Content Area Literacy

Superior Essays
1. After reading Lent's Chapter 1, Shanahan & Shanahan's article, "Teaching Disciplinary Literacy to Adolescents: Rethinking Content Area Literacy," and an elementary focused article of your choice, reflect on the author's viewpoints on content area literacy versus disciplinary literacy.
What should educators know about content area literacy versus disciplinary literacy? What does it look like at the elementary level versus the high school level?
Content area literacy refers to the general literacy strategies that have been used across the board with literacy instruction. These include several instructional approaches such as, word reading skill, vocabulary instruction, development of content knowledge, comprehension strategies, and reading
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After reading Fisher & Frey's Chapter 1, what do you think is the significance of qualitative text evaluation, quantitative text evaluation and matching texts with readers? How might a content area/disciplinary teacher be affected when looking at texts this way?
Quantitative evaluation measures the readability of a text; such as sentence length, rare words, etc. Although this type of evaluation is useful concurrent with qualitative text evaluation, it is simply not appropriate to use readability data and assume that text complexity can and is measured accurately (Frey & Fisher, 2013). This type of evaluation is not dependable when viewed independently because it focuses mainly on the number and types of words within a text.
Qualitative evaluation considers a text across a number of demands including levels of meaning and purpose, structure, language conventions and clarity, and knowledge demands. This is significant because each text given to a child, will vary in difficulty within each of these areas. Some texts are straightforward with presentation of information, while others are not. “The degree to which language conventions are similar to or different from those commonly understood can also affect complexity” (Frey & Fisher, 2013, p. 8). In addition, the relative background knowledge expected of each student, is different for each text given; which also plays into the complexity of a text. Qualitative evaluation can give us insight into what to
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Students should be targeted in terms of what they are interested in, their levels of motivation, their cognitive and developmental maturity, and prior background knowledge. In short, the right books need to be matched to the reader at the right time. There is no evidence to prove that students can learn from books that they can’t read. Because of this, students need to be adequately supported through the use of a myriad of comprehension strategies and a gradual release of responsibility. In looking at texts in this way, educators can be more conscious not only of where the student lies according to their “grade level,” but also to be aware of the student as a whole; including their cognitive levels, interests, and motivation.

3. In what ways has your thinking changed after reading and viewing the texts this week? Explain. After completing this week’s readings, I have a better understanding of the complexity of literacy. I see how literacy is more than the skills necessary for reading and writing. Literacy is not a single entity, but a multi-faceted social practice and can be anything than helps a learner make meaning. I am beginning to see how educators can be proactive in regards to supporting their students’ literacy needs through the selection of texts, curriculum, and though any task that pushes students beyond basic facts towards deeper understanding through

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