In the 2004-2005 year, as a division we tried to improve reading comprehension by explicitly teaching five reading strategies across the curriculum. We systematically taught before, during, and after reading strategies and gave students practice within all of the content areas. We agreed to the following five particular strategies:
Many of you expressed feedback that this was a useful initiative. You observed improved reading comprehension among your students based on the anecdotal comments you made. There was a strong feeling that the initiative should continue using the same five strategies for the 2005-2006 school year; however, there was also a strong concern that two-week time periods were too restrictive.
2006-07 High Five
High Five Gets a Makeover!
Due to the success of last year's poster (brown bear giving a high five), we have reproduced the layered booklet of teacher directions to match. Each teacher received a new poster, an extra set of reciprocal teaching cards, and an updated layered booklet during our August trainings on Student-Led Conferences. If you need additional materials, please let Amy Goodman know.
Once again each site has been asked to create its own implementation plan and timeline for delivering the Middle School High Five. Language arts teachers will still be responsible for explicitly teaching each strategy, and all staff will be encouraged to use the strategy within lesson plans to give students the repeated practice needed for mastery. Students will get the message that we are unified in our instruction and that all content areas recognize the importance of the reading process.
Need a refresher on the purpose of this initiative? View an awareness training PowerPoint for all content area teachers in the history section above.
How to assemble the layered booklet »
This year's High Five has a brown bear as a symbol to engage the students. Classroom posters (11 x 17 printed in duotone) are available at every school and should be displayed wherever possible as visual reminders of our reading initiative. The bear photo is provided courtesy of First People.
High Five Bookmarks
In order to help students remember the steps to each strategy, bookmark reminders will be available. The front side outlines the strategy in a few simple steps and the backside is designed for students to record their practices with the strategy. Because this is formatted as a bookmark, it can travel easily from class-to-class. Students will record the date of practice in each subject area and assess the effectiveness of the strategy on a scale of 1-4. To motivate students to hold onto the bookmark, some schools will be holding school-wide drawings at the end of each month. Only students who turn in completed bookmarks will be eligible to win.
High Five Bookmarks Poster
Now available! A new poster incorporating all of the bookmarks provides students an overview of the strategies at-a-glance. Use the poster in conjunction with the individual bookmarks. Consider focusing on one strategy for a period of time using the individual bookmarks. As a team, determine which content area teacher will be responsible for introducing the strategy to the students, but remember to have everyone agree to devote time to the strategy in their respective classes for practice across the curriculum.
Example: The math teacher agrees to introduce Read Around the Text as way to help students navigate the Mathscape textbook. Bookmarks are distributed by the math teacher and students use it in all of their classes. When students show mastery of the strategy, the social studies teacher agrees to introduce the KIM strips. He/she distributes the bookmark as a way for students to track their progress. All content area teachers provide intentional practice with KIM strips to help students master the strategy before moving onto Two-Column Notes, etc.
PDF files to support each strategy are available from the home page. Just click on the bear paw print for the strategy you are using. Tips and tricks from across the district will be shared, which could include photographs, teacher comments, and anecdotal feedback from students.
In November 2005 the Middle Link Web site was launched. The Middle Link site was created to be a resource for middle school educators to find support materials for core curriculum as well as supplemental programs. On this site you'll find resources to download and use in the classroom and introductions to the coordinators for each area so you know who to contact for more help.