College Ready Literacy

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BATTELLE Education


To be prepared for success in the STEM fields, students need more than content knowledge. They need to learn to work together, be creative problem solvers, and effectively communicate their ideas and accomplishments. Likewise, to elevate teachers to coach kids at this higher level, they need to be leaders and designers of engaging work. They need to be responsive to students’ every day needs.


Literacy and math are essential for preparing students to be successful in college and career. They are the languages used to communicate. Battelle Education’s College Ready Math and College Ready Literacy series focus on training teachers to shift their instructional practices to embed the math and literacy skills that prepare students for success. Teachers who have taken this training have learned to create challenging yet attainable experiences which are engaging to students. Experiences which are aligned to standards and are relevant to the real world. College Ready Math and College Ready Literacy help teachers help students build lasting skills. This is not a silver bullet. Effective teaching that inspires kids is hard work. It means taking risks. Opening your doors. Connecting with other effective teachers. Implementing the best practices modeled by expert coaches. Sharing outcomes. Asking questions. Reflecting and acting on feedback from experienced coaches. And then….repeating the whole process. College Ready Literacy and College Ready Math provide this opportunity. They provide the opportunity for teachers to learn from teachers with experience successfully implementing these methods. They provide multiple opportunities for teachers to implement effective practices, and structured time for teachers to receive feedback from expert teacher coaches. Through several rounds of implementation, Battelle Education helps teachers routinely use these instructional strategies. After a year of implementation, your team will be invited to join additional school teams from across the state to create a strategic plan for the following year incorporating lessons learned.

This eBook is designed to help you learn more about College Ready Literacy and to consider what steps need be taken prior to enrolling. It helps you understand what your school team will learn throughout the training. It also guides you through the structure of the programs.

So what is College Ready Literacy? We know a scientist approaches reading differently than a historian does. For example, the scientist might use a text to provide knowledge she can use to predict how something might work. In contrast, the historian uses a text to try to understand the goals of a group in a historical event. How do we support students to build these skills? College Ready Literacy helps teachers answer this question. The program focuses on disciplinary literacy. Disciplinary literacy can be defined as each discipline using its own ways of using text to create, disseminate, and evaluate knowledge. Battelle Education’s College Ready Literacy program trains and supports teachers to build disciplinary literacy into their courses through the use of the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) framework. Teachers collaborate with other teachers in their content areas to create authentic and engaging literacy experiences for their students. Students learn key content through reading, research and writing in ways which are authentic to their discipline. Meanwhile, schools begin to develop a common literacy framework designed to engage staff in conversations about school wide improvement of student literacy skills.

This outline will guide you through the structure of the College Ready Literacy series. It will also help you consider key questions prior to getting started. Additionally, the timeline on the next page is a suggested schedule for rolling out the series to a team of educators. Each component of the timeline is discussed in more detail as you read through this overview.

PREPARE AND ORIENT Who should attend? What do participants need to know ahead of time? Time requirements and considerations Orientation and training When should we start?

APPLY, REFLECT AND REFINE How do teachers supported during implementation? How do we create buy-in from school administrators?

ASSESS, SUSTAIN AND GROW How can one of my teachers become an LDC coach? How can we connect and learn from other schools?









Teams register

Part 1: Overview and ceveloping student tasks

Part II: Focus on results and using results to move students forward.

PART III: Moving towards exemplar use

Future goals and full implementation

Each school’s team should consist of 3 or more teachers, the principal

(Full group – 2 days)

(Full group – 1 day)

(Full group – 1 day)

(Full group – 1 day)

Session will cover:

Now that you’ve implemented LDC once:

Now that you’ve implemented LDC twice:

Session will cover:

• How did my students do?

• How did my students do?

• Strategic planning for 2015/2016 school year

• How is it aligned to my school and state standards?

• How can I help them do better next time?

• How can I help them do better next time?

• Planning for robust implementation

• How do I find which tasks are the best for my content area?

• How can I use what I learned to inform how I embed literacy next time?

• As a school, how do we make sure we are holding students to high expectations?

• Creating ongoing opportunities for peer to peer collaboration

• Determine what skills to focus on.

• Peer to peer feedback on LDC Teaching Tasks and LDC Modules

• What is LDC? How does LDC help my students?

• How do I create task for my kids which helps teach my content and also incorporates the Common Core reading and writing standards? • How do I differentiate for students?

• What are disciplinary literacy skills and instruction which would help my kids do well on this task? Next steps: Implement a first module between Part I and Part II

• Develop a bank of literacy strategies • How do I use LDC effectively and efficiently? Next steps: Implement a second module between Part II and Part III

• Norm with student work against the LDC Rubric

• Alignment with Common Core State Standards, curricula and assessments


Who should attend? College Ready Literacy is designed for teachers across content areas and can be used in all grades. Battelle Education encourages a school to put together a team of 4-6 champions to launch the literacy work in their building. At least three teachers (from across various disciplines) and one building administrator should attend sessions as well as support and lead these teachers throughout the professional development series. Including teachers from across different disciplines gives everyone a chance to see how it works in an English class, a Social Studies class, and a Science class. It indicates where there may be hurdles to overcome before introducing it to the full staff. It also gives teachers from several disciplines the chance to test the program and see the results. By starting with a smaller team of teachers, you will have a group who has evaluated the framework and seen the results and can become champions for continuing the work. These champions can show their peers what it looks like to teach this way, and what the impact is on student learning. When selecting your team, consider your school environment. Do you compose your team from one target grade level and then build up? Do you look for the teachers who are most willing to try something new? Or maybe you select a teacher leader from each content area, so that they may lead professional development for other teachers in their disciplinary team meetings.

What do participants need to know ahead of time? Participants need to know the expectations and the benefits of participating in the program. In College Ready Literacy we ask teachers to implement two literacy modules throughout the professional development series. Literacy modules generally take a few weeks each. A module includes a literacy task and instruction targeted at key skills needed to be successful on the literacy task. The class time is spent covering key content for the course. College Ready Literacy helps teachers embed the literacy components in the instruction of key content. For example, consider the ways scientists interact with texts when they are conducting an experiment. How does a teacher embed that process into a Biology course? What skills are unique to the process scientists go through? How can teachers embed these skills into instruction?

Planning a literacy modules requires time. The training sessions are designed to provide time for this planning but teachers should expect to spend additional planning time beyond what is provided. Plus, all teachers are expected to bring student work to analyze during the second and third sessions. This is used to collect data which is then used to plan future instruction.

Time requirements and considerations For College Ready Literacy, teachers and administrators should expect to take four sub days. This includes a two-day overview session (team may choose to do this in the summer, eliminating two sub days) and two days during the school year. The school-year days are held in regional locations to decrease travel time for participants. The overview session is typically held in a central location, which may require lodging for the team. Additionally, teachers and administrators are invited to come back together after the school year ends to reflect on the year and create a strategic plan for literacy for the following school year.

Orientation and training The series begins with the full team attending a two-day training session on the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) framework. This interactive session is designed to give participants: • an understanding of how the framework is designed • a chance to collaborate inside content area teams to unpack what literacy looks like inside their discipline • an opportunity to see modeling of effective literacy instruction • time to plan a first module to implement • time to receive feedback from peers and from expert teacher coaches At the end of these two days, teachers walk away with a literacy performance task and supporting instruction to implement with students.

When should we start? Although it is possible to implement this program at any point of the year, Battelle Education recommends starting the training in summer or early fall. Spring and late winter implementations can be slowed due to weather and testing schedules.


How are teachers supported during implementation? During the school year, teachers are asked to implement a module between the part I overview session and part II, and to implement a second module between part II and part III. Implementation is critical. The results from student work are used as a starting point for the second and third sessions. In these sessions, teachers collect data by breaking down the student work rubrics and applying them to student products. They identify strengths in student work and areas for further growth. Battelle Education’s teacher coaches lead teams through the reflection process to identify what worked and what didn’t work. What needs to be added

the next time you do this module? Coaches continue to share and model effective instructional strategies. Teacher participants are asked to refine their modules specifically focusing on areas where students need further growth.

How do we create buy-in from administrators? Throughout the school year, Battelle Education invites school leaders both from the new teams participating in the College Ready programs and from schools who have already been trained on LDC to a fall and a spring leadership session. Subjects at these meetings vary based on demonstrated needs.






The final session of the professional development series concludes the year and begins the process anew. All school teams come back together to develop strategic plans for both students and teachers. The goal is to assess your current state and to identify where you want to be at the end of the following school year. Then, create a plan for how to get there. There are two ways to grow within your school. First, you can concentrate on increasing breadth of implementation (number of teachers using the tool or number of students exposed) or you can increase depth of implementation (deepen the learning of participating teachers). This session helps teams create a plan considering both of these growth areas. For College Ready Literacy you might consider the following questions: • Will you expand use of the LDC framework to an additional grade level team next school year? How? • Do you want to plan that all students in biology write a lab report which hits upon the informational writing standard? Or perhaps your team decides to ensure that your 9th grade students are exposed to two literacy projects that work on the cognitive skill of problem-solution. What courses within your curriculum would make the most sense to embed these literacy experiences? Engineering? English? Other? Possibly plan an interdisciplinary module to embed this experience.

How can one of my teachers become an LDC coach? If a teacher leader would like to get more involved in the program and is interested in the opportunity to work with adult learners, he or she can apply for coach-in-training positions. If schools plan to grow their teams or there are multiple schools in the district involved this would be a good fit. Battelle Education covers all costs for coaches-in-training so that it does not cost the school any additional dollars.

How can we connect and learn from other schools? Battelle Education supports the Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN). OSLN has network of training centers across the state. These schools and training centers often offer an overview training. These overview trainings are especially useful if there are additional teachers who want to train on the LDC frameworks and the school can provide its own follow-up support. It’s also a great way to see the work in action through a school visit.

What do educators in the middle of their first year of implementation have to say? When asked, “What observations did you make while implementing (or observing the implementation of) LDC� participants responded: My students are more actively engaged.

Breaking assignments into smaller tasks allowed students to achieve [more] and improve their writing skills.

Students were able to communicate course content at a deeper level.

In a 2014 study, students in classrooms implementing the LDC tools gained (on average) an extra 2.2 months of learning for reading. Works Cited: Tools for Teachers, by Teachers: The Literacy Design Collaborative | The Math Design Collaborative. Rep. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Oct. 2014. Web. 3 Apr. 2015.

WHAT NEXT? Want more information? Reach out to Battelle Education and participate in a call or webinar to learn more about College Ready Math or College Ready Literacy. Are you ready to put together a team? Contact Kelly Gaier Evans at to sign your team up for the series.

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