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Instructional Shifts for Students and Parents

Shift 1: Balancing Informational and Literary Text



Student

Parent

Builds content knowledge through quality
texts/media
Reads a variety of self-selected texts
independently
Explores global perspectives through reading
narratives and informational texts/ media
Invites knowledge-building through multiple
types of mediaboth receptive and
expressive modes
Seeks opportunities for learning extensions by
accessing additional related texts/media

Supplies wide variety of texts/media in the
hometraditional/digital print and media
Models reading fiction and nonfiction as well
as has informal discussions about texts
Invites conversation with teachers about the
balance of literary and informational texts used
inside and outside of the classroom
Asks their children what they are learning from
reading texts and viewing media


Shift 2: (gr. 6-12) Knowledge in the Disciplines

Student

Parent

Accesses multiple types of documents and
media, including primary sources whenever
possible
Builds content knowledge through variety of
texts/media
Finds evidence to support reasoning, as well
as draws conclusions based on text/ media
evidence
Reads/views for meaning across multiple
related texts/media

Helps their children find resources and texts on
topics of interest and/or books that explain
information or processes
Engages in deep conversations based on
evidence and conclusions that are driven by
children and supported by the parent
Supports their children in multiple ways to access
information: print and digital media, interviews and
conversations, audio and video, etc.

Shift 3: Staircase of Complexity

Student

Parent

Reads increasingly complex texts with eventual
independency
Re-reads for deeper comprehension and analysis
Expects and embraces some frustration,
incorporating personalized problem-solving
strategies (e.g., word parts including Greek/Latin
roots, context clues, etymological knowledge)
Reads voluminously, both for enjoyment
(independent level) and academic purpose
(particularly at an instructional level)


Reads complex texts WITH their children
Listens to their children read independently,
helping them embrace and move beyond
frustrations / roadblocks / challenges
Asks their children what they read at school and
invites discussion around what they learned from
their reading
Looks for more sophisticated reading tasks
coming from school over the course of the year
and likewise seeks to sophisticate reading tasks at
home

2014 Michael Fisher www.digigogy.com


Shift 5: Writing From Sources

Student

Parent

Generates informational texts, as well as writes
narratives using sources appropriately and
accurately (e.g., historical fiction, biography,
memoir)
Writes and revises (and re-writes and revises),
insuring proper citing or quoting sources
appropriately for task, purpose, audience
Defends opinions or arguments using text/media-
based evidence
Integrates evidence from multiple sources when
constructing written/media-based products
Compares multiple sources and looks for
common threads of evidence that help draw
conclusions, enhance thinking, persuade others,
or support a claim

Encourages children to write at home both by hand
and digitally. Children could write how-to books,
informational texts, stories, comic books, anything!
Asks children to organize their writing before
writing: collecting details, thinking about beginnings
and endings, etc.
Asks children to consider the validity of their
information. Where did it come from? Is it truthful?
Do multiple sources support it?
Provides access to multiple sources of information:
traditional text, trips to the library, Internet access
(with support), etc.
Helps students revise their writing through
questions about potential improvements in
organization, conventions, content connections,
etc.

Shift 6: Academic Vocabulary

Student

Parent

Uses new vocabulary ubiquitously when speaking
and writing
Takes risks by applying more complex words in
speaking and writing
Becomes increasingly articulate when speaking
and writing to a variety of audiences
Builds a toolbox of academic and domain-
specific vocabulary, and articulates reasoning
behind word choice/diction appropriate for task,
purpose, audience


Exposes children to sophisticated vocabulary at
an early age
Uses new vocabulary in speaking and expects to
hear it in childrens conversations
Reads multiple books with children on a similar
topic, noting new vocabulary words
Encourages risk-taking with new vocabulary when
children attempt ownership of new words
Shares excitement when learning a new word
Plays word games with children
Talks, Reads, Listens, and Sings to children

Shift 4: Text Based Answers

Student

Parent

Finds evidence in texts/media to support his or
her arguments (opinions, claims), analytical
conclusions, and conversational thoughts
Becomes a scholar of text/media: questioning,
evaluating, critiquing, discussing, debating
Re-reads/views text/media for deeper evidence
to support his or her thinking
Engages with the author and his/her choices
focusing on craft, structure, purpose

Asks children questions that require text based
answers (rather than opinion statements)
Asks why, followed with what makes you think
that?
When reading together, pauses to discuss
evidence in texts and why it matters for
understanding and for advancing the plot
Asks for evidence of why children think what they
think in everyday discussions