solid strategies that I can take back to the classroom!!! Many thanks,
LaDonna Walker ~ 7th grade language arts teacher

Reinventing High School – A Focus on Instruction. I used a Turning Point audience response system to gather data from over 500 attendees in the session. Here’s an updated version of the PowerPoint which includes the responder data Download pre-con-slides.pdf 1.4MB pdf  Want to know more about TurningPoint response systems? Contact Mike Venrose at mvenrose@turningtechnologies.com Tell him you saw the system in my session at Model Schools. More on my use of TurningPoint.

The Power of Publishing – Academic Success for Struggling Readers and Writers
“This workshop will showcase examples of successful programs that have motivated struggling readers and writers.  The power of publishing enables students to think like writers, to apply their learning strategies and to organize and express their learning. Tips for funding to incorporate the publishing workshop into your academic intervention program make this a viable and cost-effective solution for any district. Participants will also learn simple technology tips that produce great results.” Download Publishing-success-handout.pdf 1.8MB pdf. More online at my website Read > Think > Write > Publish

Rigor, Relevance and Reading for High Performing Students
“Designed for honors / AP level teachers who think that an engaging learning environment is more than an inspired lecture. Learn strategies to enable your students to read, reflect, and write like historians, scientists, mathematicians, and literary critics. Teachers will find out how to support subject area mastery while building student literacy skills in defining, summarizing and analysis.” Download high-performing-handout.pdf  1.5MB pdf. More online at my website Content Reading Strategies that Work

9th Grade Academy – A Small Learning Community That Works
“Boost student achievement with rigor, relevance and literacy strategies for academic success. This workshop traces the success of the ninth grade academy at East Irondequoit CSD, an inner-ring suburb of Rochester NY. High standards, parent partnerships and assessment driven instruction are helping teachers of all disciplines support their subject area while building student literacy skills.”
Download NGA-that-works.pdf 1.5MB pdf. More online at my website Small Learning Communities that Work

Read > Think > Write > Publish – The Power of Student Publishing

I’ve launched a new website Read > Think > Write > Publish to promote publishing, an activity that enables students to think like writers, to apply their learning strategies and to organize and express their learning. The site provides sample student books and writing prompts.

Students at-risk for literacy need immersion in literacy tasks, reading and writing, that replicate the real world because they are the learners who lack the schema that defines literacy in the real world. Without publishing the student does not complete the writing process so they never rise above the level of “school work” to “real work.” They never function as a writer. Literacy must be grounded in the real world to have value.

Publishing student writing encourages the reluctant writer by strengthening self-confidence, rewarding interest and promoting a positive attitude toward writing.
When students publish, they think like writers. They have to problem-solve and make decisions as writers to assume the responsibility of a published writer. This supports them as readers. If they haven’t written themselves, they have trouble analyze another writer’s work. If they have experience they know what to look for and how to evaluate what they see. Publishing is an excellent method to accomplish three central tasks:
• Understand topics thoroughly
• Actively use the information they assemble
• Move knowledge into one’s schema

Teaching American History Grant – “Student as Historian”

This  week I  had the opportunity to work with secondary social studies teachers in Volusia County Florida – a talent group who are participating in a multi-year “Teaching American History Grant.”

The focus of my two-day workshop was the “Student as Historian.”  We practiced strategies that teachers can use to shift their role from teacher as “education dispenser” (gathering, distilling and delivering information); to teacher as “educational architect” who can design classrooms where students do the work of constructing meaning. Lessons were designed to enable students to do the work of historian using a variety of comprehension skills:

Identify details – can you identify key symbols, words, visual elements?
Recognizing context – where is this taking place, time period, who’s involved?
Identify relationships – who are these people, what is their relationship to one another?
Identify opinions – is there a point of view expressed in the source information?
Infer meaning – is there meaning that can be extracted from what’s between the lines?
Make predictions – based on the information, what will happen next?

For demonstration, I assembled a group of documents that students could use to answer essential historic questions. I’ve put the documents and guiding activities online at a temporary web site: Selections from an American History Collection

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