Essential Literacy Learning:
The Code, the Concepts, the Conversations
October 12-14, 2011 | Columbus, Ga.
Cornerstone Literacy's inagural Fall Conference was held at the Cunnningham Center in Columbus, Ga., October 12-14. The three-day conference explored three essential components to ensuring that all students have access to literacy learning that embraces their culture, interests, and lived experiences: the code, the concepts, and the conversations.
The code of written language and the ability to identify words quickly and accurately is a core reading skill. Having access to a coherent phonics program of work and assessment underlies all deep comprehension.
Concept-building lessons, along with a coherent core of challenging, interesting, and integrated curricula units, provide common ground for effective communication in a diverse society and access to the vocabulary necessary for rigorous learning.
Conversations about literacy learning are critical in building socially constructed understanding among students, in school and beyond. Student access to discussions fed by lived experiences results in deepcomprehension and reinforces connections to their culture that further support learning.
The conference included the following highlights:
- A keynote address and work session by Georgia Heard
- A video lesson study with Dr. Paul B. Yellin, showcasing students’ lived experiences and the use of their own language and culture to successfully comprehend a challenging text.
- Lesson study in two Muscogee County School District’s “Anchor Schools,” with a focus on the study of the precise planning with just the right texts, genre, and essential questions in provocative units of study that involve students through their relevance and connections to students’ experiences and culture.
- Breakout sessions that addressed the issue of access for all through the code, the concepts, and the conversations
- An Article Study focused on the significance of gaining knowledge of the cultures , interests, and lived experiences of students and the challenge of incorporating this knowledge in instruction.