College-Ready Literacy Services

Literacy & Writing Across the Curriculum

reading in the libraryISA’s literacy experts work with Districts and schools to review their needs and assess gaps in their programs. Using ISA tools, processes, templates, and rubrics, our team collaborates with you to develop coaching plans based on literacy outcomes you identify. Coaches provide individual and team coaching as well as large-group professional development with the goal of continuous improvement to achieve the literacy goals. Literacy coaches use data — including coaching logs, teacher observations, and student performance in class and on assessments — to monitor program implementation. Coaches provide professional development to teachers and administrators to address the literacy gaps which they have identified. That way, administrators are able to continue to develop the capacity to support schools in their implementation of the CCSS for literacy.

The following are solution samples based on work ISA has done with other schools and districts.  They are frequently customized, combined, and fine-tuned for the context of instruction.

Introduction to a Standards-aligned Literacy Program: An Overview of a Four-year Plan

To introduce a four-year approach to including literacy skills and practices in a college-ready literacy instructional framework aligned with the CCSS

ISA Coach facilitates leadership team meetings for the purpose of:

  • Discussing what a school-wide literacy program is and what its purposes are
  • Sharing ISA framework for a four-year program
  • Sharing sample four-year programs
  • Identifying 12th grade outcomes for students which literacy instruction in early grades would map onto

ISA Coach facilitates meeting of department / instructional leaders team and point person to analyze school’s mission statement, shared beliefs and practices (both in practice and ideals), and additional school documents (calendar, curriculum/scope and sequence) to:

  • Take stock of goals implicit in mission statement (do we still want to work towards these priorities?)
  • Examine correspondence of school’s mission statement to local and/or state standards
  • Analysis of current literacy instructional initiatives and/or priorities that are being implemented
  • Do walk throughs to gather evidence of implementation of current priorities and shared beliefs and practices in:
    • Outcomes
    • Instruction
    • Assessment
    • Language
    • Rubrics
  • Identify common literacy practices that map onto current mission and standards
  • Identify gaps
  • Re-vision mission and depending on status of current mission
  • Develop plan and timeline for writing the four-year program including determining what will count as evidence of accomplishing goals/outcomes
Developing a School-wide College-ready Writing Across the Curriculum Program

Writing Worth Doing

ISA’s Writing Worth Doing program supports schools with the resources to implement a 4-year writing curriculum, including sample scope and sequence, instructional resources, and tools for assessing students’ writing outcomes. The adoption of the Common Core standards for literacy reinforces that this plan requires the participation of every staff member, not just the Language Arts department.

The plan is based on each student, in each grade, having a working folder that contains evidence of Writing Worth Doing. This includes writing to learn examples as well as evidence of the writing process, including drafting, editing, revision in various forms, and, when appropriate, publication.

In order to implement the Writing Worth Doing four-year writing plan continuum of writing samples, students must engage in daily writing for short time frames, and for extended research projects and assignments for a range of tasks, audiences, purposes and for different disciplines. The writing lessons use an inquiry-based approach to building the writing behaviors and Common Core skills that are essential for students to be proficient in college and careers.

Common writing process strategies are recommended for teacher teams and grade level teams. The ISA protocol for looking at student writing, the ISA writing rubric, and tool for analyzing teacher task and corresponding student work act as a vehicle to review student writing samples and guide writing instruction. Since reading and writing are related, the curriculum provides frequent opportunities for students to both write about the texts they read and use those texts as models for the writing students will produce.

The Writing Worth Doing program includes ETS’ Criterion® Online Writing Evaluation service, a web-based instructor-led writing tool that helps students plan, write and revise their essays. It gives them immediate diagnostic feedback and more opportunities to practice writing at their own pace. The Criterion service gives instructors and administrators at schools, universities and institutions a comprehensive writing solution to help improve student outcomes by freeing up valuable classroom time to concentrate on higher level writing skills and areas of improvement.

Developing Inquiry-based Standards-aligned Literacy Curriculum Units and Lesson Plans

To develop inquiry-based CCLS-aligned literacy curriculum units and lesson plans in ELA, as well as math, science, social studies, arts and technology (where appropriate) aligned with the CCSS

An ISA coach will facilitate meetings with designated leaders for the purpose of:

  • planning professional development on higher order thinking, CCSS literacy strategies and inquiry across content areas
  • developing shared understanding of definition and implementation of, CCSS literacy strategies, inquiry and higher-order thinking skills in each content area

ISA content coaches/ISA Coaches facilitate meetings with point person and department/instructional instructional leaders or teachers in specific department areas for the purpose of:

  • revising curriculum to integrate higher order thinking, CCLS literacy strategies and inquiry
  • developing PD plan that supports implementation of CCLS literacy strategies, inquiry/HOTS across content areas
  • reviewing teacher assignments and corresponding student work to assess progress and achievement in CCLS literacy strategies, inquiry and higher order thinking
  • analyzing curriculum maps for CCLS literacy strategies, higher order thinking and inquiry
  • developing shared understanding of definition and implementation of CCLS literacy strategies, inquiry and higher-order thinking skills in each content area
Literacy Across the Curriculum: Instruction and Pedagogy

To help schools integrate literacy-across-curriculum (LAC) strategies and skills into their instructional program and align it with the CCSS

ISA’s literacy experts will:

  • Consult with school leadership to review the ISA assessment report, specifically school-wide literacy and writing needs
  • identify school-wide literacy-across-the-curriculum goals, perceived student needs, and current school wide writing practices
  • Meet with content-area teams or representatives to:
    • develop a set of literacy skills and practices for their discipline
    • identify discipline-based literacy skills and practices for each content area (e.g., how to deconstruct a math word problem; how to cite evidence in a lab report)
    • present “Write to Learn” thinking strategies for use within and across disciplines
    • Conduct a skills-gap analysis by reviewing assignments and corresponding student work with teachers to assess student understanding of key concepts in the content area
    • Monitor and analyze assignments and corresponding student works to assess student understanding of the content information
    • Identify students’ needs and correlate with “Write to Learn” strategies to scaffold skill building in the content area with teachers
  • Facilitate professional development workshops to align literacy strategies with content goals and assessment products, embed literacy strategies in curriculum maps, scaffold literacy strategies for college readiness, integrate strategies into unit curriculum plans, and review student work for evidence of progress on CCSS literacy standards
  • Coaching: observe and provide feedback on implementation of integration of literacy strategies; demonstrate/co-teach embedded literacy strategies
  • Consultation and coaching department leaders/supervisors on pedagogical content knowledge for supporting and supervising implementation of literacy across curriculum
Understanding and Using Performance-based CCSS-aligned Literacy Assessment Tasks

To introduce and create formative and summative CCSS-aligned literacy performance task assessments

An ISA coach will facilitate leadership meetings for the purpose of:

  • understanding goals and value of course-based performance assessments
  • setting goals for developing course based assessments

ISA coach meets with school point person and department heads for the purpose of:

  • identifying professional development needs of staff to develop and implement course based assessments
  • developing professional development on assessments that demonstrate progress and achievement in CCSS literacy, higher-order thinking skills and inquiry
  • developing a professional development calendar for departments
  • analyzing sample course-based performance assessments and rubrics

ISA content coaches facilitate planning sessions or professional development with content area instructional leaders and/or teachers in order to:

  • develop course-based assessments that demonstrate progress in CCSS literacy, higher-order thinking skills and inquiry
  • share content-specific samples of course-based performance assessments
  • support the development of inquiry-based CCSS literacy performance assessments
  • determine unit priorities in connection to CCSS literacy skills, inquiry and performance tasks
  • determine appropriate measures for CCSS literacy skills, inquiry and performance tasks
  • draft performance task, integrating priorities
  • develop learning activities linked to assessment
  • facilitate the development of rubrics or scoring guides for inquiry-based CCSS literacy performance assessments:
    • what will accomplished work look like for each task?
    • what are the criteria for the assessment?
    • what are the criteria for different levels of performance?
  • facilitate the review of assessments and corresponding student work for evidence of CCLS literacy, higher order thinking and inquiry