Making Meaning: Embedded Literacy Across the Junior High School Curriculum

This session has been completed.
Facilitator: Tannis Niziol

This is a multi-day event.

Day 1Oct 18, 2021 (3:30 pm to 5:00 pm MDT)
Day 2Oct 25, 2021 (3:30 pm to 5:00 pm MDT)
Day 3Nov 01, 2021 (3:30 pm to 5:00 pm MDT)
$30.00 (CAD)
Location: Virtual
Session Code: 22-LI-019
Focus: English Language Learners Instructional Strategies Literacy

Target Audience

Grades 7-9 Teachers, Instructional Coaches, and Learning Coaches

About this Learning Opportunity

This series of three sessions puts a spotlight on the importance of making meaning across the  curriculum is grounded in the belief that the deliberate development of students’ literacy skills is a shared responsibility. The Language Arts teacher, although a crucial driver of literacy learning, is but one member of the academic team whose role it is to embed authentic literacy in her subject discipline. Moreover, when applied within subjects and across a school culture, this attention to literacy apprenticeship --  reading, talking and writing to know and understand -- is a factor in both improved teacher practice and increased student achievement. 

This three-part series will explore the research behind disciplinary literacy as well as provide teachers with practical techniques and resources they can start applying in their classrooms tomorrow.

October 18th:  Activating Meaning 

Activating meaning implies spending time on vocabulary development, building background knowledge, and explicitly teaching students strategies for actively engaging with the text.  By front-loading, we are preparing students for what is to come as well as teaching them generalizable strategies that they can transfer across multiple academic settings.

October 25th:  Constructing Meaning 

Teachers need to model and make explicit to all students the demands of a complex text, but especially to those less-confident or dependent readers.  During reading strategies focus on the belief that in order to construct meaning readers are required to be active and strategic. In fact, they may find themselves needing to write and talk DURING reading rather than after.

November 1st:  Extending Meaning 

After-reading strategies are generally understood as means to measure the comprehension that students have of a text.  In this context, comprehension is a product. However, from a perspective of making meaning, we should look at comprehension as a process whereby strategies, such as low-stakes writing and collaborative talk, attempt to extend the reading experience.

This session addresses the LQS competencies

  • #2: Modeling Commitment to Professional Learning
  • #3: Embodying Visionary Leadership
  • #4: Leading a Learning Community
  • #6: Providing Instructional Leadership
  • #7: Developing Leadership Capacity

This session addresses the TQS competencies

  • #2: Engaging in Career-Long Learning
  • #3: Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge
  • #4: Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments

This learning opportunity is being subsidized through funding from Alberta Education.

About the Facilitator

Tannis is currently supporting Alberta teachers as a Professional Learning Facilitator with the Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium. She recently served as a curriculum consultant for the Edmonton Catholic School Division. Throughout her 30-year career as an educator, in both Edmonton and Winnipeg, Tannis remains passionate about teaching and learning, and the need for explicit literacy apprenticeship at all levels in all subject areas. Tannis is a voracious reader who believes all students deserve access to rich, diverse reading experiences and to a safe equitable space to talk about what they see, hear, think and feel. She is on a journey to disrupt and bring clarity to the conversations that drive our planning and assessment practice.

Twitter: @tanrit57