In Closing the Circle, Sean Walmsley offers education practitioners at all levels-district and school administrators, curriculum supervisors, staff developers, literacy coaches, classroom teachers, and special education teachers-a coherent framework along with practical advice for setting K-12 language arts expectations and for effectively guiding instruction, assessment, reporting, and data analysis. Distilled from the author's extensive experience working with schools and districts, the framework enables educators to prioritize literacy learning and work together more productively to achieve better literacy outcomes for all students. The innovative framework includes five major elements: (1) a set of clearly defined literacy attributes (concise expectations for what students should know, do, understand, and experience in the language arts); (2) instructional contributions that best support students, including struggling learners, in acquiring the attributes; (3) appropriate assessments for tracking students' progress; (4) reporting practices that clearly explain the progress achieved; and (5) rigorous analysis of data to inform instruction.
The model embraces a broad conception of literacy and includes expectations for reading, writing, listening, and speaking as well as viewing and representing, making it especially suitable for learning in the digital era.
Table of Contents
Preface. Preamble: Rethinking Literacy Expectations. The Author. Exhibits. 1. A New Language Arts Framework. 2. Literacy Attributes. 3. Instructional Contributions. 4. Organizing Language Arts Instruction. 5. Instructional Support for Struggling Students. 6. Language Arts Assessment. 7. Reporting Literacy Progress. 8. Analyzing Data to Inform Instruction. 9. Implementing the Framework. 10. The Promise and Challenge of Literacy Reform. References. Index.
Sean A. Walmsley is professor and chair of the Reading Department, State University of New York at Albany. A former teacher, he has published numerous articles in professional journals, written several books related to language arts, and is co-editor (with Richard Allington) of No Quick Fix: Rethinking Literacy Programs in America's Elementary Schools. He works with schools and districts nationally in implementing literacy and language arts reforms.