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    Instructional Strategies Handbook

    Schenectady City School District August, 2015

  • 1 | P a g e

    Table of Contents

    Universal Strategies ............................................................................... 2

    Literacy ................................................................................................ 94

    Math ................................................................................................... 168

    Assessment ........................................................................................ 183

    Thinking ............................................................................................. 226

    Management ..................................................................................... 283

  • 2 | P a g e

    Universal Strategies

  • 3 | P a g e

    Annotating Text

    Definition Annotating text goes beyond underlining, highlighting, or making symbolic notations or codes on a given text. Annotation includes adding purposeful notes, key words and phrases, definitions, and connections tied to specific sections of text. Purpose Annotating text promotes student interest in reading and gives learners a focused purpose for writing. It supports readers’ ability to clarify and synthesize ideas, pose relevant questions, and capture analytical thinking about text. Annotation also gives students a clear purpose for actively engaging with text and is driven by goals or learning target(s) of the lesson. Through the use of collaborative annotation (annotations made by multiple individuals on the same text), learners are given the opportunity to “eavesdrop on the insights of other readers” (Wolfe & Neuwirth, 2001). Both peers and instructors can provide feedback in order to call attention to additional key ideas and details. Annotating text causes readers to process information at a deeper level and increases their ability to recall information from the text. It helps learners comprehend difficult material and engage in what Probst (1988) describes as, “dialogue with the text.”

    Procedure

    1. Define the purpose for annotation based on learning target(s) and goals. Some examples include:

    A. Locating evidence in support of a claim

    B. Identifying main idea and supporting details,

    C. Analyzing the validity of an argument or counter-argument

    D. Determining author’s purpose

    E. Giving an opinion, reacting, or reflecting

    F. Identifying character traits/motivations

    G. Summarizing and synthesizing

    H. Defining key vocabulary

    I. Identifying patterns and repetitions

    J. Making connections

    K. Making predictions

  • 4 | P a g e

    1. Model how to annotate text:

    A. Select one paragraph of text from the reading, highlight or underline key word(s) or phrase(s) related to the lesson’s purpose, using the “think aloud” strategy to share with students why you marked certain selections of the passage.

    B. Based on your “think aloud,” model writing an annotated note in the margin, above underlined words and phrases, or to the side of text.

    2. Distribute the materials students will need, such as books, articles, highlighters, pencils, etc.

    3. Practice annotating with students, choosing another paragraph/section of text, reminding them of the purpose. Have them highlight, underline, or circle relevant words and phrases in the reading and add annotations. Have students share what they selected and explain the annotation each made. Repeat over several classes or as necessary, working on gradual release toward student independence.

    References Porter-O’Donnell, C. (May, 2004). Beyond the Yellow Highlighter: Teaching Annotation Skills to Improve Reading Comprehension. English Journal, 95: 82-89. Probst, R. (Jan., 1988). Dialogue with a Text. English Journal, 77(1): 32-38. Wolfe, J. L. and Neuwirth, C. M. (2001). From the Margins to the Center: The Future of Annotation. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 15(3): 333-371.

  • 5 | P a g e

    Anticipation (Prediction) Guides

    What is the purpose or goal of this strategy?

    The purpose of anticipation guides are to activate and assess students' prior knowledge, focus reading,

    and motivate reluctant readers by stimulating their interest in the topic. They facilitate text

    comprehension because they require considerable interaction between the reader and the text.

    This strategy addresses the following student need(s):

    Reading Comprehension (Prediction, Inferencing, Setting a Purpose, Summarizing, Note-Taking,

    Determining Importance, Questioning, Synthesizing)

    Activate and assess prior knowledge

    Grade level(s) this strategy is most appropriate for

    2-4, 4-6, 6-8, 9-10, 11-12

    This strategy is most appropriate for the following discipline:

    Literacy, all content areas

    Might there be specific content or tasks associated with this strategy?

    This strategy can be used to motivate for any content area reading. Students paraphrase the text when

    reader-text discrepancies/agreement occur (evidence) to justify claims.

    This strategy can also be used with a video, guest speaker presentation, or field trip.

    What are the specific steps that are critical to this strategy?

    1. Identify concepts you want students to learn from the reading.

    2. Create 4 to 6 statements that challenge students' beliefs and experiences (important points, major

    concepts, controversial ideas, or misconceptions) about the topic.

    3. Prior to reading, students (individually or as a group) react to each statement, formulate a response,

    and prepare to defend their opinions.

    4. Ask students to be able to explain why they selected their response to each statement.

  • 6 | P a g e

    5. Ask students to read the selection to find relevant, sufficient, and credible evidence that supports or

    rejects each statement.

    6. Lead a discussion about what students learned from their reading.

    Phrases or prompts (2 or 3) that you might hear the teacher saying to

    students to know that this strategy is being implemented correctly.

    “Before we read, let's use this guide to organize your thoughts and opinions on ___” (ex. The Cold War).

    “After you read the text (Or…as you read the text), think about how your opinions compare with the

    information you are learning from the text.”

    “Remember you are required to defend your statement with evidence from the text. Make sure you are

    lifting lines from the text to support your thinking.”

    “How did your response change after reading the text?”

    Resource(s) to find out more about this strategy or to see a sample.

    Teaching Reading in the Content Areas-Teaching Manual 2nd edition, pp 104-106

    Teaching Reading in Social Studies-McREL

    Effective Anticipation Guide Statements for Learning Expository Prose by Frederick Duffelmeyer: Journal

    of Reading, Vol 37, No 6, 1994

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/40032252

  • 7 | P a g e

    Anticipatory Set / Hook / Bell-ringer

    What is the purpose or goal of this strategy?

    The purpose of an anticipatory set, also known as a hook or bell-ringer, is to motivate instruction by

    focusing students on the learning task, its importance, the framework for ideas, principles, the

    information to follow, or the prior knowledge/experience the lesson will be connected to.

    The anticipatory set should only continue long enough to generate interest and prepare students for the

    objective of the lesson.

    This strategy addresses the following student need(s):

    Engaging and preparing students for instruction on a topic/concept

    Grade level(s) this strategy is most appropriate for

    PK, K-1, 1-2, 2-4, 4-6, 6-8, 9-10, 11-12

    This strategy is most appropriate for the following discipline:

    All Content Areas

    Might there be specific content or tasks associated with this strategy?

    - to start off a lesson

    - should be designed to have direct relevance to the instructional objective

    - may include review of significant or related information to establish continuity with previous lessons,

    allusion/metaphor/analogy to familiar frames of reference, or demonstrations to ground the lesson in

    concrete operations

  • 8 | P a g e

    What are the specific steps that are critical to this strategy?

    Create the anticipatory set/hook/bell-ringer carefully considering ALL these aspects:

    - the learning (objective) you want to get them ready for

    - the purpose this question/statement is serving

    - transfer of learning (relevance) for students

    - the motivation / interest grabbing aspect

    To write your Hook, consider the following questions:

    - How can I involve as many students as possible, piquing their interests for the subject matter to

    come?

    -

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