RLTA Study Group: Orozco Academy


School: Orozco Academy
TextWhen Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do by Kylene Beers
Study Group Leader: Lindsay Wesner (6/7th ELA and Social Studies)
Study Group Members: Joanna Felsenstein (K-6 Diverse Learners), Sarah Nelson (2nd grade), Norma Williams (K-8 Health and Reading Interventionist)
Goal: The goal of our study group was to improve the capacity of teachers at our school to provide meaningful instruction to students reading below grade level. Our professional text provided examples of multiple strategies to assess and address student need in the areas of inferencing, comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, spelling, and reader-confidence. 

Throughout the year, study group members implemented the suggested strategies in our classrooms, with an emphasis on the strategies that would most benefit students reading below grade level. As we improved our individual practice, we also engaged in discussions about the need for vertical alignment of literacy practices across our building.

Based on our school’s NWEA data from the past several years, we identified key ideas and details of informational texts as an area for growth in our school as a whole. We selected two strategies from our professional texts that we believed would help teachers address this need: “Say Something,” a strategy for helping students respond verbally to a text, and Likert Scales, a strategy for helping students make claims and evaluate a text. For both of these strategies, we built out vertically aligned resources to provide teachers of all subjects in the K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 grade bands. These strategies will be presented to school staff during Professional Development at the beginning of the upcoming school year.