Literacy Beat goes to IRA (Friday)

Most of the Literacy Beat Team will be in New Orleans at the International Reading Association (IRA) this weekend. We have created a series of short posts with links to online resources about our activities there. Each day of the conference, you will find our content shared here for you.

On Friday, Jill and DeVere will be at the Writing Moments Institute organized by Kathy Ganske.

Jill presented on the topic: Using Reading, Talking, Writing, and Digital Tools to Understand Disciplinary Texts in the Middle Grades

This session showed teachers ways to structure evidence-based discussions that draw upon both text and experience to aid students in developing academic language, writing proficiency, and content-area learning.  Participants took part in informational text reading and evidence based discussions that serve as preparation for writing an argument. Ways to use digital tools to support writing and thinking were highlighted and demonstrated.  Workshop materials, include the PPT and all activities can be accessed from the workshop’s Google Site.

DeVere addressed: Writing from Sources in the Disciplines: Tips for Engagement and Digital Tools, Too  

How many sources do we need? Teachers hear this question all the time, and it is really a tough one, not as easy as it sounds. Writing from and with sources means students must often consult a wide variety of sources, use some, discard others, and make sure the sources they do use are appropriate and relevant. The task is not as easy as it sounds; then add to that the complexity (cf. Spiro, et al., 2004) of the topics students encounter in middle and high school, and an arbitrary number of sources suddenly seems to impose limits on student exploration, not a door to further exploration (Wolsey, 2010; Wolsey, Lapp, & Fisher, 2012). In this session, participants learned how to construct a prompt or direction for writing (e.g., Hillocks, 1986) that engages student-scholars, teach students to use solid argumentation approaches (cf. Toulmin, 2003, Walton, Reed, & Macagno, 2008) in the disciplines, promote inquiry through composing processes in content areas, and use digital tools.

View the PowerPoint on Slideshare:

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