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This overview of Reading and Writing in the Disciplines features teachers and experts discussing the key ideas about literacy development at the core of the more than 80 videos and extensive online materials that make up this professional development course.
Reading and Writing in Mathematics
Education experts Jacob Foster, Heather Lynn Johnson, and Magdalene Lampert address the key elements of disciplinary literacy in mathematics education and discuss strategies for its integration into the classroom.
Reading and Writing in Science
Education experts Meena Balgopal, Jacob Foster, Maria Grant, and P. David Pearson address the key elements of disciplinary literacy in science education and discuss strategies for its integration into the classroom.
Reading and Writing in English
Education experts Dale Allender, Christina Dobbs, Jacy Ippolito, Barbara Moss, and Hiller Spires address the key elements of disciplinary literacy in English education and discuss strategies for its integration into the classroom.
Reading and Writing in History
Education experts Heather Lattimer and Chauncey Monte-Sano address the key elements of disciplinary literacy in history and social studies and discuss strategies for its integration into the classroom.
Mathematics in the Real World: An Epidemiologist
Follow epidemiologist Traci Bethea in her mission to make a positive impact on the health and quality of life of African Americans.
Science in the Real World: A Biotech Startup
Follow engineer Aaron Oppenheimer in his efforts to manufacture and distribute medical equipment to high-needs communities, especially those in remote parts of the developing world who are impacted by HIV/AIDS.
English in the Real World: A Sports Journalist
Follow sports writer Ken Shulman in his efforts to document youth skateboard culture on an Apache reservation.
History in the Real World: A Documentary Filmmaker
Follow documentarian Laurens Grant as she develops a new film on the history of the Black Panther Party.
Deconstructing Word Problems
Students in Kelly Gay's class work together in specific roles (reader, translator, annotator, double-checker) to solve mathematical word problems.
Individualized Instruction as a Formative Assessment Tool
Kelly Gay gives students an opportunity to explain their thinking, or a line of learning, about mathematical word problems as a type of formative assessment.
Using Gradual Release of Responsibility
Karen Hohimer shows students how to break down word problems in algebra by using the BUCKS annotation method.
Blended Learning: Using Technology to Learn Math Concepts
Leon Young uses technology in the classroom to facilitate communication among peers and to support differentiated instruction of small learning groups.
Learning in a Blended Classroom
Leon Young explains how he integrates technology into the classroom to support blended learning.
Annotating Word Problems
Kim Dinh teaches students how to determine important information to solve mathematical word problems.
Talking Like a Mathematician
Kim Dinh has students explain a math process in order to better understand linear equations and graphing.
Collaborating to Extend Mathematical Understanding
Derek Boyd explains how he differentiates activities to teach specific mathematical concepts.
Using Math Vocabulary to Articulate Understanding
Derek Boyd shows how reinforcing vocabulary helps students understand and retain content.
Writing for Mathematics Understanding
Stephanie Brown's students first work individually and then in groups to construct viable mathematical arguments by critiquing each other’s reasoning.
Real World Mathematics Collaboration
Students in Stephanie Brown's class work together in teams to problem solve and develop a system of equations for a trigonometry proof.
Writing to Deepen Mathematical Understanding
Laura Mourino assesses formative understanding by having her 10th graders write letters answering four key questions about a unit circle.
Fostering Student Engagement
Laura Mourino discusses her commitment to engaging students in a variety of tasks by acknowledging individuality in learning and making simple accommodations based on differences.
Collaborative Talk About Mathematics
In Constantina “Dina” Burow’s classroom, developing discussion skills within team practice scenarios helps to not only work through the mathematics content at hand, but to also build the very important 21st- century skills of collaboration.
Thinking Like a Mathematician
Constantina “Dina” Burow walks her students through logarithmic functions by breaking down a word problem from a mathematics textbook and then showing them how their previous knowledge of exponential functions helps them graph and solve logarithmic functions.
Creating Opportunities for Mathematical Discourse
Sarah Langer engages students with a multistep group project that uses their understanding of graph theory. Students work together to choose a question, communicate the answer both informally and in writing, and present their solution in a video.
Fostering Close Reading
Amy Miles builds students' close reading skills and creates an opportunity to dig into complex text to foster deeper understanding of a scientific topic.
Power Writing for Science
Amy Miles uses a "power writing" exercise to build writing skills and reinforce background knowledge.
Making Observations Like a Scientist
Catherine Rohrbaugh teaches students how to take notes and analyze text across different content areas to foster independent learning.
Annotating Across Disciplines
Catherine Rohrbaugh teaches students how to take notes and analyze text across different content areas to foster independent learning.
Organizing Ideas from Multiple Sources
Lynn Gilbert helps students create a graphic organizer for multiple resources and various types of texts; her ultimate goal is to support students as they write an argumentation essay using claim, evidence, and warrant.
Teaching Content Through Literacy
Lynn Gilbert helps students discern fiction from nonfiction text and to determine which is easier to read in the context of science literacy.
Science Literacy: Reading and Writing Diagrams
Students use models to explain how the relative positions of the Sun, Moon, and Earth determine Moon phases, eclipses, and tides. They also explore the importance of diagrams in communicating information.
Building Knowledge from Multiple Sources
Dr. Amanda Micsenyi leads her ninth grade class in a literature study of the timeline of HIV/AIDS. Students read and annotate four articles to better understand and discuss the disease, its social progression, and the development of treatments.
Dr. Amanda Micsenyi raises the bar for a particularly eager student, challenging him to read additional articles about HIV/AIDS and share his findings with the class.
Learning Vocabulary in Biology
Mary Murphy uses an engaging narrative to help students understand protein synthesis.
Using Scientific Discourse
Students learn how to apply scientific reasoning to new problems and then communicate about it with peers.
Supporting Claims with Evidence and Reasoning
Chemistry teacher Martin Berryman shows how to help students write strong claims based on evidence, reason, and the interpretation of data.
Creating a Culture of Collaboration
Martin Berryman explains how peer-to-peer collaboration fosters teamwork and understanding.
Thinking and Communicating Like a Biologist
Amy Sheck leads students as they read and discuss a scientific paper on biofilms, design and propose an experiment, and then set up their experiment.
Reading and Writing Scientific Abstracts
Tracy Tran leads students in learning how to write a scientific abstract by reading and annotating a model and then having students try one on their own.
Tackling a Scientific Text
Tracy Tran discusses the importance of encouraging students not to shy away from dense scientific text.
Comprehending Informational Texts
Wendy Barrales engages students in various activities to build their ability to glean information from different genres. Students answer genre-probing questions using claims, evidence, and reasoning and take part in a unison reading group.
Wendy Barrales has a one-on-one conference with a 6th grader who needs help applying strategies to define an unknown word.
Writing Workshop: Using Mentor Texts and Graphic Organizers
Andrew Spinali has students work on sequencing techniques to help them develop theme in their writing.
Teacher Collaboration Across Disciplines
Andrew Spinali meets with the 7th grade content area literacy team that he established among his colleagues. They talk about how they choose mentor texts to support their students' writing across all disciplines.
Comparing the Language of Multiple Sources
Manny Martinez juxtaposes the preamble of the U.S. Constitution with Emma Lazarus’s poem The New Colossus to help students begin to tackle the question: What does it mean to be American?
Identifying Theme Through Close Reading
Kelly Johnson helps her students determine the theme of the book they have been reading—Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat—by supporting them with a close reading strategy.
Collaborating and Writing: Components of Close Reading
Kelly Johnson discusses strategies she uses to get her students to read, discuss, and write about the emerging theme as it relates to the characters in the novel Breath, Eyes, Memory.
Guided Instruction for Independence
Jennifer Roberts asks students to compare two characters from The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe using evidence they have gathered from the text.
Blended Learning: Acquiring Digital Literacy Skills
Jennifer Roberts discusses the ways in which she incorporates the use of computers into her classroom.
Jenee Ramos uses a writing workshop approach to peer revision to help students practice their writing techniques across different genres.
Engaging Students in Authentic Reading and Writing
Jenee Ramos engages students in reading and writing about topics that are relevant to their lives.
Teaching Argumentation Skills
Dan Guerrero challenges his students to construct arguments using academic language and terms.
Analyzing Anecdotal Evidence
Dan Guerrero demonstrates how he uses anecdotal evidence as a way to engage others in a discussion of ethics and morality.
Analyzing Complex Text
Michelle Brenner's students analyze an excerpt from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by gathering evidence to support their point of view.
Writing for New Media
Jane Cunningham engages her students with a journalism podcast project in which they create their own podcasts about a subject of their choice.
Using Technology to Develop Writing Skills
Jane Cunningham and her colleague Mike McSweeney discuss the creation of an English unit on journalism, which promotes skills such as the use of technology, conducting interviews, and working with others.
Reading, Writing, and Responding to Poetry
Students in Ben Berman’s creative writing class expanded their study of figurative language by reading and considering two poems about names. They then participated in emulation exercises to try their hand at the subject.
Revising with Teacher and Peer Feedback
Ben Berman discusses unveiling the craft of writing by teaching students how to give and receive feedback on creative pursuits.
Blended Learning: Evaluating Source Material
In this lesson on the Industrial Revolution, Andrea Gambino Rhodes assigns primary and secondary source material to student groups based on personal interests. Together, students develop their skills of annotation, sourcing, corroboration, and class discussion to evaluate the source materials at hand.
Blended Learning: Purposeful Instruction
Andrea Gambino Rhodes discusses the ways in which she chooses primary sources to frame her lesson to engage students, such as by using an infographic and selecting sources according to student strengths and interests.
Identifying Evidence from Multiple Sources
Jesse Gore teaches students how to analyze evidence from primary and secondary sources in order to defend ideas.
Presenting Facts as Evidence
Elisabeth Shanley's students debate the successes of the Aztec and Inca civilizations using evidence from their research.
Close Reading of a Primary Source
Ann Pember’s students discuss the meaning and role of the USA Patriot Act after reading an article from the New York Times.
Flexible Grouping to Promote Learning
Darby Masland uses flexible grouping to foster understanding of texts and vocabulary.
Creating a Classroom Culture
Darby Masland explains how a class-wide focus on standards helps students meet learning goals more effectively.
Making Writing Explicit in Social Studies
In teaching disciplinary writing strategies, Steve Lazar has his social studies students use a personal experience to practice using cause and effect language and then applies the language to content.
Thinking and Communicating Like a Historian
Steve Lazar discusses how teaching his students the specific language of his discipline gives them the tools to better discuss and write about content.
Citing Evidence from Primary Sources to Support Arguments
In LeRoy Votto’s classroom, students read, annotate, write about, and discuss Wendell Phillips’s speech “The Philosophy of the Abolitionist Movement.”
Reading and Responding Like a Historian
LeRoy Votto’s students discuss their thoughts on Wendell Phillips’s speech “The Philosophy of the Abolitionist Movement.”
Using the Socratic Method in History
Co-teachers Addie Male and Raeann McElveen prepare students for a Socratic seminar by using multiple sources, student-generated questions, students' personal goals, and contextual evidence.
Developing Questions That Promote Discussion
Co-teachers Addie Male and Raeann McElveen discuss how to get students to develop questions that generate good classroom discussion.
Reading Like a Historian
Lili Velo uses historical context to teach students how to analyze historical documents.
Expanding Academic Language
Lili Velo explains the importance of learning and practicing academic language to help students interpret historical texts, especially in a classroom that consists predominantly of English language learners.
Facilitating a Socratic Seminar
Kristen Ferrales demonstrates how having students write to prepare for discussions creates a deeper understanding of the topic and leads to a more productive Socratic seminar.
Designing the Classroom to Support Understanding
Kristen Ferrales explains how she intentionally designs her classroom to create an effective learning environment.
Using Document-based Questions for Historical Writing
Amanda Westenberg uses grouping techniques, peer revision, self-revision, and teacher feedback to address the skills needed to write a document-based essay.
Using Student Data to Plan Instruction
Amanda Westenberg discusses her technique of using student performance data to drive instruction.
Experiencing Discipline-Specific Texts
This activity features a short text related to the topic of economics in each of the four disciplines—science, mathematics, English, and history—with questions to assess learning about each text. The goal is to experience the different text types and specialized literacy practices required to make sense of the ideas presented, which students must do each school day.
In this activity, read a short text several times with a different purpose for each reading, making annotations that reflect important ideas, questions, confusions, key vocabulary, and overall understandings.
Making Sense of Mathematics Text
In this activity, explore different protocols for making sense of mathematical text that meet the needs of your students.
3 Read Strategy
This activity shows how reading a mathematics problem three times, with a different focus question each time, can help students make sense of a problem.
Representing Different Styles of Data
This activity explores how to interpret different styles of representing data, focusing on data related to the thinning ozone layer.
Relationship Between Scientific Graphics and Text
In this activity, explore the important connection between graphics and text in science writing by annotating a graphic and text about asteroid impacts and mass extinctions on Earth.
Learning About Language Through Cognates
This activity highlights examples of conceptually related Spanish and English cognates that share Latin root words, which can be used to help students develop their vocabulary.
In this activity, annotate an excerpt from Solomon Northup's Twelve Years a Slave and then provide a written response about the passage.
Adapting and Modifying Sources
This activity demonstrates the range of ways that a primary source can be adapted and modified for students at different grade levels and reading levels.
Identifying Reading Strategies
In this activity, annotate a primary source using three historical reading strategies: sourcing, contextualizing, and close reading.