Foreword by: Douglas Fisher
Publication Date: November 27, 2020
SOAR Teaching Frames for Literacy provides a unique approach to planning, implementing, and elevating instruction that drives improvement in teaching and learning. SOAR focuses on the high-impact teaching practices that research identifies as key to student learning. In this book, the authors present and unpack these practices within the context of Teaching Frames. The frames provide a common language and a set of tools to foster informal self-evaluation, as well as teacher-to-teacher and coach-to-teacher collaboration. All stages of implementation are illustrated with classroom examples from the authors’ 15 years of research and professional development throughout the United States. School principals, coaches, and classroom teachers can use Literacy Classrooms That S.O.A.R. to support professional learning and growth across schools and districts.
Susan O’Hara is former director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching at Stanford University. Robert Pritchard is a professor emeritus of education at Sacramento State University. Debi Pitta is vice president of professional learning for EPF for Teaching. All three are former K–12 teachers with more than 40 years of classroom experience and extensive experience supporting districts to build instructional capacity.
“When the SOAR Teaching Frames are adopted as a framework by schools and districts where all teachers are using them and sharing their ideas, they become a powerful tool for elevating literacy instruction for all students and as a result for improving learning outcomes.”
—From the Foreword by Douglas Fisher, professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, San Diego State University
“The SOAR Teaching Frames have been an invaluable tool as we work to transform teaching practices in the Robla Elementary School District in Sacramento, California. Robla serves a community where families face the challenges of poverty every day, and nearly half of our students speak a language other than English at home. We discovered that our classrooms were filled with teacher talk and very little student talk: Our students were spending the school day passively listening, and many showed an inability to express their thoughts and ideas clearly in a conversation and writing. The SOAR Frameworks provided us with a tool to help students find their voice. High-impact teaching practices actively engage students in their learning and provide them with the skills they need to interact with each other throughout the school day in nearly all curriculum areas. They not only learn from their teachers but from each other. They are now learning to express their thinking and expand upon the ideas of others. Classrooms are now filled with many points of view and more high-level thinking. Our entire school system is more coherent as these teaching practices have become part of the school day in all grades.”
—Ruben Reyes, superintendent, Robla Elementary School District
“The SOAR Teaching Frameworks support educators in thinking about how academic language instruction is fundamental to content development. For teachers of English Language Learners, the SOAR frames allow us to move beyond simplistic conversations about vocabulary and scaffolds, and to think deeply about how teachers orchestrate academic conversations and how instruction can contribute to student agency and learning. Significantly, these frames, when used by a school staff or school district, can be a critical tool in developing an intellectual and professional school culture that understands reflection as a part of daily planning and teaching. A must-read for all teachers, and especially for teachers of English Language Learners. ”
—Isabel Aguirre, K–12 EL Expert, Los Angeles Unified School District