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Literacy Across the Content Areas in Middle Grades

Literacy development is not only for English class; it can be developed through school-wide work as well as work in any content area classroom. Dr. Dru Tomlin, Director of Middle Level Services with the Association of Middle Level Education, describes a wide variety of activities that are designed both to build literacy and to meet the needs of middle level learners. Dr. Tomlin explains how these activities can be adapted for use in different content areas, and he provides several examples of ways to check student understanding.   

This course was recorded at the Arkansas Association of Middle Level Education Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas on April 4, 2016.

CID: ELC16083
Subject Area:
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LEADS Domain: none
Credit Hours: 1


Literacy Connections

Students must make connections with what they read in order to learn and grow as learners. In this course, Fort Smith Southside High School teacher Oretha Ferguson shares several activities proven to motivate students to read outside of class and make connections within texts, between texts, and with texts and their own world. She also explains how these activities might be used in content areas other than language arts.

This course was recorded at the Arkansas Association of Middle Level Education Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas on April 4, 2016.

CID: ELC16084
Subject Area:
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LEADS Domain: none
Credit Hours: 1


Conversations in Literature: Responding as Readers

In this workshop, you will meet the readers in this workshop series - including Dr. Langer - through their varied literary backgrounds. Dr. Langer also introduces the major concepts of her work in understanding the processes through which effective readers interact with literary texts.

CID: ELE14001
Subject Area:
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TESS Domain: {"6dd9492e661a752a49bcb32a7857b360":{"option":"3b","icon":"advertising-practice","default":1,"delete":0}}
LEADS Domain: none
Credit Hours: 2


Conversations in Literature: Envisioning

Dr. Judith Langer presents a clear explanation of the four vantage points that effective readers take as they work to build their own envisionments and the research process through which she identified them. Stances, or vantage points, include being outside and stepping into an envisionment, being and moving through an envisionment, stepping out and rethinking what one knows, and stepping out and objectifying the experience. 

Dr. Langer explains how each stance contributes to a constantly-evolving understanding of the text that is the hallmark of a successful reading experience. The community of readers demonstrates these stances as they discuss Gary Soto's poem Oranges.

CID: ELE14002
Subject Area:
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TESS Domain: {"6dd9492e661a752a49bcb32a7857b360":{"option":"3b","icon":"advertising-practice","default":1,"delete":0}}
LEADS Domain: none
Credit Hours: 3


Conversations in Literature: Stepping In

In this workshop program, you will join readers who are outside of the text and stepping into it. While looking at James Dickey's The Lifeguard and Frank O'Connor's First Confession, the group talks about the impressions, intuitions, and hunches that help them gather information as they first start to read. They also talk through sticking points when the information they encounter in the text breaks apart their envisionments, and demonstrate how they work to rebuild them, sometimes with the help of other readers.

CID: ELE14003
Subject Area:
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TESS Domain: {"6dd9492e661a752a49bcb32a7857b360":{"option":"3b","icon":"advertising-practice","default":1,"delete":0}}
LEADS Domain: none
Credit Hours: 2


Conversations in Literature: Moving Through

When readers are in and moving through a text, they interact very closely with the text, actually living within the world of its words. During this workshop, you will watch as readers weave a rich envisionment within the text, calling on all they have known or experienced before. The group works with two texts, Cathy Song's poem Lost Sister and Stephen Dixon's short story All Gone, building on their initial impressions to examine motives, feelings, causes, interrelationships, and interactions as they create a more complete envisionment of these texts.

Dr. Langer's comments during this workshop point to the diverse paths readers follow when they stand in this relationship to a text, and explain why their actions are an important part of the effective reader's arsenal.

CID: ELE14004
Subject Area:
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TESS Domain: {"6dd9492e661a752a49bcb32a7857b360":{"option":"3b","icon":"advertising-practice","default":1,"delete":0}}
LEADS Domain: none
Credit Hours: 3


Conversations in Literature: Rethinking

The community of readers demonstrates another important vantage point that competent readers adopt: stepping outside the text and using what they find there to rethink their lives. You will observe them as they discuss Shakespeare's Hamlet, looking at the various parts of the text that talk about familial relationships, and learn about the places in their lives where these themes resonate and the ways it has made them rethink what they have known, said, or did.

Dr. Langer stresses that, while not all texts speak explicitly to readers in this way, seeking to find the places where their life intersects with the lessons of literature is important for all readers.

CID: ELE14005
Subject Area:
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TESS Domain: {"6dd9492e661a752a49bcb32a7857b360":{"option":"3b","icon":"advertising-practice","default":1,"delete":0}}
LEADS Domain: none
Credit Hours: 2


Conversations in Literature: Objectifying the Text

This workshop showcases the reader as critic. Here, you will become part of the discussions that evolve as the readers look at Alice Walker's Revolutionary Petunias and Langston Hughes' Theme for English B. The readers examine the author's craft, the structure of the text and its various literary elements, and choice of language in order to evaluate both works as pieces of literature. They also objectify and analyze their personal journeys through the texts. Dr. Langer encourages teachers of readers by pointing out how the techniques readers used here can be explored in their classrooms.

CID: ELE14006
Subject Area:
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TESS Domain: {"6dd9492e661a752a49bcb32a7857b360":{"option":"3b","icon":"advertising-practice","default":1,"delete":0}}
LEADS Domain: none
Credit Hours: 2


Conversations in Literature: The Stances in Action

In order to show how readers move into and out of each of the stances as they build their envisionments, this workshop focuses on two extended discussions among the groups of readers. Individually and collectively, they enter and become immersed in their reading, step back and reflect on its lessons, and look at the piece as literary critics would. This workshop session can serve as your virtual workbook, helping you hone your understandings of the stances and how they contribute to rich and vital envisionments.

CID: ELE14007
Subject Area:
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TESS Domain: {"6dd9492e661a752a49bcb32a7857b360":{"option":"3b","icon":"advertising-practice","default":1,"delete":0}}
LEADS Domain: none
Credit Hours: 3


Conversations in Literature: Returning to the Classroom

In the concluding workshop session, you will observe the readers in this community talk about the ways in which Dr. Langer's work - and their own expertise as readers - can truly affect the language arts classroom. In addition to sharing in their stories of successes, you will also eavesdrop on classrooms throughout the country to see how teachers are encouraging their students to become rich envisionment builders.

CID: ELE14008
Subject Area:
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TESS Domain: {"6dd9492e661a752a49bcb32a7857b360":{"option":"3b","icon":"advertising-practice","default":1,"delete":0}}
LEADS Domain: none
Credit Hours: 3