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August 08, 2006

“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

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I teach 9th grade English in an urban school district in Western Massachusetts. We are moving towards an academy model for 60-80 of our most challenging students. They are not identified simply because of their behavior but also because of their poor reading and writing scores, transition issues, etc. I need some advice about common standards used in academy models, as well as content-based reading strategies that all of our teachers can use with the students even though they aren't reading specialists. Thanks for your help.

Hi Kara,

It’s all about getting teachers and admin together and developing a shared vision of teaching and learning and then delivering it in a consistent manner to ninth graders. The vision for learning precedes the design of the academy.

I think that starts with clear goals and effective feedback to students. Many students are disengaged from their learning – externally they fail to see the relevance to their lives – internally they don’t have opportunities to see themselves progress as learners. By focusing on supporting relationships with teachers and administrators, you can provide students with the scaffolding / support they will need to take responsibility for their learning.

A counselor and principal are assigned to work with the academy and they are in the halls and classroom daily. Frequent “Town Meetings” bring together all the students, teachers and admin to discuss the progress of the academy. Parents are enlisted as partners and are trained in supporting the mission of the academy. Strong ties are built to your feeder schools so incoming students know what will be expected of them.

An academy model is more than a sign over the door. It’s a community where every teacher knows all the students, not just the one in her class. Teachers have an ally in every room. Since the science teacher knows all the kids, the English teacher can go to him for advice on how to best assist a child who needs special attention.

You might want to take a look at my recent post ” Rigor, Relevance AND Relationships.” It will take you an article from the NY Times that profiles a successful small learning community in NYC.

All the best with your new academy!

Peter

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