Monday, September 27, 2010

Welcome to the Literacy Plate!

This is your resource for literacy - reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking in the southeast region of Massachusetts. For the past six years I have been assigned to this region by the Office of Literacy at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE). My job was to assist schools and districts that were receiving our state and federal grant funding. In the last year, that work was expanded to include all of the districts in the region under the umbrella of the Southeast District and School Assistance Center (DSAC).

For the past several years, the Office of Literacy has been working with schools and districts to assist in content area learning. More and more we realized that literacy and math demands were limiting the time our teachers had to work with students at the early grades on science and social studies topics. At the same time, our secondary content teachers were often struggling with the dual demands of teaching content to students and remediating literacy skills needed to access the content.

Along came two very important ideas:

  • researcher David Pearson's point that literacy provides the tools for learning all content

  • researcher Julie Meltzer's point that "Literacy is the plate." upon which all learning is served.

We have made these ideas central to our work when creating and delivering professional development and in facilitating the work of districts in aligning and focusing literacy learning through the creation of a District Literacy Action Plan. Everyone these days is busier than ever. I hope this resource will provide valuable information in a timely manner.

As we begin to adopt the new state standards in ELA and implement the projects associated with our Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative, I encourage you to check this blog for updates, resources, and lessons learned. Please contact me at any time if I may answer questions or to provide suggestions for topics on any facet of literacy. Please use the "subscribe" box to the right to sign up to get new posts via email. No spam, I promise!