Supporting Early Literacy through Text, Task, and Talk

Supporting Early Literacy Through Text, Task, and Talk

Session 1 - March 21, 2018

Creating a Vision for High-Quality Literacy Instruction: The role of text, task, and talk in laying a strong foundation for productive classroom talk and robust reading comprehension in early childhood classrooms

This session will focus on the intersection of Text, Task, and Talk as a foundation for building robust reading comprehension. In this session, we will learn about text complexity and calibrate our vision of what makes a text complex and worthy of whole group study. We’ll talk about both WHY it’s important for young children to engage with complex texts and WHAT makes texts complex. We will learn about how to select complex texts for young learners. We will dig into the different types of questions teachers can use for targeting comprehension, interpretation, and analysis of author’s craft. Finally, we will use the afternoon to examine the role of classroom talk in supporting and advancing a strong foundation for comprehension. We will study video examples of early education classrooms to develop an understanding of how student talk supports learning.  We will learn about Accountable Talk discussions, including how teacher questions and talk moves guide and grow discussions and learn ways to create and foster talk-rich classrooms in the early grades.

Session 2 - April 11, 2018
Understanding the Role of Vocabulary in Reading Comprehension and how the Three-Tier Vocabulary System Supports English Learner Students

This session focuses on the role of vocabulary in reading comprehension in the early grades. The session is based on the seminal vocabulary work of Isabel Beck, Margaret McKeown, and Linda Kucan.  We will consider the components of effective vocabulary instruction and how this kind of vocabulary study supports and improves reading comprehension of young children.  Participants will develop an understanding of the three-tier vocabulary system created by Beck and McKeown and how to best make use of the tier system when working with English learners. We will then apply our learning by creating vocabulary lessons and assessments for unit texts.

Session 3 - May 2, 2018

Reflecting on and Applying Our Understanding of High-Quality Literacy Instruction to Lesson Development

Our three-part professional development series will culminate with an opportunity for you to apply your learning on how to select rich texts and design lessons that include comprehension, interpretation, and analysis of craft questions.  We will select vocabulary words and create lessons based on Beck and McKeown’s work in robust vocabulary instruction. At the end of this series, you will have a set of lessons that you can take back to your school or classroom and begin to implement as part of enacting a vision of high quality literacy instruction in the early education classroom that allows for the success of every learner.


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    Institute for Learning
    3939 O'Hara Street
    LRDC 310
    Pittsburgh, PA 15260
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