During the last five daily blog posts, I have worked my way through the five rules from P. David Pearson and the #ILA19 panel session at 7 a.m. Saturday titled: “What Research Says About Teaching Reading and Why that Still Matters.”
Understanding the research in today’s world takes some work, some thinking, and a good hard look at the evidence, the word that appears in both rule 3 and rule 5.
A week ago, this was how I started my first draft for the series. I quickly discovered as I wrote that this look at the Big Picture was the ending of the series instead of the beginning. The REAL beginning was the panel presentation that recentered some beliefs in processes and brought back a review process used by our Statewide Literacy Team in the past.
So let’s get started. “It was a dark and stormy night.” (I love how Snoopy works that into every story!)
Compare these headlines:
- ‘No Progress’ Seen in Reading or Math on Nation’s Report Card
- Screen Time Up as Reading Scores Drop. Is There a Link?
- The One And Only Lesson To Be Learned From NAEP Scores
- Mississippi: Miracle or Mirage – 2019 NAEP Reading Scores Prompt Questions Not Answers
Match the quotes with the titles above. 1. #Headlines
_____ NAEP is extraordinarily clear that folks should not try to suggest a causal relationship between scores and anything else. Everyone ignores that advice, but NAEP clearly acknowledges that there are too many factors at play here to focus on any single one.
_____ In reading, Mississippi was the only state to improve in 2019 in 4th grade and Washington, D.C. (considered as a state) was the only one to improve in 8th grade. (The District of Columbia, in fact, showed the fastest gains this year of any state or large school district.)
_____ Todd Collins has raised another important caveat to the 4th-grade reading gains in Mississippi because the state has the highest 3rd-grade retention percentages in the country. . .
_____ Mississippi was the only state in the country to improve reading scores, and was number one in the country for gains in fourth-grade reading and math, according to newly released test results.
_____ Students have actually lost ground since 2017 on both of the NAEP’s main reading content areas: literary experience, such as fiction analysis, and reading for information, such as finding evidence to support an argument. Both grades declined significantly in both areas from 2017 to 2019, but the drop was larger for literary skills.
Which ones seemed pretty obvious?
Which ones took a bit more thought?
And then which two came from the same publisher?
. . .
. . .
#1 Headlines and text that supports or matches the headline.
3, 1, 5, 4, 2.
Same Publisher: 1 and 2 were both EdWeek
Of the five articles, where would you expect to see research?
Tip: #2 showed that data was reported but not research in article #4.
What is the best evidence?
When I return to “Results are in: Mississippi Students #1 in the Country for Reading Gains,” I actually have more questions after more reading. Especially after reading this article: “Here’s What All the NAEP coverage missed.”
What if the reading gains are the result of higher beginning points every year?
2.#Research Applied Evenly
What would be worthy of studying?
- Is the gain the result of instruction delivered to the students?
- Is the gain the result of the professional development provided for the teachers since 2013?
- Is the gain the result of the addition of coaches in the lowest buildings (in the fall of 2018)?
- Is the gain the result of the retention policy?
And that takes me back to Paul Thomas’s blog (#5 above). And this updated section:
- UPDATE: Todd Collins has raised another important caveat to the 4th-grade reading gains in Mississippi because the state has the highest 3rd-grade retention percentages in the country:
But Mississippi has taken the concept further than others, with a retention rate higher than any other state. In 2018–19, according to state department of education reports, 8 percent of all Mississippi K–3 students were held back (up from 6.6 percent the prior year). This implies that over the four grades, as many as 32 percent of all Mississippi students are held back; a more reasonable estimate is closer to 20 to 25 percent, allowing for some to be held back twice. (Mississippi’s Department of Education does not report how many students are retained more than once.)
This last concern means that significant numbers of students in states with 3rd-grade retention based on reading achievement and test scores are biologically 5th-graders being held to 4th-grade proficiency levels. Grade retention is not only correlated with many negative outcomes (dropping out, for example), but also likely associated with “false positives” on testing; as well, most states seeing bumps in 4th-grade test scores also show that those gains disappear by middle and high school.
After several questions about “retention” and/or “intervention” and/or “multiple attempts on the state assessment,” maybe this is a focus for research. What data do we have? What data do we need to collect? What other questions bubble up?
- Did students who did not meet the proficiency level have higher absenteeism that proficient students?
- Did any specific classrooms have higher growth than others?
- What do we know about the implementation of the teacher training?
This “study” may require some additional data collection but it could be undertaken relatively quickly to form some general ideas yet this year.
Because I want to reduce the need for intervention, I might also explore this chapter from Regie Routman’s, Read, Write, Lead. (Link) 3.#Best Evidence 4.#Full portfolio of methodology
What I wouldn’t do is:
Give the 4 point credit to ANY of the above areas without study.
Blame teachers for not implementing “enough” or “correctly” without study.
Say that Mississippi has a program that should be replicated in every state because we don’t know the amount of resources that it took to get these results that are not sustained through 8th grade . . . without study. 5. Evidence, not a straw person.
The purpose of this post was to pull together a topic currently in the literacy field, generate some questions, look at the data, and apply the 5 rules from the Research presentation. In less than an hour my questions were generated and this post was written. A beginning application. A beginning look at the Big Picture.
You can do this.
You must do this.
You need to verify the accuracy of what you are reading. Find a partner and get started!
By Sunday the air is bittersweet. Farewells begin. Last conversations are passionate pleas to capture frantic final minutes. Choices are final. Options are few. Time races. No second chances to catch folks as flight departures begin before the sun is above the horizon.
And yet, gems . . .
“What is Authenticity?
Is it the same when viewed with a student lens?
How do we know?”
L. 30 Prioritizing Student Voice: Honoring Independence, Identity, and Advocacy as the Cornerstones of Learning
And from the #G2Great family:
- Samuel Fremin @The Sammer88
- Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson @kkht6912
- Susie Rolander @suzrolander
- Justin Dolcimascolo @jdolci
- Kara Pranikoff @pranikoff
Sam Fremin began with asking us to not constrain student’s creativity! He told us the story of having a two page limit to an assignment that meant he had to cut almost everything out of his original seven page response.
What is the purpose of a two page maximum assignment?
What is your response to a “page limit”?
Is that indicative of the teacher’s attention span?
Sam contrasted that with this year’s AP Lang course where they were to “Write about something important to us” as they compared and analyzed two essays. As a 15 year old, Sam, who likes The Onion wanted to write a satire about “Discrimination not really being that bad” and through multiple conversations with his teacher, worked out the details and “used a display of writing that I will never get to write again. I displayed my need to try that voice.” And the teacher, even though she wanted a tight rein on the expectations, did participate in a two-sided discussion that allowed Sam to write his satire!
And then Sam’s role (as a high school junior) was to continue to introduce each of the panel members. Such poise and great presence for a high school junior and one of the #BowTieBoys! (Sam blogs here.)
We also learned that advocacy for Native Americans is important because Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson shared a US map with reservations marked although only 22% of Native Americans live on reservations. Kathryn teaches at an Ojibwe school so she is very cognizant of appropriate language and respect for cultures. Awareness may be a great first step but Kathryn also encouraged us to be aware that work barely scratches the surface of working with folks who have different beliefs and values. How do Ojibwe students want to be named? When do we ask?
Susie Rolander shared that we need to let student input drive our work. This means we need to revise and renew our professional practice. (A plug for Coppola’s book – Renew!) It’s a Journey! But for students who are struggling there does need to be a Sense of Urgency! And that this meant as an interventionist, Susie wanted her students to be independent. “I don’t know what I would do without you!” from a student was not what she wanted so one big action in her productivity plan was to move to student goal-setting so the students themselves would know if they were meeting their goals. Their goals. Not teacher goals.
Justin had us begin by completing this statement: “I am _____”
I am a:
Am I real? Do my students know my many roles? Do other staff know our roles? Justin shared a “I am” board created in his school.
Justin’s parting challenge was to consider equity and how we build our identity every day of our school lives so that we are not just working on career education in high school. Instead of “What do you want to be?” in terms of a career, Justin said we need to shift to “What great problem do you want to solve?”
Kara Pranikoff, author of Teaching Talk: A Practical Guide to Fostering Student Thinking and Conversation, closed out the presentation with thoughts on how to use talk in the classroom to increase student engagement and agency. And also, “Deep thinking takes time, we’ll wait. Take your time.” Students set the pace. As an instructor at Bank Street College, Kara and Susie routinely invite their students to Twitter chats!
M. 24 Rekindling Our Teacher Hearts and Minds to Reclaim Our Sense of Agency and Purpose
(Ellin Oliver Keene, Vicki Vinton, Donna Santman)
What is the purpose of education? Which of the four statements matches your thinking?
What do you value?
” We overestimate children academically and underestimate them intellectually.” ~Lillian King
Shout out to Regie Routman:
Resources will often dictate practices. (from Read, Write, Lead)
“However, we NEED to begin with Beliefs first, then our Practices, and then choose Resources that align LAST!”
Beliefs and Practices – Donna Santman @dsantman
What made your current school a match for you?
When Trouble Starts:
What do you do?
What flexibility will be required of me here?
And how will I respond when trouble happens?
Our core beliefs about children;
Our core beliefs about ourselves.
We are humbled in the face of children;
We are humbled by our children.
There has been a huge language slide in our country.
How do we convert deficit language to asset language?
Check out the asset mapping resources on Ellin Keene’s website Mosaicliteracy.com
N.O8 Redefining Authenticity: Empowering Student Ownership
(Do you know their Twitter names? @acorgill @katiedicesare @ruth_ayres @coloreader)
I was expecting to be blown away by Ruth Ayres because I can’t stop talking about her new book just out, Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers. It’s an amazing personal heart-wrenching narrative about her children who struggled with life and then also a “how to” deal with teaching writing. And yet all three of the other panel members complemented that presentation.
Skills and dispositions for writing are the same for real work. We have to get the heart right. Students need to write. Yes, kids are afraid! Writing is where I can help kids see the different ways a story can go.
If we have authentic writing projects, teachers cannot make all these decisions. Students need some choice and voice. This is NOT a free-for-all! You don’t have to leave ALL open! But you must leave SOME open!
How do you ensure that students have an authentic voice?
How do you know that students REALLY believe that they have a voice and some choice?
What did you learn on Sunday at #NCTE17?
Remember to check out additional #DigiLitSunday posts at Margaret Simon’s “Reflections on the Teche”.
The #cyberpd discussion of Vicki Vinton’s new book is allowing readers to respond in a variety of ways. Check out the #cyberpd hashtag on twitter or the Cyberpd google hangout for additional posts. ( Check previous post here and my padlet here.)
Section 2 begins with this quote:
“Practices are our beliefs in action.” – Regie Routman, Read, Write, Lead
and then Chapter 5 “Creating Opportunities for Readers to Figure Out the Basics” has a quote from General Gorge S. Patton and Chapter 6 ” Creating Opportunities for Readers to Experience Deeper Meaning” has a Mary Oliver quote. The journey is now about HOW some specific core practices position readers to “grapple with those problems found in texts in order to deeply understand what the writer might be conveying about people, the world, and life.”(p. 55)
Knowing that everything has a purpose in a text, I’ve been asking myself what anchors this text for me. The “Steering the Ship” sections (Figure 5-7, p. 82, and Figure 6-5, p. 108) are huge for me this week. The sections are titled “Teaching Moves to Support Thinking and Meaning Making”.
Did these “Steering the Ship” pages make you stop and pause? These are the “To Do’s” in order to teach reading in a problem solving way. They can be prompts for a teacher cheat sheet. Practice, practice, practice will be required in order to have them to “naturally” be a part of my repertoire that pushes student thinking and provides responsive feedback with students developing the lines of inquiry. But that practice with less modeling and scaffolding by me will enable students to do more of the work themselves.
What are the BIG anchors of this text?
- “Create opportunities for learning”
- “Shift from answers to thinking”
- “Experience the thrill of figuring things out”
- “Embrace complexity”
- “Take risks, get messy, keep learning”
Why these? They are a part of the graphic on the front cover.
Which one is repeated on the back cover?
What thinking am I doing as a result of this professional reading?
I am making notes. I’m trying sketch noting. I’m reading other blogs and responses. I’m writing to consolidate my own thinking. Writing . . . in response to reading. Writing . . . in order to better understand my reading. Writing and revising . . . in order to make my writing clearer.
How do you share your thinking?
What is working for you?
Want to join #CyberPD?
Join the Google+ Community
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It’s messy, it’s fun, it’s scary, it’s evolving! THINKING required!