SERP, Word Generation, STARI, and CCDD: An introduction

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SERP, Word Generation, STARI,
and CCDD: An introduction
Catherine Snow
Harvard Graduate
School of Education
My goal: To explain
• SERP, our long-standing partnership with
the Boston Public Schools, our more
recent partnerships with other districts
• A bit of the history of Word Generation
• A bit of the history of STARI
• CCDD: Catalyzing Comprehension
through Discussion and Debate
• The future of Word Generation
• The future of STARI
Three groups with
common interests
• All facing challenges of adolescent literacy and
the Common Core State Standards
• All recognizing that traditional approaches are
insufficient
1. Prospective Word Generation adopters
2. Participants in the CCDD Word Generation
experimental study
3. Participants in the STARI experimental study
What is SERP?
(Strategic Education Research Partnership)
• A young organization
• With an idealistic mission
• Inspired by frustration with the relationship
between research and practice in education:
– Intervention research that doesn’t change
practice
– Practitioner-developed innovations that don’t get
acknowledged as legitimate
SERP Principles
• Emergence of questions from practice, i.e.,
‘Practice-embedded/use-based research’
• Working at three levels simultaneously (student
learning, teacher learning, organizational
learning)
• Recruiting multiple forms of expertise
• Creating local solutions designed to travel
• Engineering tools that carry knowledge across
sites
• Developing procedures to accumulate
knowledge across sites
• Exploiting bottom-up as well as top-down
sources of wisdom
Getting started on our work in Boston
Interviewing and surveying teachers
Comprehension a universal worry
Many problems mentioned
Vocabulary challenges widely noted
Observing in classrooms
Little vocabulary instruction overall
Focus on disciplinary vocabulary
Content area texts challenging, unengaging
Literacy assessments
Many readers struggling with comprehension
Low vocabulary across the board
Problems with word reading, fluency for some
Boston NAEP- Reading 4th and 8th grades
in 2007
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4th grade
49.81 Below Basic
33.91 Basic
13.75 Proficient
2.52 Advanced
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard
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8th grade
40.37 Below Basic
43.47 Basic
15.11 Proficient
1.05 Advanced
The Challenge
• The new complexities of adolescent literacy
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Complex texts, new vocabulary and grammar
Presupposed background knowledge
Lowered student motivation
The need to cover lots of material
• The achievement gap (partly a vocabulary and knowledge gap)
• The need for vocabulary in math, science, and social studies as
well as English Language Arts
• Content area standards that restrict the time for teaching
vocabulary or content-area reading skills
• The need of ELLs and LM students for attention in school to
vocabulary learning
How to teach vocabulary? NOT
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Assigning unconnected lists of words
Having students look them up in dictionaries
Having students write sentences with them
Giving a Friday quiz on them
So students can forget them and start on next
week’s list
The SERP Team Response
Word Generation
• Build the vocabulary of middle school students
through repeated exposure to high frequency
academic words in various contexts;
• Promote regular use of effective instructional
strategies among teachers;
• Facilitate faculty collaboration on a schoolwide effort.
Over-arching goal of original WG
To create an “easy-to-embed,” engaging, and
effective word study program that develops a
repertoire of vocabulary-building practices
among teachers and students, which become
“institutionalized” over time across all subject
areas.
Word Generation Program Features
• Focus on the Academic Word List (AWL)
• Materials designed for flexible use across the
curriculum
• An expectation that schools would dedicate at
least 15 instructional minutes a day
• An opportunity for each school team to design
a practical implementation plan to suit its own
particular school context
Should the government impose a mandatory year
of service after high school?
Should schools protect kids from cyberbullying?
Should the use of transfats in foods be regulated?
Sample dilemmas
Should schools require a minimum GPA for
participation on a sports team?
Should it be mandatory to get a parenting
license?
WHEREAS ESTIMATE INFLUENCE ESTABLISH FACTOR
PREDOMINANT DECLINE SPECULATE
FORTHCOMING OUTWEIGH INTRINSIC DURATION
STRATEGIES PRESCRIBE FACILITATE COMPONENT DESIGN
PURSUE RELY UNMONITORED COMPILE
words
ANONYMOUSSample
INSTITUTE ECONOMIC PLAUSIBLE
BANNED INTERACT MEDIATE ACQUIRE
APTITUDE DISTRIBUTION CIVIC ORIENT MAINTAIN
DENY APPROACH SUSTAIN POLICY ATTRIBUTE
CORPORAL
PREREQUISITE REINFORCE REGULATE
EVALUATE DISCRIMINATE
VARIABLE
PREDICT
Promising Results,Year 1
Grade
n
Mean percent Correct
1st 12 week words
Pre
Post
Six
Seven
Eight
29
46
64
65.09
68.20
74.67
77.82
82.75
85.02
Six
Seven
Eight
104
109
120
68.28
72.24
75.03
77.02
79.04
83.96
Promising Results,Year 1
Grade
n
Six
Seven
Eight
Six
Seven
Eight
29
46
64
104
109
120
Mean percent Correct
1st 12 week words
Pre
Post
65.09
68.20
74.67
68.28
72.24
75.03
77.82
82.75
85.02
77.02
79.04
83.96
Year 2 results
Pretest
Mean
SD
Post test
Mean
SD
Gain
_______________________________________________________
• Comparison
21.02
6.20
22.97
7.15
1.95
(n= 294) (3)
________________________________________________________
• Treatment
18.53
6.17
22.93
7.33
4.4
(n=632) (5)
________________________________________________________
40 items…represents 4.5 word gain.. Taught 120. Infer they gained
approximately 14 target words through participation in all the weekly
activities; students who gained more words also did better on the MCAS
Descriptive statistics also suggest that students who spoke a language other than English at home
improved more than monolingual English students on measures of target word knowledge
(Snow, Lawrence, & White, 2010)
Students
spoke a language
other thanother
English at
Students
whowhospoke
a language
than English at home home
Mean
SD
Gains
Comparison School
(n = 151)
Pretest Posttest
21.10 22.38
6.40
6.84
1.28
Students who spoke
Students showatspoke
English at home
English
home
WG School
Comparison School (n WG School
(n = 287)
= 168)
(n = 410)
Pretest Posttest Pretest Posttest Pretest Posttest
18.56
22.26 21.32 23.03 18.70 22.32
6.46
7.06 6.81 7.36 6.49 7.12
3.70
1.71
3.62
Meanwhile, STARI
• Many BPS students scoring well below grade
level in reading
• These students needed intensive catch-up
• Focused on word reading and fluency as well
as vocabulary, comprehension, and writing
• Eligibility established with MCAS/RISE
• Curriculum co-constructed with teachers
• Initial results highly promising
The Strategic Adolescent Reading
Intervention (STARI)
• “…designed to raise basic reading skills and simultaneously
foster more complex, deep comprehension abilities among
adolescents with significant delays in reading [at about a 4th
grade level]” (p. 21).
– About 30% of Boston School’s students in 8-9th grade
• Targets
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Reading fluency
Vocabulary
Decoding
Comprehension
• Language Arts course
• http://www.serpinstitute.org/tools-andresources/overview.php
Design of STARI
• Schools identify students
reading more than 3 years
below grade level
• Students participate in
literacy-enriched language
arts
• Students read and
respond to novels; write
literary response essays
• http://www.serpinstitute.o
rg/tools-andresources/overview.php
STARI curriculum
• Partner formats are used to
develop fluency
• Small guided reading groups
scaffold comprehension
• Students also apply
Reciprocal Teaching
strategies in partner work
with novels and nonfiction
http://www.serpinstitute.org/toolsand-resources/overview.php
Evaluation of STARI
• 7th-9th graders with SRI scores of 500-875 were
randomly assigned to semester-long STARI
classes or regular English classes
– RISE administered at start and end of semester
– Teacher and student interviews and observations
were conducted
• STARI students made statistically significant gains
in several RISE subtests
• Effect sizes favoring STARI students were .06 for
word reading, .07 for vocabulary, .10 for sentence
structure, and .11 for reading comprehension
http://www.serpinstitute.org/tools-and-resources/overview.php
Our growing realization
• Word Generation’s active ingredient was
discussion
• STARI used discussion to deepen knowledge
and motivate students
• High-quality topic-focused discussion is hard
to do
• And needed more attention in support to
teachers
Coincidentally
• Reading for Understanding initiative!
• Major federal investment in reading
comprehension research, preK – grade 12
• Five teams, each with a grade-range focus
• SERP/Harvard/BPS received funding for 4th
through 8th grades
• Developmental theory, curriculum
development, intervention for struggling
readers
MORE ON RFU: The Network
MORE ON RFU: The Network
Simple vs. Deep Comprehension
Simple View of
Reading
Word reading
Decoding
Simple
Comprehension
Perspective Taking
Listening
Comprehension
Vocabulary
Conversational
Language
Complex
Reasoning
Academic
language skills
Background
Knowledge
Deep
Comprehension
Theory of Change
Critical reading
Discussion and
debate
Expository writing
Challenges to both WG and STARI
• PD and other teacher supports were not
strong enough especially for new kinds of
pedagogy
• Strong district traditions of teacher autonomy
for curriculum planning
• Implementation varied widely across schools
• Principal leadership was key in successful sites
•
http://www.serpinstitute.org/tools-and-resources/overview.php
RFU Enhancements to Word Generation
• Extend WG to 4th and 5th grade
• Provide more in-depth 6 week treatment of a single topic for 6th8th grades
– Social Studies
– Science
– Provide an opportunity for students to write a longer more
developed essay than the brief essays currently produced
– Enhancements will be developed in consultation with teachers
• Will continue to utilize the 1 week units across content areas for
12 weeks/year
• Modularized for maximum flexibility
– Schools might use WG in original form with 6 week topics in Science
and Social Studies
– Or use WG units for weeks before and after the 6 week topics
– Or use WG or 6week topics alone
• Will use an iterative design process
Assessing the Efficacy of WG-RFU
• School level random assignment
• Ultimately, 30 schools in 2-4 districts
• Longitudinal data collected on students
RFU Enhancements to STARI
• Create a second semester so that students
can participate for an entire academic year
• Workbooks that accompany the readings will
support partner reading etc.
• Extend to younger students in Years 2 and 3
with the goal of preventing more severe
reading difficulties
Assessing the Efficacy of STARI
• Student level random assignment
• Eligible students in 2 to 4 middle schools
– Within schools, students will be stratified by grade
level and pretest reading scores
• E.g., MCAS
• Stanford 10 Reading Comprehension
– 40-50 students per grade for a total sample size of
10 schools, 1200-1500 students
– Class size capped at 15-20 students
CCDD Work
Word Generation
STARI
•STARI lead teachers participating in
year-long course and materials
refinement
•Fourth Grade Curriculum Team
developing materials with teacher
•STARI currently being implemented
collaborators
in four schools with approximately 80
students
•Sixth Grade Science Curriculum
Team developing materials with
•Full-year curriculum being developed
teacher collaborators
•Sixth Grade Social Studies
Curriculum Team developing
curriculum with teacher
collaborators
•Intensive Coaching Model being field
tested
Educational goals: 21st century skills
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Deep reading comprehension
Scholarly writing (arguments, analyses)
Critical thinking
Sophisticated vocabulary
Academic language skills
Content knowledge in key areas: math,
science, history, humanities

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