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Academic Mindsets The non-cognitive factors of a student that creates the classroom atmosphere.

Academic Vocabulary Explicit vocabulary words that are needed to acquire for specific content-area classes.

Academic Vocabulary Vocabulary used in the classroom that is multimodal and helps build your vernacular.

Analyzing/Analysis Examine methodically and in detail the constitution or structure of something, especially information, typically for purposes of explanation and interpretation. Anchor standards This is what the official Core Standards Web page says about anchor standards:

“The College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards form the backbone of the ELA/literacy standards by articulating core knowledge and skills, while grade- specific standards provide additional specificity. Beginning in grade 6, the literacy standards allow teachers of ELA, history/social studies, science, and technical subjects to use their content area expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields.” You can read more about the standards here:

Anchor Standards 2 & 3 Ask students to summarize the text, connect parts of the text, infer central ideas and themes, and trace their development across the text

Annotation Critically thinking while marking text

Central to reading in Digital Environments With the increase in digital devices used for reading in learning environments, a teacher must consider new strategies to teach. For example a teacher might teach search strategies instead of pre teaching background knowledge.

Chronology The arrangement of events or dates in the order of their occurrence.

Close reading One of many comprehension strategies, close reading involves reading a text multiple times to identify details and evidence. Close reading is a “hot topic” because it is recommended in the Core Standards, but as the NCTE authors of “Reading Instruction for ALL Students” point out, it is a “highly contested” term

with multiple meanings. Moreover, as a “text-based approach,” it does not honor prior knowledge or the reader’s context. Close reading “encourages students to see meaning as one right answer to be extracted from the text” (NCTE, 2012, p.


Clustering Kind of brainstorming that shows the links between ideas in the form of a two- dimensional map based on the student's’ individual mental associations.

Collaboration Working with others to complete a task and to achieve a shared goal.

Common Core Initiative An educational initiative in the United States that details what K–12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade

Comprehension The process through which students come to understand a concept from a text Conceptual Understanding The specific and precise language that is used to describe general concepts.

Content Area Literacy the ability to use reading and writing for the acquisition of new content in a given discipline. Such ability includes three principal cognitive components: general literacy skills, content-specific literacy skills and prior knowledge of content. Content Teacher General Education teacher, who specializes in an academic area, e.g. English, fine/performing arts, foreign language, math, physical education, natural sciences, social sciences

Contextualize To think about or provide information about the situation in which something happens. Example: In the Social Studies content area, students are asked to consider perspective. This means they will be considering the author, where it was written, when it was written, and other events that were happening at the same time.

Core Words Words that account for about 90% of the words used in texts Corroborate To support with evidence or authority to support or help prove by providing information.

Disciplinary Literacy The confluence of content knowledge, experiences, and skills merged with the ability to read, write, listen, speak, think critically and perform in a way that is

meaningful within the context of a given field. These abilities are important across ALL subjects.

Disciplinary Literacy Writing and reading are different across disciplines, and certain disciplines require special skills.

Discipline Specific text The varying level and content of texts across content areas. Students will encounter different expectations for reading comprehension and processing.

Double-Entry Journal Students divide the pages of their journals into two separate columns. On the left side, they summarize important ideas from the text, and on the right, they write reflections, personal thoughts, etc.


A teaching strategy where out of class time is used to introduce new topics rather

than practice recently taught ones

Frustration-Level Reading Difficult text for the student to read (less than 90% word accuracy).


Mediums possessing similar forms, styles, or subject matters. In content materials, some examples of genres are: magazines, research articles, reports, websites, primary sources, bibliographies, etc.

Good Assessment (Formative) Seeks to illicit a response of increased confidence from learners by informing instruction and transforming student learning and competence

Gradual Release of Responsibility The goal of this model is to guide students toward using different skills, strategies, and procedures independently. The student needs to assume more

responsibility with less support from the teacher. Guided Reading Teachers provide students with means to integrate their background knowledge

of the text with the “new” knowledge that comes from the text.

Importance and Utility These are mature words that are used in each discipline, and appear frequently.

Independent Reading Reading that is relatively easy for students to read (95% word

accuracy). Students are involved in choosing and reading material for their own personal consumption and enjoyment. This material can consist of fiction books, non-fiction, magazines, other media, etc.

Inference When students combine clues in the text with their own background knowledge to see deeper implications.

Inference S.L.

A conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.

Inquiry The process that treats writing as a problem solving activity where students think about what they want to say before they begin any sort of composition.

INSERT (Interactive Notation System for Effective Reading and Thinking) S.L.A basic set of coding symbols to get the cognition ball rolling.

Instructional Potential Words that create connections to other words and concepts.

Instructional-Level Reading Challenging but manageable for the student to read (90% word accuracy). Text

a student can use to learn how to extend cuing systems independently, with minimal guidance from the teacher.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Common Core standard in which students dissect various texts and compare approaches across text. To do this properly, students must look with greater depth and critical thought into a smaller amount of texts or appropriate topics.

Intercultural Awareness Having a personal understanding of both one’s own culture and other cultures while simultaneously noticing the differences and similarities in both. Also, one of the three fundamental concepts implemented at the Clissold School, which uses the International Baccalaureate Middle Grades program.

Interpretive Framework

A research approach that seek in-depth understanding of a topic or subject

through observation or interaction; not based on hypothesis testing.


A method for incorporating cooperative learning into teaching; holds both

individual and group accountability. This strategy splits a class into “home teams” and “expert teams,” having one student from each “expert team” come together to form a “home team”

Language of Criticism In English, the language of criticism is defined as understanding words that signify literary elements, which can help students focus while trying to read the text. It helps students understand the author’s insight and writing style.

Literacy Design Collaborative

A teacher-created instructional design system that transforms educator practice

through the use of online tools and resources that facilitate collaboration, content

development, and professional learning to effectively implement College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) in K–12 classrooms

Literacy Performance Assessment

A piece of relevant and engaging text surrounded with prompts for students to

write about what and how they are thinking before, during, and after reading

Literal Comprehension The understanding of the written meaning of a passage: the definition of words, the context of the writing, the main idea of the passage, and the sequence of thought chosen by the author


A more structured form of clustering that is completed after students have read a


Maximize Potential for Formative Assessment In order to maximize this potential, teachers need: principled reasons for assessing, a strong knowledge base in adolescent reading, multiple models of tools that give valuable information about students, and a flexible curriculum/instructional framework and diverse instructional materials that allow for response to what has been learned through assessment

Metacognition refers to higher order thinking which involves active control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning. Activities such as planning how to approach a given learning task, monitoring comprehension, and evaluating progress toward the completion of a task are metacognitive in nature.

Multimodal the strategic use of two or more communication modes to make meaning, for example image, gesture, music, spoken language, and written language.

Multimodality type of communication channel used to convey or acquire information; It also covers the way an idea is expressed or perceived, or the manner an action is performed.

Multimodality/Multimodal Communication

A theory of communication and social semiotics; describes communication

practices in terms of the textual, aural, linguistic, spatial, and visual resources (or modes) used to compose messages

Multiple Texts Some discipline areas rely heavily on multiple sources of information to support the content students may be interacting with. Multiple texts describes the use of several supporting artifacts that coincide with the content area textbook.

Needs Assessment

A systematic process for determining and addressing needs or gaps between

current conditions and desired conditions. The discrepancy between the current condition and wanted condition must be measured to appropriately identify the need.

Non-cognitive Factors Attitude, social skills, and behaviors pertaining to a student’s achievement.

Non-tested Phenomena Student attitude and social relationships.


A structured note-taking activity for a subject takes into account what is important

to learn. Note-taking activities could include graphic organizers, tables, diagrams, or charts.

Paideia Seminar

A dynamic process of thoughtful dialogue; structured for collaborative thinking to

enhance individual and collective understanding

Postreading The stage where teachers step back and allow an assessment to validate a student’s understanding of a text.

Prereading Teachers help students organize any prior knowledge or experiences that will aid their understanding of the text.

Prior knowledge basic knowledge that stems from previous experience that scaffolds understanding of complex texts

Professional Development (Professional Learning Opportunities) “Effective professional learning opportunities are designed so that educators develop the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions they need to help

students perform at higher levels.” Some examples include online learning, study groups, peer collaboration, and instructional demonstrations. (pg. 6)Citation:

International Literacy Association. (2015). Collaborating for success: The vital role of content teachers in developing disciplinary literacy with students in grades 6–12 [Position statement]. Newark, DE.

Qualitative dimensions One part of a three-part model of text assessment. Qualitative dimensions include all those aspects of text that are evaluated through human judgment such as, meaning, structure and organization, author’s style and purpose, and prior knowledge demands (CCSS Appendix A, 2010; NCTE, 2012).

Quantitative dimensions One part of a three-part model of text assessment. Quantitative dimensions are aspects of text that can be measured and quantified, such as word frequency, word and sentence length, word and sentence counts. At one time, human evaluators performed tasks of quantitative analysis leveling of text; now software programs exist for this purpose (CCSS Appendix A, 2010; NCTE, 2012).

Reader-text variables One part of a three-part model of text assessment. Reader-text variables depend on the context in which the text is being used, who is using it, and the purpose or task involved. These variables include reader interest, motivation, skills, and prior knowledge (CCSS Appendix A, 2010; NCTE, 2012). The difficulty of a text varies from individual to individual.

Reading for Craft Focusing on understanding why a text is written the way it is

Reading for Meaning Reading literature and looking for key ideas and details, paying attention to craft and structure, and integrating knowledge and ideas

Reading Identity Refers to how capable individuals believe they are in comprehending texts, the value they place in reading, and their understandings of what it means to be a particular type of reader within a given concept.

Response To Intervention Response to Intervention is a multi-tiered approach that allows teachers to actively screen students for reading difficulties, after these difficulties are found teachers will subsequently provide them with the necessary support which allows the struggling students become more literate readers. This intervention usually happens in small group settings.

Rewriting Identities Helping students find their voices and engage with texts in ways that are meaningful to them. Changing long-standing habits, beliefs, and views about reading.

Scaffolding Teacher-given supports that guide students through challenging textual materials. Scaffolding helps students uncover new topics, create a wider range of vocabulary, and develop new background knowledge.

Schema/Schemata Stored knowledge in mental patterns, a representation of a plan or theory in the form of an outline or model

Shared Reading An interactive reading experience that occurs when students join in or share the reading of a book or other text while guided and supported by a teacher

Sight Words Key words that students are automatically able to understand the meaning of

Skillful Reading Steady, recursive mental work that happens when competent readers go to work.

Synthesize During post-reading, readers provide ideas within their reading, as well as using ideas they already know about a topic, between what they have read.


A book or other written or printed work, regarded in terms of its content rather

than its physical form. distinct from other material such as notes, appendices, and illustrations.

Text complexity Text complexity describes the “inherent difficulty” of a text and is typically described numerically with a Lexile score, grade-level designation, or some other leveling system. Text difficulty is best determined through a balanced assessment of three things: quantitative dimensions, qualitative dimensions, and reader-text variables (CCSS Appendix A, 2010).

Text-Based Instruction

A careful and purposeful reading and rereading of a text, followed by an

interactive discussion

The awareness and understanding of one’s own thought process

The Matthew Effect Students who start out reading lots of texts at an independent level that interest them, will in turn read more


In this strategy, teachers verbalize aloud while reading a section orally. The

purpose is to model for students how skilled readers construct meaning from a text.

Tier 1 Words Vocabulary words students already know

Tier 2 Words Important words that can cross disciplines and help students scaffold to understand bigger ideas (academic words)

Tier 3 Words Words that are specific to a certain discipline, mainly technical terms. (content words)

Transforming Text In a science classroom, transforming a prose to a diagram or an equation by using both words and visual representations could help a student check their understanding, and it also allows the teacher to learn what the student has understood about the topic.

Unpacking a Standard The process of identifying what a student will know and be able to do when they have mastered a standard. Elements of unpacking include identifying reliable resources for determining depth and rigor, scaffolding skills with levels above and below, and using clear and concise language.

Word Wall

A display of key vocabulary items for a unit or topic, the writing medium can vary

from hand-written to digital, but the terms will be posted in a public setting so all students have access to the terms.

Zone of Proximal Development S.L. The difference between what a learner can do without help and what he or she can do with help.