Nurturing My Own Professional Growth
Elementary ELA - Top Resources to Get the Help You Need!
By Anne Folsom - Elementary ELA TOSA
We all know that time is the most precious resource of all - for people in all professions, but for teachers especially! If you’re looking for help with all things ELA, start here:
Elementary ELA Resources for 2020 - 2021
This document is also linked in each unit in Bridge to Curriculum. Here you will find:
Finally, USE YOUR TOSAs! We are here to help you as you navigate these unusual times. Have questions about planning, or finding resources, or using assessments, or anything ELA - just ask. We’re available through email or chat, or you can always come to office hours (daily 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM) to talk to a friendly C&I colleague and get some support.
Thank you for all you do - and please reach out if there are resources you’re looking for or questions you have.
Kristina Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Toni Bower (email@example.com)
Anne Folsom (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Apryl Thompson (email@example.com)
How does the Acadience Assessment align with Proficiency Scales?
By Lisa Bayer and the READ team
Are we teaching two different things?
These are common questions that many educators ask. Fortunately, we don’t have to teach two different things!! If you use the proficiency scales as a guide you will be preparing your students for the Acadience assessment as well as meeting requirements from the proficiency scales
Want to know how to do this?
.Exciting news! Jeffco has aligned the Acadience assessment with the proficiency scales in grades K-3. The document below will show you how each benchmark assessment (BOY, MOY, and EOY) for the Acadience assessment and where the proficiency scales align.
2020-2021 Crosswalk-Acadience and Proficiency Scale components
As we move into the testing season, here are some additional documents that will help you get started as we move to remote assessment and instruction.
Winter High Priority Information for Acadience Testing
Acadience 2020 Teacher supports
Downloads for Acadience testing
Remote testing guidelines
Secondary ELA- Proficiency Scales (prioritize, pace and plan)
By Micah Schutte
As you may know, the Secondary ELA YAAGs look quite different from how they have looked in past years (please see our blog post from March 31st for more information on how they are organized now).
This year, teachers can use the Proficiency Scales as a way to help prioritize content. There are twelve proficiency scales in each grade level from 6th -12th grade in ELA.
The documents below list the Units of Study by grade level and the corresponding Proficiency Scales to be assessed. A couple of reminders:
What is Disciplinary Literacy?
By Toni Bower, Disciplinary Literacy Coordinator
There are many different definitions of Literacy, but all with the same basic thoughts. Literacy is the ability to use language arts in combination with speaking and listening skills to understand and use information in different ways. In other words, literacy is to read, write, speak, listen and think critically about information and apply or share the learning in writing or orally.
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) states, “Tim Shanahan and Cynthia Shanahan, in their article “What Is Disciplinary Literacy and Why Does It Matter,” contend that disciplinary literacy emphasizes the knowledge and abilities possessed by those who create, communicate, and use knowledge within the disciplines. It honors the thinking within disciplines of study and invites students to engage in the academic discipline while developing a voice as a member of that community.”
Literacy instruction is fundamental across contents and grade levels. According to the Common Core State Standards, (CCSS), “The Standards insist that instruction in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language be a shared responsibility within the school. Standards for K-5 include expectations for reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language applicable to a range of subjects, including but not limited to English Language Arts (ELA). Standards for grades 6-12 are divided into two sections, one for ELA and the other for history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. This division reflects the unique, time-honored place of ELA teachers in developing students’ literacy skills while at the same time recognizing that teachers in other areas must have a role in this development as well.” The intent is for the standards for ELA to be integrated into all content areas. And, as the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction indicates, “The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Literacy in Science, Social Studies, History, and the Technical Subjects are connected to College and Career Readiness Standards that guide educators as they strive to help students meet the literacy challenges within each particular field of study. This national effort is referred to as disciplinary literacy.” (“Literacy in all Subjects”, 2019).
Often the terms Discipline Literacy and Content Literacy are used interchangeably, but they are different. Content Literacy is generally explained through the lens of reading that “tends to emphasize the teaching of a generalizable set of study skills across content areas for use in subject matter classes” (Shanahan & Shanahan 2012). An example of this is with comprehension strategies. “Thus, although researchers may examine the use of a comprehension strategy, such as the use of paraphrasing, within the context of science text, the effectiveness of such a strategy within science reading would not make paraphrasing a discipline-specific reading strategy. There is nothing about paraphrasing itself that is special to reading science texts; rather, one would find paraphrasing to be as useful in the reading of any text of similar difficulty and correspondence with readers’ background knowledge.” (p.9). In contrast, “Disciplinary literacy has been defined as ‘‘the use of reading, reasoning, investigating, speaking, and writing required to learn and form complex content knowledge appropriate to a particular discipline’’ (McConachie & Petrosky, 2010, p. 6).” (Spires, et al., 2018, p. 1402)
There are many resources available for educators to use to help guide them through integrating ELA with the other contents. Disciplinary Literacy is more than just pulling a science or social studies article in the reading class, or saying that students are writing in their core content classes.
Fundamentals of literacy begin at the early learner levels. The foundational skills are then continuously developed and defined as children progress through their academic careers. College and career readiness standards are also interwoven with Disciplinary Literacy. In Jeffco, we want our students to have the skills necessary to be successful in whatever paths they choose.
It is important for every teacher in every content area to be aware of and to carefully consider the literacy of their discipline. By highlighting specific ELA standards which many contents see as foundational, teachers can have a starting place in identifying the literacies connected to their disciplines. Building on the foundational skills of K-5, ELA standards will enable teachers of all grade levels to use high leverage literacy skills in ways specific to their contents. “Elementary classroom teachers build the foundational literacy skills necessary for students to access all learning. Additionally, they develop content specific to deep literary study, oratory tradition and linguistic analysis; skills specific to English language arts. Literacy reaches beyond this knowledge in one content area to include reading, writing, listening, speaking and thinking critically in each discipline beginning at an early age.” (“Literacy in all Subjects”, 2019).
Disciplinary Literacy and the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cde.state.co.us/coreadingwriting/disciplinary-literacy
English Language Arts Standards " Introduction " Key Design Consideration. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/introduction/key-design-consideration/
Literacy in all Subjects. (2019, January 14). Retrieved from https://dpi.wi.gov/standards/literacy-all-subjects
Shanahan, T., & Shanahan, C. (2012). What Is Disciplinary Literacy and Why Does It Matter? Topics in Language Disorders, 32(1), 7-18. doi:10.1097/tld.0b013e318244557a
Spires, H. A., Kerkhoff, S. N., Graham, A. C., Thompson, I., & Lee, J. K. (2018). Operationalizing and validating disciplinary literacy in secondary education. Reading and Writing, 31(6), 1401-1434. doi:10.1007/s11145-018-9839-4
Course: 2020 Colorado Academic Standards Implementation, Topic: Module 1: It's Not Rocket Science
Course: 2020 Colorado Academic Standards Implementation, Topic: Module 2: Are You Literate?
Science: Picture Perfect Science/ STEM
By Cathy Goodheart & Megan Hurley
Stretched for time? The new K-5 science resource is PERFECT for integrating science into your literacy block! Each 5E model lesson uses two trade books to engage students in the wonders of science. This resource is equipped with the student-facing pages and teacher guided lesson plans. Each school received three teacher’s manuals and accompanying trade books for the Even More Picture Perfect Science lesson book.
Listen to the Science team describing this new resource:
Interested in joining a micro learning lab focused on meaningful science learning? Fill out this interest form.
Creating Culturally Responsive Learning Experinces
By Olivia Gillespie, Literacy Content Specialist at CDE
I thought I should follow up Part V with tips for decolonizing our classroom libraries, whether those libraries are in our physical classrooms, online, or a combination of both.
In no way am I suggesting that any of us are intentionally choosing overt racist or deficit minded reading material for our students to engage with. Nor, am I suggesting that our current reading lists are not relevant and complete with narratives, messages, themes, etc., not worthy of analysis simply because the author, journalist, poet, playwright, biographer, editor, or writer is a member of dominant culture. What I am saying is as ELA/Literacy educators at all levels of our education system, we must become cognizant of the subtle messages that reinforce deficit views of people of color and immigrants. We want our students to feel and know they are valued as citizens of our local and global communities. While we cannot change history, we can however, use history to inform current practices in order to shape the future we want for our students, our colleagues, and our society.
The question then becomes, how do we decolonize our classroom libraries?
Here are a few things we can begin to use to assess a book’s worthiness to our vast collection of reading materials. The suggestions are based upon the work of Dr. Alfred Tatum, author of Reading for Their Lives: (Re)Building the Textual Lineages of African American Males Students.
The problem, according to Dr. Tatum and Zaretta Hammond, is that while there are more diverse books out there, typically there’s a theme. For example, books with African Americans typically revolve around sports (i.e., basketball), civil rights-era activities, or African American historical heroes. There’s an overrepresentation of low-income, urban communities. It’s even more limited for Latinx students. And, let’s not even talk about authentic books at Indigenous/First Nation children or Pacific Islanders students.
An enabling narrative recognizes, honors, and nurtures students’ multiple identities, academic/intellectual, cultural/racial, and personal/social. It shows these identities as integrated in a matter of fact way and common rather than having the high achieving child of color be the exception or characterized as a “nerd” or oddball.
The aforementioned are just a few important criteria to use to review books. A HUGE SHOUT OUT to our LIBRARIANS! You are essential, integral, and important contributors to our effort for educational equity in the area of literacy.
Curriculum Changes Overview PK-12
If you are looking for a quick overview of the curriculum changes to come in all content areas for the 2020-2021 school year consider checking out this video.
Elementary ELA Curriculum Update
As you may have heard by now the Colorado Academic Standards 2020 (CAS 2020) will be in our Jeffco Curriculum starting the 20-21 school year. You may be wondering what to expect in Elementary ELA.
For Elementary ELA we are excited to share that the largest shift you will see is in “packaging”. The intent and language of the standards have not changed all that much, just the coding.
Example of an Evidence Outcome (EO) with no change:
2010 Colorado Academic Standard 3.2.2.a.i:
2020 Colorado Academic Standard 3.2.2.a.i:
Example of a Grade Level Expectation (GLE) change:
2010 Grade Level Expectation (GLE) 3 Kindergarten:
2020 Grade Level Expectation (GLE) 3 Kindergarten:
Example of an Evidence Outcome(EO) added:
2010 Evidence Outcome (EO)
2020 Evidence Outcome (EO K.2.3.b.vi) has been added
The piece that will be new however is the way in which we are grouping the standards to support the whole package of literacy instead of reading, writing and oral expression.
Let’s talk about what you’ll see in the K-5 Literacy Year-At-A-Glance(YAAG):
You will see Genre Units focused on Informational, Narrative, Research and Opinion. These units are book-ended with a launching unit and an integrated unit. This allows for setting good routines and expectations and an opportunity to reteach and extend before the end of the year. These Genre Units were created in a way that the content builds on prior units. However, they are end of year standards for the purpose of allowing flexibility in their placement or sequence if buildings so chose to.
This is a year long unit in the study of all the essential foundational skills for students to be able to read and write. You will find standards and skills such as Print Concepts, Phonological Awareness, Spelling, Decoding, Analyzing Words, and Fluency, as appropriate for each grade level. We know that these foundational skills and standards are developed throughout the year and are applied in all genres. We also know that many schools have a core resource that they lean into for pacing and sequence. These units are designed to still allow for that flexibility.
Language and Literacy Processes Units
(Writing process, Conventions, Language)
This is a year long unit in the study of the Writing process, Conventions, and Language with an understanding that the standards and skills addressed in this unit are weaved in and out of every unit and other content areas. You will find standards and skills such as Analyzing Language, Generating Sentences, Revision for Audience, Purpose, and Task, Editing and Parts of Speech as appropriate to each grade level.
Changes to Organizing Concepts
You will notice the organizing concepts of each unit have changed. The proficiency scale titles will be the new way the units are organized. This highlights the interconnectedness of the units.
Sample Elementary Literacy YAAG
Here is an example of our Elementary Literacy YAAG where you will see the Foundational Unit, Genre Units, and the Language and Literacy Unit. The possible organizing concepts are listed with their proficiency scale code for clarity.
Your Elementary Literacy TOSA’s are here to support you:
Secondary ELA Curriculum Update
Grades 6-11 Year-at-a-Glance Revisions
Grade 12 Year-at-a-Glance Revisions
Grades 6-12 ELA Reading Units of Study Revisions
Grades 6-12 ELA Writing Units of Study Revisions
Your Secondary Literacy TOSA’s are here to support you:
MICAH SCHUTTE, 6-12 LITERACY TOSA
TIFFANY WRIGHT, 6-12 LITERACY TOSA
Curriculum & Instruction