With information multiplying at such a fast rate, teachers need to apprentice their students in the literacy of their discipline [Academic Literacy] so that students are equipped with the concepts/skills/understandings needed to acquire, interpret, and process new information when they graduate from HISD classrooms.

In the Houston Independent School District literacy is defined as the ability to read, write, speak, listen and think effectively.

Literacy Leads the Way recommends that all students spend a minimum of 20% - 25% of their time in each class engaged in integrated literacy strategies to support their content-specific learning.

Click here for suggested Literacy Commitments activities.

Click here for a printable version of the Best Practices:

Click here for the Literacy Commitments Survey: .

READING

Successful students use strategies before, during, and after reading. In order to create better readers, I commit to:

· modeling strategies for my students to activate or develop prior knowledge and making connections between previous learning and new information.

· giving my students a purpose for their reading and note-taking work.

· providing my students the opportunity to read content text at their appropriate Lexile level.

· providing my students with explicit and direct vocabulary instruction in the content-specific academic language necessary for success in my content area.

· modeling for my students how to use text structure (the organization of text including charts, graphs and drawings) to help their comprehension in my content area .

WRITING

Successful students process information through formal and informal writing. In order to create better writers, I commit to:

· modeling a process for writing in my content that includes planning, drafting and revising with the support of a rubric.

· providing my students with the opportunity to write and revise one significant writing assignment per grading period that supports content-specific learning.

· modeling for my students systematic ways to summarize text using content-specific academic language.

· providing daily opportunities for my students to use informal writing [journals, interactive notebooks, etc.].

SPEAKING/LISTENING

Successful students process information through formal and informal speaking opportunities. In order to create better speakers and listeners, I commit to:

· providing daily opportunities for my students to engage in formal and informal facilitated classroom discussions using content-specific academic language.

· providing my students with opportunities for formal presentations at least once each semester.