Literacy Resources

 Our Literacy Vision is:

For students to have multiple experiences with reading, writing, and critical thinking in all content areas.  This year we are offering reading and writing intervention courses to target struggling readers and writers, but we also must incorporate reading, writing, and critical thinking into all content areas for all levels. To accomplish this, professional development must be meaningful for faculty and result in positive changes in student learning. Eventually, we want meaningful instruction to become more transparent by allowing professionals the time and the structure to share what we do so that we can become a community of teachers who learn from each others’ successes.


KWL Chart
This chart can be used for pre-reading discussions and for activating prior knowledge.

 Note-Taking and Study Guides

Some great tools to assist in the studying process are called "Cornell Note-taking" and "Column Notes" (also sometimes referred to "Triple Entry Notes" or "Double Entry Notes").  If you are familiar with graphic organizers, that is exactly what these note-taking strategies are, graphic organizers that can be used for notes and/or vocabulary review.

In Cornell Notes, topics, questions, key ideas, or chapter subheadings are placed on the left hand side (when following the model closely, this space is primarily used for questions that can be answered from the notes on the right hand side, but there are many variations to the use of this tool).  The right hand side consists of the notes that answer a question or sum up or support a key idea/topic/chapter subheading.  The space on the bottom can be used for final conclusions or closing thoughts.   

Please see the template as well as a sample that shows a variation on the use of this template.

Column notes consist of 2-3 columns, and they are a way for students to organize notes on anything from vocabulary to main ideas to literature analysis.  The basic template for column notes includes 2 columns with a heading at the top of each column directing the student what to write in each column. 

Please see the Column Notes Template that you can use or alter for your purposes. See also the 3 sample variations of the column notes:  Sample Analysis for Romeo and Juliet;  Sample Column Vocab Study;  Sample Column Notes

The most important instruction that must occur when requesting that students take notes is modeling.  Be sure that you allow some class time to discuss the template that you want students to use, and even model a sample entry or two.  Check for understanding before assigning the notes as homework.  If you are consistent with the expectations of notes from students, then they will quickly catch on, but due the variations in templates and the variations in teachers' expectations, students sometimes have trouble transferring skills from one course to another. Therefore, be sure that you are clear and consistent in your expectations and that you model what you expect. 


 Designing Effective Writing Assignments

 Develop assignments that serve your instructional and assessment purposes

            -When preparing the assignment, be sure that it provides instruction and/or assessment of the overall goals and standards that are driving your unit.

Presenting the assignment to students

            -Create the written assignment in the form of a handout or make it available online so that when class ends, they still have access to the prompt and/or instructions.

            -Pay attention to the length of the assignment description. One-line descriptions can leave students guessing, while lengthy dissertations can overwhelm them.

            -Be clear and specific about the purpose of the assignment and how it will be assessed. Be sure to connect the assessment criteria to the assignment's overall purpose.

            -Consider offering prompt choices, or keep prompts open ended to elicit independent thinking.

Help students understand your assignment

            -If possible, provide samples of student papers written in response to your assignment. Another option is to brainstorm ideas or create a sample response as a class. See samples of students' Facebook and Uniform Writing Prompts

            -Provide venues for students’ questions such as allowing five minutes at the beginning of class or providing time for one-on-one consultations

-Schedule workshop time for students to work in class or for students to address issues that arise with their writing. Be available to help students during this time.

Make the sequencing of assignments support your instructional goals

    -Break down the assignment into parts that you can schedule as time for writing instruction (Is there a research component? Schedule times for students to bring in critiques of their sources to discuss in groups. Are you asking them to analyze a problem? Schedule time to provide a mini-lesson on the methods of analysis in your field and have them apply it to their developing paper).

    -Layer the assignment when it is a complex one. For a formal research paper, layer it by making the first assignment gathering research notes while the second layer is to then present a mini-lesson on synthesizing the notes. Next, ask students to apply this lesson to their notes.

     - Require students to outline their plan.

    -Have a clear rationale for how you sequence your assignments. Does the order reflect an increasing difficulty in tasks? Do assignments build on the skills developed in the preceding ones? 

Taken in part from: Miller, Hildy. "Designing Effective Writing Assignments." Center for Writing. University of Minnesota, 22 July 2011. Web. 20 Sept. 2011.

 Skills to Cover

  This document describes components of writing that should be covered, reviewed, and introduced in grades 9 - 11.  

How to Download the Writing Guide

  Teachers and students can download the Writing Guide from this website using these instructions:


Reading Digital Texts

This document provides before, during, and after reading strategies aligned with laptop use. Pay special attention to the sections on Using Readability under the Before Reading heading and Annotating in Preview under the During Reading heading.


Please see the Rubrics page under the Academics heading on the Oceanside page, or link here.


9-10 Social Studies Reading standards

11-12 Social Studies Reading standards

9-10 Science Reading Standards

11-12 Science Reading Standards

9-10 Writing Standards

11-12 Writing Standards



Cornell Notes Sample.jpg24.65 KB
Cornell Notes Template.docx56.73 KB
Column Notes Template.docx35.64 KB
Sample Analysis Notes for Romeo and Juliet.docx69.73 KB
Sample Column Notes.doc28.5 KB
Sample Column Vocab Study Guide.docx50.1 KB
KWL Chart.docx35.39 KB
Uniforms Example.docx116.71 KB
Facebook_copy.doc26.5 KB
Basic Outline Format.docx82.44 KB
Skills to Cover.doc16.5 KB
Instructions for Accessing and Downloading.docx70.45 KB