All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Adolescent Literacy Glossary

Adequate Yearly Progress, Small Learning Communities, Explicit Instruction — do you know what these phrases mean? Find these and other commonly used terms related to reading, literacy, and reading instruction in our glossary.

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Scaffolding

A way of teaching in which the teacher provides support in the form of modeling, prompts, direct explanations, and targeted questions – offering a teacher-guided approach at first. As students begin to acquire mastery of targeted objectives, direct supports are reduced and the learning becomes more student-guided.

Self-advocacy

The development of specific skills and self-awareness that enable children and adults to explain their specific learning disabilities, as well as their strengths and needs to peers, parents, teachers, and employers.

Self-monitoring

The mental act of knowing when one does and does not understand what one is reading.

Semantic Maps

Semantic maps are a strategy for graphically representing relationships between and among concepts. Researchers consider this an excellent technique for increasing vocabulary and improving reading comprehension.

Service Learning

Structured programs in which students participate in the civic and political life of their community, which enhances the students’ academic success, social behaviors, leadership skills, and community awareness.

Sight Words

Words that a reader recognizes without having to sound them out. Some sight words are "irregular," or have letter-sound relationships that are uncommon. Some examples of sight words are you, are, have and said.

Small Learning Communities

Small learning communities are an increasingly popular approach for teaching adolescents. This approach uses personalized classroom environments where teachers know each individual student and can tailor instruction to meet their academic and social/emotional needs. The goal is to increase students' sense of belonging, participation, and commitment to school.

Special Education (SPED)

Services offered to public school students who possess one or more of the following disabilities: specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, multiple disabilities, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, visual impairments, autism, combined deafness and blindness, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairments. For such children to receive special education services, it must be determined that they require such services to benefit from the general education program.

Story Grammar

Story grammars seek to heighten student awareness of the structure of narrative stories. As an instructional technique, teachers use story grammars to help students identify the basic elements of narrative text, including setting, theme, plot, and resolution.

Strategic Instruction Model (SIM)

SIM promotes effective teaching and learning of critical content in schools. This model helps teachers decide what is of greatest importance, what they can teach students to help them learn, and how to teach them well.

For more information visit the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning website.

Striving Readers Act

Striving Readers is aimed at improving the reading skills of middle school- and high school-aged students who are reading below grade level. Striving Readers supports the implementation and evaluation of research-based reading interventions for struggling readers in Title I eligible schools that are at risk of not meeting — or are not meeting — adequate yearly progress (AYP) requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act, or that have significant percentages or number of students reading below grade level, or both.

For more information visit the USDOE website.

Study Strategies

A broad term that refers to strategies students use to improve their comprehension. Study strategies help students acquire, process, organize, and remember new information.

Summative Assessment

Summative assessment is generally carried out at the end of a course or project. In an educational setting, summative assessments are typically used to assign students a course grade.

Supplemental Services

Services offered to students from low-income families who are attending schools that have been identified as in need of improvement for two consecutive years. Parents can choose the appropriate services (tutoring, academic assistance, etc.) from a list of approved providers, which are paid for by the school district.

Syllabication

The act of breaking words into syllables.

Syllable

A part of a word that contains a vowel or, in spoken language, a vowel sound (e-vent, news-pa-per).


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