Closing the Gap for Diverse Students: Research Verified Strategies

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Information about Closing the Gap for Diverse Students: Research Verified Strategies

Published on March 15, 2014

Author: ncmsa



Closing the Gap for Diverse Students: Research Verified Strategies
This session will present research-verified strategies to close the academic gap for diverse learners. Strategies presented will focus on learners from racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse families as well as learners from families of lower socioeconomic status. Inclusive 21st century strategies promote greater gains in student achievement for all.

Closing the Gap for Diverse Students: Research Verified Strategies Dr. Catherine Elise Barrett Elijah Davis Christopher McLamb Anyka Williams Fayetteville State University AMLE Conference March 17, 2014 American schools are highly unique from school systems around the globe. Across the U.S., students in classrooms display wide variation in academic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; in addition, students can vary in terms of socio-economic levels, previous learning experiences, and exposure to, and knowledge of, high-level expressive and receptive language. Too often, ethnicity is the only difference people see People tend to apply norms from their own culture broadly and make assumptions that may not serve students well. It can be difficult to see or understand some differences, for example: Children who live in poverty Linguistic differences Wide variation in cultural norms and the ways we make meaning _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

Disparity in academic performance between groups of students is the broad definition of the Achievement Gap. The biggest suggested cause of this gap is poverty and the risk factors students living in poverty experience (Casey, 2011). Critical to learning, students must trust that educators do not look at their language, lifestyle, or culture from a deficit perspective. A deficit perspective assumes there is something “deficit” or wrong with the language, culture, or lifestyle. Teachers are responsible for helping all student be competitive without causing the loss of cultural identity, a process called “accommodation without assimilation,” or the ability to comfortably communicate, collaborate, and thrive in two or more cultures (Eggen and Kauchak, 2007, p.106). Research shows that teachers will most certainly teach students who are members of diverse cultures, and it is highly likely that some will be English language learners and most will be Standard English learners (Eggen and Kauchak, 2007). The following principles can help guide efforts by teachers as they work to educate all students. Communicate respect & value for all cultures and the contributions that cultural differences make to learning. Involve all students in learning activities. Use concrete experiences, games, & practice to develop language. Understand that vocabulary is powerful and necessary. Provide opportunities for all students to practice or rehearse the use of language with ungraded assignments. “Academic language is the linguistic glue that holds the tasks, texts, and tests of school together. If students can’t use this glue well, their academic work is likely to fall apart” (Zwiers, J., 2005). _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

Five Key Metacognitive Strategies Use context to interpret meaning Teach words that describe thinking skills (analyzing, comparing, synthesizing, evaluating & persuading). Read challenging, but understandable text. Have student practice using discipline specific terms with other students. Have students take risks using new words in rehearsal situations. Zwiers, 2005 Why teach vocabulary across all disciplines? Cognitive psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1962) contended that without the language to adequately express our thought processes and receive new concepts, limitations are certain. Vygotsky also believed that language and thought are inseparable; one cannot exist without the other (Barrett, 2012). Research into Practice: Students Need Ungraded Opportunities to Rehearse and Practice New Words with the following oral writing activities (Campbell & Hlusek, 2009 and Dunn & Finley, 2010) . storytelling reading published books · talking ask, reflect, text strategy · oral rehearsal visual arts · sharing time drawing on story ideas · art/drama during writing with assistance · oral storytelling and discussion software These models incorporate “oral writing,” which is the process of speaking to others while planning and writing texts (Van Woerkum, 2007, p. 197). Using “oral writing” to rehearse or practice before formal writing allows students to take risks they wouldn’t take in a more formal situation with newly acquired words. Students can play with words and practice using them; they can listen to how they sound, and try substituting similar words. This is all a part of rehearsing for writing. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

We are limited by the words we know People are limited by the language they know, because after all, all we know is what we have the words to express or receive. According to Robert Marzano, the breadth of a students’ vocabulary is a good indicator of future academic success, because it impacts reading, writing, listening, and speaking and learning in all disciplines. Middle level Word Walls can be digital or traditional, and types of walls can vary (Spencer, 2014). Content Word Walls Words We Want to Know Prefixes, Suffixes, and Root Words Words from Read Alouds Spanish/English Word Walls Graffiti Word Walls (Words that students find interesting found in reading or listening.) Frequently Misspelled Words (tomorrow) “Trash” Words (Words that students cannot use … e.g., thing, said, like) “Recycled” Words (Words to use instead of… e.g excessive instead of too much) Color-Coded Word Walls (e.g., color code verbs, nouns, and adjectives to help students find parts of speech easily) Revisit word walls – take into consideration things like color, visuals, and connections Construct word walls that are much better than previously conceived by making them interactive and with visuals Create a Rolling Word Wall on your classroom TV or computer monitor Use color, rolling motion, and visuals for students to watch and have multiple exposures to words throughout the day. Use Visuals and Symbols to Show Relevance and make mental connections to words! ↑ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

Interactive Word Walls Make Indelible Connections between Words and Meanings and can incorporate Pop Culture Sentence Stem Strategy: • The text is about…” • “The main idea is…” • “The most important details are…” • “The text structure is…” • “The text features include…” • “To summarize the key ideas and concepts…” • “I learned…” • “My partner pointed out…” • “My partner mentioned that…” • “We agreed that…” • “We decided that… Real scenarios as part of an interactive Word Wall help cement understandings: Describe what you experience when you feel content? Could Abraham Lincoln have envisioned propelling men to the moon? Why or why not? If a dog is eating a rancid piece of meat, do you think it could make him sick? Create comics or graphics with word bubbles to rehearse skills and usage. Use word walls when teaching as a reference. Create or have students create games using scenarios. Use as a warm-up Keep monitor screens rolling throughout the day to provide constant exposure Have students play with vocabulary Incorporate vocabulary across disciplines and make it a group effort. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

Students need to rehearse or practice writing without consequences before they write for a grade. Students need to think before writing about what it is they are going to write about. Students need to collaborate with a partner or a group. Practice is a good way to learn. Teach students to reflect on writing with another person and through metacognition or talk in their head. With a partner, students can: √ Summarize √ Cite evidence √ Take a position √ Explain a process √ Look at all sides Compare – How are things alike? Contrast – How are things different? Asking questions to promote thought, e.g., What does this school look like on the inside? Ways to Stimulate Ideas: Partners ask each other questions on the topic Partner’s take opposing sides or views on an issue Partners take turns adding new information Partners build information together researching separate aspects Partners ask “what if” about the topic? Ways to share: “White Board” app Sock Puppet app Make a mini play or skit Use the Puppet Pals app Use Chart Paper Use the White Board _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________

Ways to practice that allow for diverse cultural interpretations. Have students create multi-modal representations of the work via: Videos Comics PSA’s (Public Service Announcements) Commercials Books Again, ungraded because this is practice for writing and helps students create the story line, argument, or explanation. As students practice, teach the formal structure so they can practice Practice builds self-efficacy in the process, content, and new words Practice allows teachers to differentiate instruction Practice allows students with different learning styles to be able to express themselves and also learn how to write a more formal paper. Have students play with sentences combining two sentences to build more sophisticated sentences and maximize understandings of how grammar and punctuation works. Savannah went to the store. She bought juice. Savannah went to the store, and she bought juice. Savannah went to the store and bought juice. Savannah went to the store; she bought juice. Use Phrases to build confidence: A phrase is a group of related words that does not include a subject and verb, and understanding how phrases are constructed and how they function within a sentence can bolster a writer's confidence in writing sentences that are sound in structure and various in form. Cramming for tests is not the way to learn material. John is always cramming for tests. The best way to learn is not cramming for tests. Swimming in the lake after dark is dangerous. It is dangerous to be swimming in the lake after dark. Use various digital tools to allow students to practice: _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

“To our knowledge, the current findings provide the first experimental evidence that directly compares children’s vocabulary acquisition from reading versus hearing a story…” (Suggaate, 2013). Unprecedented new research suggests oral reading increases vocabulary understanding in children better than silent reading (Suggate, et al 2013). Reading aloud to students is an essential aspect of developing vocabulary in children. While vocabulary development strategies, silent reading, and writing development still need to take place, adding read alouds for the purpose of developing vocabulary is promising! More Modified Think Pair Share Pair students to read text Partner A shares what was read Partner B shares any different understandings Partner A responds and shares questions Partner B shares questions or responds Both add comments and clarifications Begin with teaching students how to analyze images: Look at this image; what month was this picture likely taken? Provide evidence of your response. Analytical Evidence for a valid response: It’s probably September. I say this because the river is not frozen like it would be in the cold winter months, and most of the leaves on the trees are still green, so there must be some warm air around keeping it green. However, again I say September, because I do notice that some of the leaves are on the ground, and one tree has some shades of gold and red on its leaves. If it was August, more leaves would be just green. If it was October, more leaves would probably be yellow, gold, or red, and perhaps the trees would have already begun losing more of their leaves? I do think it’s September, because there are some warm days left, but there are definitely signs that a change in the season is coming as indicated by the change in the color of the leaves on one tree. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

The painting is called, American Gothic. Look closely. What do you see? Talk to your partner and tell us the Back story on these two. Be ready to tell the class. With Your partner Tell us what’s going on in this scene. Incorporate both fictional and informational text Use web tools such as Lit2go, (a high quality free online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 (audiobook) format. An abstract, citation, playing time, and word count are given for each of the passages. Many of the passages also have a related reading strategy identified. Each reading passage can also be downloaded as a PDF and printed for use as a read-along or as supplemental reading material for your classroom) to supplement readings and give students audio access to literature. LibriVox provides free access to audiobooks that are read by volunteers from all over the world. ... LibriVox audiobooks are free for anyone to listen to, on their computers, iPods or other devices. Such web tools provide access to audiobooks and help students see and hear text.

1. Read or listen to a story with homonyms, homophones, or homographs. Listening and reading words within a story or text provide students with a meaningful academic language context and models. Create a passage based on students’ familiarity with the struggles between the North and South before the U.S. Civil War and read it aloud. 2. Define and visualize the words through illustrations. Visuals help learners to draw language from their knowledge and personal experiences. Define each word and have students create a pictorial image of each word. 3. Identify the grammatical structure of each homonym word. Understanding grammatical structure helps students discern how and when to use specific words. Explain grammatical features of each word and have students underline words and symbols. 4. Analyze word meanings through cloze reading activity. Cloze activities provide students with opportunities to demonstrate comprehension. Create sentences that demonstrate and require usage of correct meaning and word application within a sentence. 5. Categorize homonym words according to grammatical structure. Analyzing and categorizing words according to grammatical structure enhances word recognition and appropriate usage. Have students take note of spelling within grammatical categories. 6. Have students determine word meanings. Metacognitive activities help students plan, monitor, and evaluate their learning. Create and play a word recognition game to reinforce understanding. (Jacobson, Lapp, & Flood, 2007) CLOZE READING: They’re going to the store to get their lunch. There are several options they can choose from along the way. They will fulfill a special rite of passage as they turn right on Franklin Street and see the university. The group is too big to fill the small shop, so they will enter two at a time. Have students create their own Cloze Reading Activities to share with their classmates. It’s a fun way to get students thinking more deeply about the words they encounter and use. Create a Bridge between traditional texts with cultural forms that are visual but also tell a story films, dance, music, art, graphic texts, video games, smartphones, and so forth (Rowsell, 2013). These other languages or “forms” become a bridge to more formal structures. These forms are the very way different learners make meaning and make sense. Once meaning is made in another form, students can learn to transfer new understandings into more formal structures. “Net Geners who have grown up digital have learned how to read images, like pictures, graphs, and icons.

They may be more visual than their parents are (Sternberg & Preiss, 2005). A study of Net Gen college students showed that they learned much better from visual images than from text-based ones. (p. 106)” Be aware of the need to incorporate and value visuals when students receive and provide information (Roswell & Kendrick, 2013). Use the myriad of popular culture forms as a bridge to academic texts. Visual cultural forms in addition to traditional literature: films, dance, music, art, graphic texts, video games, smartphones, and so forth (Rowsell, 2013). Dr. Seuss once said, “Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.” Across many disciplines such as the arts or social studies, where visual phenomena are a taken-for-granted way of knowing the world (Nairn, 2005; Rose, 1996; Scott, 1992), the visual is privileged. By contrast, in our own field of literacy education, language is privileged, and it is assumed that whatever can be thought or felt can best be expressed through language (Roswell & Kendrick, 2013). We must change this bias if want to meet the needs of diverse learners and incorporate visuals in learning and literacy! Where reading meets social, cultural, and institutional factors It is important, as Watson, Kehler, and Martino (2010) have underscored, that researchers “engage with literature and analytic perspectives that are capable of addressing the complex interplay between various social, cultural, and institutional factors—such as gender, social class, race, ethnicity, and sexuality—that affect both boys’ and girls’ engagement with literacy” (p. 356). Such research and writing about gender illustrates how much we need to move beyond essentialist and simplistic explanations such as the underachievement of boys and look at how various factors affect learning. Multi-Modal Meaning Making Becker (2007) argued that reports on society, visual or otherwise, “make most sense when you see them in organizational context... as organized activities shaped by the joint efforts of everyone involved” (p. 15). In other words, he contends that for information to make sense, we need to see the visual as social and cultural artifacts, as the “frozen remains of collective action” (p. 15). When populations were more homogeneous, meaning and structure were constructed at once. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

Multi-Modal Meaning Making as Rehearsal for more Formal Structures: Today, given the vast diversity in each classroom, it’s about making meaning first and then working to transfer a story, knowledge, etc., into a formal academic structure. If we ask students to construct meaning from and within their unique cultural, gender, and social perspectives, we can then work to have students transfer this understanding into academic forms and structures that we teach. The goal is to: Develop vocabulary with visuals, word walls, analysis, exposure, & play Create writers through writing with multimodal meaning-making, rehearsal, analysis, & practice, and teach formal structures in correlation with other cultural forms Create adept readers who appreciate reading for many purposes and look beyond texts for deeper meaning! Appropriate reading, writing, & vocabulary instruction for diverse students means we must appeal to students on a multi-sensory level, and we must provide 15-20 exposures for most students and struggling students, it may take 30 or more encounters with a word before it becomes fully integrated. Vocabulary instruction is required for diverse leaners. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

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