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Curriculum and Instruction

Focus on Early Literacy and Learning Conference

The Office of Literacy and Humanities has identified Five Principles for Early Literacy and Learning that drive ESE's Focus on Early on Early Literacy grant. This year's grant activities comprise a professional learning cycle which begins at a series of Literacy Institutes on current research-based early literacy development practices. Regional network meetings follow and provide participants time to dig deeper and make the research actionable in the classroom. Finally, school-based support provided by Early Literacy Specialists promotes teacher reflection on how the work impacts instruction in the classroom.

  • Principle 1: A strong culture of community spirit exists in the classroom. When educators build a strong culture for a community of learners, students feel free to collaborate and share what they know with others, think critically and creatively, and are more receptive to exchanging feedback.
  • Principle 2: Each student is empowered to learn and work with others and has opportunities for choice and authentic voice in their learning. When educators plan to purposefully empower students, they increase their role as the facilitator of student learning and decrease their role as a director. In return, students demonstrate increased capacity for creative and higher-level thinking and self-directed learning, taking greater ownership for what they learn, how they learn, and how to share what they know.
  • Principle 3: Foundational literacy practices are intentionally interwoven within authentic, meaningful contexts. When educators purposefully integrate, rather than separate, the foundational literacy practices through other content area concepts, knowledge, and experiences, it tends to be easier for students to make meaning and see the relevance of their learning. Having multiple opportunities to practice and generalize the learning through authentic settings, students also tend to increase their speaking and academic vocabularies. Additionally, the integration of content may free up time for students to experience other valuable learning opportunities.
  • Principle 4: Each student actively engages in meaningful ways to understand, retain, and integrate new learning. When educators purposefully plan and actively engage students in developmentally appropriate exploration and performance-based demonstrations of new learning, students experience increased understanding and retention, view content as more relevant to themselves, make more connections across disciplines, and feel a greater level of joy in the learning process.
  • Principle 5: Each student's progress in literacy skills, concepts and strategies is monitored and adjusted so that instructional decisions are timely and appropriately accommodate student differences and needs. When educators have an expectation to use formal and informal data to inform instruction and accommodate for student differences, each child will receive the level of instruction and practice time needed to achieve personalized growth and success.

Literacy Institutes:

Download MS WORD Document
November 7: Promoting Vocabulary to Build Knowledge: Key Strategies in Early Literacy Contexts. Facilitated by Nonie Lesaux
Download MS WORD Document
January 30: Using Critique to Promote Literacy Learning. Facilitated by Ron Berger
Download MS WORD Document
March 20: Using Data about Early Readers for Improved Teaching and Learning. Facilitated by Nonie Lesaux


Last Updated: December 15, 2016
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