with Lexie Domaradzki and Shelby Skaanes
Dates: March 6,13,20, and 27(Mondays)
Time: 3:45 – 5:15 p.m.
Registration Fee: No cost to Alaskan Educators
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Target Audience: Grade 3-12 Educators
Credit: One optional university credit is available for attending all webinars and participating in online discussions and assignments
* This series was previously offered in Spring 2022.
This webinar series has been developed to support the Alaska Reads Act. It enhances the work with Comprehension and Vocabulary found in the Alaska Reading Playbook.
For many children, learning to read is a challenging undertaking. The Reading Rope, created by Dr. Hollis Scarborough, captures the elements necessary for word recognition and language comprehension while conveying the interdependent relationships of these elements that develop over time through instruction and experience. In this webinar series we will use the Science of Reading to guide our work focused on the upper strand of the Scarborough Rope Model. The upper strand, Language Comprehension, includes Background Knowledge, Vocabulary, Language Structure, Verbal Reasoning, and Literacy/Print Knowledge. Throughout each session we will focus on the role of many of these elements in developing skilled readers, engage with research related to the strands of Language Comprehension and provide guidance for classroom application to support effective core and intervention instructional practices related to the specific strands.
Session 1 – Background Knowledge
Research in reading over the last 40 years has emphasized the importance of background knowledge as a significant contributor to the reading ability of students. In this session we will investigate the role played by background knowledge in reading comprehension and the implications for instruction. Participants will engage in facilitated conversations with colleagues from around the state and will deepen their understanding of the practices that support teaching students how to access and build their knowledge and integrate it with texts.
Session 2 – Vocabulary
Vocabulary can be defined as the words in a language used to understand and communicate thought (Pg. 58, Hennessy). Vocabulary has a direct influence on a student’s ability to comprehend text and has been shown to have a correlational relationship with comprehension. In this session we will review considerations for designing effective vocabulary instruction. Research will be shared, and instructional strategies provided to support educators as they plan for
- Direct instruction of words
- Direct instruction of word-learning strategies
- Indirect instruction of word meanings
Session 3 – Language Structure
“The relationship that exists between syntax and semantics cannot be overlooked as educators work at developing students’ reading comprehension proficiency” (Hennessy, 2013). In this session participants will increase their knowledge of how understanding the syntactic structure contributes to students’ comprehension of written text. Opportunities to practice identifying potential obstacles at the sentence-level will be provided and effective approaches for instruction will be offered.
Session 4 – Literacy/Print Knowledge
Research has shown that recognition of the structure of a text can significantly improve comprehension and retention of information. Understanding the text structure can lead to students being better able to summarize the important details shared in a text. In this session, participants will be introduced to the many text structures students encounter in text. Research will be shared, and instructional strategies provided to support educators as they plan for
- Direct instruction of narrative text structure, including elements, features, and signal words.
- Direct instruction of informational text structure, including elements, features, and signal words.
Lexie Domaradzki started as an elementary school teacher more than 20 years ago and has since dedicated her professional life to high quality education for all. She provides consultation and professional development services to the Alaska, Oregon, Montana and Idaho Departments of Education, and the Alaska Staff Development Network. Areas of focus include K-12 literacy, support with school improvement facilitators, Response to Intervention, and the comprehensive assessment system.
Shelby Skaanes: Shelby is passionate about providing data-driven consultation, from establishment of an assessment system, to determining the best intervention approach so that each student has access to optimal improvement. She has been in the education field for nearly 20 years, nine of which were as an elementary school teacher in Tacoma, Washington. Shelby has a proven ability to develop school cultures that support continuous improvement for teachers and students. She has presented at numerous institutes and leadership conferences over the past fifteen years in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
Thank you to our partners at the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.
This program was developed, in part, with the assistance of ESSER federal funds from the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, awarded to the Alaska Council of School Administrators. However, this program does not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education & Early Development, nor endorsement by the Federal Government.