Douglas Fisher & Nancy Frey
ACT NOW: Accessing Complex Texts
Teaching—rather than assigning—complex texts is a hallmark of the Common Core State Standards. But what are complex texts? What makes a text complex? And how can teachers align instruction to text complexity so that students develop skills and strategies useful in reading on their own? This session focuses on what teachers can do now to build the staircase that enables students to read more and better every day.
Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey are the co-authors (along with Diane Lapp) of the bestselling Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading (IRA, 2012), which focuses on the quantitative and qualitative factors of text complexity as well as the ways in which readers can be matched with texts and tasks. It also examines how close readings of complex texts scaffold students understanding and allow them to develop the skills necessary to read like a detective.
Irene Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell
Genre Study: Teaching With Fiction and Nonfiction Books (K-8)
When students understand the characteristics of each genre, they will be able to read with improved comprehension. Learn about how to engage your students in a six-step inquiry process to develop their ability to notice what distinguishes one genre from another. You will experience a shortened version of the genre study process in the session using beautiful picture book biographies, and you'll leave knowing how to apply it to each type of fiction and nonfiction text with your own students. In addition, you will receive an example of a genre study "thinkmark" your students can use as a tool in their independent reading, as well as a sample curriculum map so you can think about your units of study across the school year.
What the Research Says About Teaching So That All Children are Reading on Grade Level
Recent research has demonstrated that virtually every child who begins kindergarten could be reading on grade level by the end of first grade. Research also indicates that few schools accomplish this goal, primarily because few schools provide the expert and intensive reading lessons in kindergarten and first grade that are needed to have all kids reading on level after two years of schooling. The best evidence we have indicates that 85% of all kids who are reading on level at the end of first grade will continue reading on level throughout the elementary grades with little or no additional reading intervention. How long will it take for schools to implement the sorts of instructional support that researchers have provided so that every child is reading on grade level?
Ellin Oliver Keene
Fostering Deeper Understanding With Student Discourse: Putting the Dimensions and Outcomes of Understanding to Work
How can we maximize the natural role conversation plays in enhancing student understanding and achievement? What are the behaviors, actions, and outcomes most associated with children who understand deeply, and retain and reapply what they learn? Based on observations in hundreds of classrooms, a clear pattern of actions and outcomes emerges and can be described, taught, and used in conversation by students. Using the Outcomes and Dimensions of Understanding (To Understand, Keene, 2008) and the Talk About Understanding Principles (Talk About Understanding, 2012) we can teach children to understand more deeply and lastingly. We can model what it looks, sounds and feels like to comprehend deeply and encourage students to incorporate that language into their conversation.