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2.2 Developing Content Literacy: A Shared Responsibility

The CCSS emphasize that developing students’ literacy and discipline-specific content competencies is a shared responsibility of multiple subject, single subject, and specialist teachers. Traditionally, the teaching of literacy has primarily occurred through ELA coursework. In a CCSS- based curriculum, part of this responsibility shifts to the teaching of non-ELA content, including content taught by subject area teachers or specialist teachers of technical subjects. 

Let’s take a look at VAPA as an example of technical subjects. In some California schools, K–5 arts content is taught only by multiple subject teachers, while in other schools specialist teachers provide the instruction. In either case, K–5 instructional design must simultaneously develop both the student's VAPA and literacy competencies in a sequential, systematic way — across and within grade levels and arts disciplines — to prepare students for deeper learning in grades 6–12.

Time to View

Observe how two elementary educators — a single subject dance teacher in a studio and a multiple subject teacher in a bilingual classroom — teach the content of dance while developing students' non-verbal communication skills. As you watch, notice how the teachers are developing students’ abilities to pay close attention to details in interpreting the language of bodily movement. Notice also the use and development of the discipline-specific language of dance, including the elements of dance (space, time, and energy), and the technical language of dance.

Communication Through Movement & Dance External Link

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Now, take a minute to review the CCR Anchor Standards for Language (page 31 of the CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy). Note how the acquisition and use of domain-specific language is an example of addressing CCR Anchor Standard, Language 6:

Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.

Time to Reflect

After observing two different ways of teaching non-verbal communication through dance as presented in the video, respond to the following questions in your metacognitive journal:



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