February Monthly Summary Reading and Writing CoP

Hello Reading and Writing Friends,

We had several interesting discussions during February on the Community of Practice which I will divide into categories:

Productive Struggle with Complex Text

The most lively interaction came from Illinois Professional Development Network Adult Education Language Arts Training Specialist Anita Kerr's three day discussion about productive struggle with complex text.

On Day 1, Anita provided an overview of productive struggle with complex text.  The strategy and following discussion centered on allowing students to wrestle with a text instead of the instructor interpreting it for them, being patient and asking good focusing questions to help narrow students' attention, and bringing strategies to bear instead of focusing on the right answer.

On Day 2, she answered the question, How can we use productive struggle with complex text in leveled and multi-level classes?  Anita first explained how to use multiple texts at different grade levels and where to find these.  Then, she described the strategy of using a mid-level text followed by jigsaw learning, chunking text, or providing supports.  The conversation that followed discussed using graphic organizers for support and how to keep students from becoming frustrated through advance messaging about the strategy.    

The Day 3 Discussion focused on  creative resources for teaching productive struggle.  These included using a timer, understanding students' background knowledge, and using appropriate wait time.  

If you want more information about this strategy, Anita will present a workshop on productive struggle with complex text at the COABE Conference in Baltimore on Wednesday, April 8 at 11:15 AM.

Cross Posted Discussion on Speech Recognition

A very lively discussion on speech recognition software started with a member's question about resources and led to several suggestions including Google Voice, Google Keyboard, Just Press Record, and Windows 10.    

Free Resources

Adult education tight budgets force us to be creative.  I suggested two free resources:

The first was how to acquire free books from ProLiteracy while the second mentioned free digital learning resources from ProLiteracy's Mobile Learning Fund.  

Pun of the Post

Did you hear about the person who quit their job at the doughnut factory?  They were fed up with the hole business! 


Please suggest areas where you would like to see discussions in the future!  You may contact me at the email below - thanks!


Steve Schmidt

Moderator, LINCS Reading and Writing CoP