Anchor charts are charts that are co-created by teachers and students to make student’s thinking and learning visible and concrete. Anchor charts make students’ thinking visible for future reference and study. Anchor charts can also be used to list processes and procedures for a particular activity. When deciding to use an anchor chart consider: the purpose, student usefulness and how it will support ongoing learning. When creating an anchor chart focus on one key idea, co-construct it with students, make it readable, clearly organizing and writing in words students can read with ideas they can understand. (Miller, 2008, pp. 88-90 and http://www.edugains.ca/newsite/aer2/glossary.html)
Anecdotal records provide ongoing information about a student’s performance with tasks, their needs and their strengths, and language development over time. Methods of keeping anecdotal records on individual students, small groups or the entire class vary. All observations should be dated and focused on what students know and can do. (English Language Arts: A Curriculum Guide for the Elementary Level (K-5), 2002)
Approach(es) is an effective instructional practice that has an evidence of success that is both reliable and valid. The use of effective instructional approaches has been found to be successful in teaching students to read and leads to measureable growth and improvements in student learning.
Authentic (text, conversations) means genuine and meaningful in both conversation with/among students and in text selection. It is something personal that offers connections to the reader or speaker. (Miller, 3013, pg.72)
Common Framework of Reference (CFR) is an international language reference scale that outlines the stages of learning an additional language. Descriptors and ‘I can’ statements focus on skill development in five areas: Listening, Spoken Production, Spoken Interaction, Reading and Writing. The CFR is used to inform decision-making about instruction and assessment of EAL learners in Saskatchewan schools.
Concepts of print are defined as what students [children] know and understand about the printed language (Clay, 2000). Students develop concepts of print based on their experiences from home and their early print experiences in environments such as story-time at the library, grocery shopping, and school.
Co-constructed criteria means teacher and students working together to create the specific terms, in language meaningful to students, necessary to successfully complete a task or project. Co-construction of criteria deepens understanding of what successful task accomplishment looks like. During task completion students can continuously reflect on their understandings and progress by referring to the established criteria.
Conferring is a one-on-one meeting between teacher and a student. Conferring helps the student understand, remember, extend meaning and make reading experiences memorable. It uncovers a student’s attitudes and helps teachers discover a student’s reading stamina, work ethic and helps explore a student’s reading process. Conferring helps the teacher gather data for assessment and evaluation. It is how a student describes what he/she knows and is able to do. (Allen, 2009, p. 34)
Conferencing involves brief interactions between teacher and student(s) that support the student’s comprehension, word solving and other reading strategies. (Fountas & Pinnell, 2009)
Convention(s) is an accepted practice or agreed-upon rule in representational, spoken, or written language. Syntactical cues and conventions refer to the structure (word order) and parts of sentences and the rules that govern the sentences (e.g., subject-verb agreement). Textual Cues and Conventions refer to the type or kind of text and the features that are associated with its organization. (Saskatchewan ELA Curriculum, Grade 3, 2010)
Cues are clues built into the structure or patterns of communication texts. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)
Diagnostic assessment is used to determine an individual’s understanding of language concepts and ability to use language skills and strategies. These assessments allow the teacher to determine how to build or deepen the student’s understanding of the concepts, skills or strategies. Diagnostic assessments include miscue analysis, informal inventories and individual reading, listening, speaking, writing, viewing nd representing tasks. (English Language Arts: A Curriculum Guide for the Elementary Level (K-5), 2002)
Differentiation is a teacher’s response to a student’s needs. It is making sure each student learns what he/she should learn by establishing clear goals, assessing persistently to see where each student is relative to the goals and adjusting instruction based on assessment information so that each student can learn as uch as possible as effectively as possible. Differentiation is not a set of strategies; it is a way of achieving teaching and learning. Strategies are tools to accomplish the goals of differentiated instruction. (Tomlinson, 2010)
English as an Additional Language (EAL) is a term used to describe students who speak languages other than English and require support with English language learning in order to achieve the outcomes in English language curricula.
Environmental print is the print seen in our immediate surroundings and used in our everyday lives. Environmental print stimulates and supports literacy behaviours of students while motivating them to explore and understand more about print. Environmental print serves a purpose – print is intentionally selected, limited and placed throughout the classroom at students’ eye-level; it is accessible and directly relates to the learning, interests and cultures of students.
Flexible grouping(s) places students into temporary small groups based on their level of independence as learners and their personal interests that sustain independence. Qualities of these flexible groups are: groups are formed and re-formed to meet students’ needs as they arise, small groups vary in size, the organization, task and purpose of the group is understood by each student in the group. (Gambrell, Morrow & Pressley, 2007)
Gradual Release of Responsibility (scaffolded learning) is an approach for moving classroom instruction from teacher-centered, whole-class instruction to student-centered collaboration and independent practice. (Fisher & Frey, 2014)
Instructional level is the highest level at which a student can still understand and make meaning with teacher support.
Inquiry learning provides students with opportunities to build knowledge, abilities, and inquiring habits of mind that lead to deeper understanding of their world and human experience. The inquiry process focuses on the development of compelling questions, formulated by teachers and students, to motivate and guide inquiries into topics, problems, and issues related to curriculum content and outcomes. Inquiry learning engages students in investigations that lead to understanding. Inquiry builds on students’ inherent sense of curiosity and wonder, drawing on their diverse backgrounds, interests, and experiences. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)
Intervention involves more intensive or supported instruction, beyond whole group classroom instruction, provided to small groups or individual students who need extra support with an aspect of their learning.
Just right self-selected texts consist of choosing a book that is ‘just right’ for the reader. This will depend on the reader’s purpose, interest, motivation, background knowledge and level. (Miller, 2013)
Leveled texts are texts that have literary merit and are suitable for the age, skill level and social maturity of students. Teachers typically use the following criteria to level texts: content and sophistication, length of text, sentence length and structure (pattern), vocabulary difficulty (sight words), predictability, llustration support.
Metacognitive is the ability to think about and reflect on one’s own thinking and learning processes. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)
Oral language includes the following components: vocabulary, sentence structure, understanding of story, social language skills, auditory skills, comparing and contrasting information and ideas and understanding concepts such as quantity, space, sequence.
Phonemic awareness is to consciously attend to the sound in the language is the ability to hear specific sounds that make up spoken words. Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)
Phonics is the ability to recognize the sound-spelling relationships associated with print. (English Language Arts: A Curriculum Guide for the Elementary Level (K-5), 2002)
Prosody provides a clue to a reader’s comprehension through expression, pausing, phrasing, pitch, rhythm, smoothness and stress all working together to create effortless movement through a text. Prosody presents an integrated way to reflect the reader’s interpretation of the text. (Fountas & Pinnell, 2006)
Qualitative assessment is a measurement process that focuses on the student in the world. Qualitative assessing involves collecting words, pictures, observations, artifacts, etc. in the attempt to make meaningful interpretations about the progress of a student.
Quantitative assessment is a process that collects numerical data and uses already developed measurements, adapts existing measurements or creates new measurements to gather data to determine the progress of a student.
Reading inventories are constructed from individually administered sets of structured reading assessment tasks that usually include word lists and oral and silent reading passages. Students read silently and orally, and retell what they recall and/or respond to a set of comprehension questions. Their reading of the word lists and their oral and silent responses are analyzed to establish independent, instructional and frustration levels for reading. (English Language Arts: A Curriculum Guide for the Elementary Level (K-5), 2002)
Reader response to text needs to be stimulated by the student’s use of strategies, concepts and skills to make meaning of their learnings from the reading. Responses need to be driven by the reader’s comprehension and passion. Student responses are usually not directed by a list of questions or activities that become a blueprint for all responses. Purposes for reader response are to: deepen students’ understanding and appreciation of the text read, motivate other students to read the text when student responses are shared, offer the teacher a deeper understanding of what the student is comprehending, guide teachers in furthering instruction; e.g., grouping students for further instruction, providing individualized instruction or revisiting specific strategy, concept or skill learning for whole group or small group.
Responsive instruction/teaching promotes the intellectual, social, physical and emotional development of all students. Responsive instruction adapts to students’ needs and presents students with a variety of developmental experiences, learning experiences and supports to advance their learning potential. Responsive instruction incorporates curriculum, instruction and assessment to support all students to achieve the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to succeed in school and in life. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)
Running record is a tool that is useful for assessing a student’s reading strategies and levels. Running ecords can be used any time a student is reading classroom texts. The student or the teacher selects a grade-appropriate book that is to be read. The teacher sits beside the student. As the student reads the text (at least a 100-words sample), the teacher records the oral reading behaviours of the student on a blank sheet of paper, noting miscues. (English Language Arts: A Curriculum Guide for the Elementary Level (K- 5), 2002)
Self-assessment actively involves student reflection on learning, monitoring of her/his own progress. Self-assessment supports students in critically analyzing learning related to curricular outcomes, is student-driven with teacher guidance and occurs throughout the learning process. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)
Stamina is a student’s ability to engage in focused reading independently for an extended length of time. (Boushey & Moser, 2006)
Strategy (strategies) is a systematic plan for solving a problem or executing a task. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)
Text(s) is any form of communication, whether visual, oral, written, or multimedia (including digital media), that constitutes a coherent, identifiable unit or artifact (e.g. poem, poster, conversation or model) with a definable communicative function. It refers to visual communications such as illustrations, video, and computer displays, oral communications, (including conversations), speeches, dramatizations and printed communications in their varied forms. (Saskatchewan ELA 3 Curriculum, 2010)
Think aloud involves teachers verbalizing (out loud) their thoughts while reading. This provides wonderful opportunities to model and monitor thinking, comprehension and metacognitive strategies. (English Language Arts: A Curriculum Guide for the Elementary Level (K-5), 2002)
Tier 1 intervention is embedded within effective instructional approaches. It builds on student strengths and creates a foundation for further learning and achievement. Instruction may occur in whole group, small group or individual settings. Students are assessed often and student progress is monitored regularly.
Tier 2 intervention identifies students through ongoing and frequent informative and summative assessment. Students receive additional opportunities to improve comprehension, fluency and engagement in small groups. Instruction is targeted and short term. The goal of tier two intervention is for students to be engaged readers who read fluently, comprehend grade level text and who no longer require support.
Tier 3 intervention involves planning by a school based team along with specialists (Speech and Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Educational Psychologist) who determine necessary further assessment and plan for intensive individual programming. An action plan is implemented that meets the need of the individual student.
Triangulation of data means using three different sources of data, including conversations, products and observations, to ensure sufficient proof of a student’s learning and an accurate description of a student’s progress.