Saturday, November 4, 2017

Beguiling Charm


October 31 found our Tuesday afternoon group writing a story. Want to read the results? Read below.



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Beguiling Charm


One spooky afternoon, Black Thunder landed her massive spaceship in the middle of a dozen tombstones. All she heard was dead silence, but what she saw as she raised the hatch brought her up short and terrified her to the bone.

A figure loomed, or was it just a shadow, between two extravagantly chiseled granite mausoleums encircled like a macabre portal by bouquets of black, thorned, funeral roses and a murder of crows.


“Holy Zeus,” she exclaimed breathlessly. Anxiously, she murmured, “What are you?”

“A friend,” it said, “and what are you?”


"A friend, huh!” she said with extreme relief.



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We'd love to hear your reaction. 

Leave us a note.




Saturday, September 2, 2017

Will you join us?

Join us for 







We host a benefit only once each year. This year it is on Thursday, Sept. 7 2017, at Trolley Square from 6-9 PM. 

Author Camron Wright, author of The Orphan Keeper or The Rent Collector, has graciously agreed to come and tell us the story behind his books. And, I can tell you from talking with Camron that those stories are as good as the stories in his books. 

Perhaps, you (and your friends) have read one or both of his books. If not, then this evening may give you reasons to read them.


You can help us in several ways with this event.

1) Come. If you are available on September 7, join us. Learn more the two intriguing worlds described in these books. Your ticket contribution and your silent auction bids will help another adult in our community raise his/her reading, writing, & math skills. 

2) Share. Whether you can come or not, share information about our event with your friends. Get them to come with you (or without you) to this event. This benefit is a great time for a book group to hear Camron.

3) Invite. Buy a ticket for someone else to attend our event. Let them learn more about the books and about the work we do in our community. 


For $60, you get to hear Camron and meet Taj (from The Orphan Keeper), participate in a silent auction, plus be part of helping another adult in our community raise his/her reading, writing, & math skills. 

​What a win-win opportunity!

You will join us, won't you?

Deb Young
Literacy Action Center

===========

Get tickets by one of these methods:

1) mailing your check to Literacy Action Center, 3595 S Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84115 with a postmark by 9/5/17 for $60/person. 


2) ordering tickets through Eventbrite ($60 + handling through 9/5/17 or $75 after 9/5/17) at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/literacy-action-2017-benefit-an-evening-of-intrigue-tickets-37147473092 


3) calling 801/265-9081 to reserve your tickets at the door (pay $60 each) when you get there on Thursday, 9/7/17. 


Note: Tickets at the door without reservations (and starting 9/6/17 on Eventbrite) will be $75/person. No refunds. All contributions (tickets & auctions) will be used to teach English-speaking adults reading, writing, and math. ===========

With your support, functionally-illiterate, English-speaking adults are becoming skilled, passionate, habitual, critical readers, writers, and mathematicians, who are career-minded and tech savvy! We are the only nonprofit organization that focuses on these adults living in Salt Lake County & Davis County in Utah.

Friday, August 25, 2017

An Evening of Intrigue with...


The Rent Collector by Camron Wright





Have you lived in a dump? A real dump. A place where your existence depends on you picking through other people's debris to curb your hunger pains, put a roof over your head, and get your son well?

What would you do to get your family out of the Stung Meanchey dump?

Sang Ly knows.


Find out more as Camron tells us about the intrigue wrapped around this story at the Benefit for Literacy Action Center.

An Evening of Intrigue with...


The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright




Ever been kidnapped or separated from your family -- by lies, by years, by oceans?

You have vague memories. You're told your family doesn't want you.

Who helps you find them?

And, what if the man who sold you to the orphanage may be your future father-in-law? 

Taj knows.


Find out more as Camron tells us about the intrigue wrapped around this story at the Benefit for Literacy Action Center.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

An Evening of Intrigue


A Benefit for Literacy Action Center




proudly presents



An Evening of 

Intrigue with...



Author
Camron Wright


Date:  Thursday, September 7, 2017
Time:  6:00 - 9:00 PM
Place: Trolley Square (South Entrance Rm D-116)

Park in 600 South parking lot. Use south entrance. D-116 is next to the clothing store called Sparks, on east side of building.

Evening Features

Silent & Live Auctions

Author Camron Wright

Reading & Discussion


Friends Welcome!


Sponsors
Music: John Hiller, Guitarist
Auction: Donations by Local Contributors
Vintage China & Linens: Blue Bird Vintage Rentals


Chat with Camron. Meet Taj.
Join us for a contribution of 
$60/person postmarked by 9/1/17 or 
buy tickets today through Eventbrite,  
or $75/person at the door. 


Can't come? Help us anyway. 
Send a donation.
Send checks to Literacy Action Center, 3595 S Main Street, Salt Lake City UT 84115


Questions? Call Deb at 801/265-9081


Your support helps another functionally-illiterate English-speaking adult transform into a skilled, passionate, habitual, critical reader, writer, & mathematician, who is career-minded and tech savvy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Arts Festival & Community Writing Center

Writers sharing their stories at 2016 Utah Arts Festival.

Five of us read to a crowded room last June at the Utah Arts Festival. 

For one of us, this community reading was a first.

The community listening to us were writers from other writing groups from across the city. These writers told us stories and recited poetry. These writers kept us glued to our seats, listening with anticipation.

Our five writers were no exceptions. 
  • Trudy drew us into her relationship with a treasured friend - her cat, Bobcat. 
  • Sarah took us through a series of snapshots of conversations and situations within a small community. 
  • Tyson described the circumstance around Abe Lincoln knifing James Buchanan in self-defense. 
  • Betsy shared her fantasy into Squeekamerica, where a creature wears his moods on his skin. 
  • Deb explained her view of how social media should be integrated into an organization.

This June, more of us will be reading our latest stories 
at the Utah Arts Festival on Friday, June 23 at 6:30 PM. 

You will join us this year, won't you? 

With your ticket to the festival, you can get a front row seat. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Law: Rights & Careers



Our day in court.

Law continues to be an area of fascination for our group.
For years, we have read and discussed 

Landmark Supreme Court cases.

This past fall our focus was on the system itself and our rights given to us by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. For example, how does the U.S. Constitution set the stage for our behaviors? What are Miranda Rights? (Where'd they come from?)

We explored simple court cases, while looking through the eyes of the police, lawyers, and judges. Our exploration of these questions led us to several unique opportunities. During this unit, we chatted with a judge, attorneys, police officer, probation officer, clerk, and bailiffs. We learned about their work tasks, educational preparation, and potential salaries.

Carol reviewed our day in court.
We visited Judge Thomas' courtroom in South Salt Lake Justice Court. Judge Thomas explained each person's job and function needed to run a court room effectively. 

Judge Thomas also explained what happens to each arrested person. We watched a series of individuals go through these different proceedings: 
  • arraignment, 
  • pretrial conference (pleas of guilty, not guilty, or no content), 
  • trial (finding of guilt or innocence via jury or bench trial), and 
  • sentencing. 

We were all surprised by how closely the judge kept reviewing each individual's rights, trying to ensure that each person was aware of consequences and possibilities afforded them by the U.S. Constitution. 

Tim shows us his gear.
Tim Cottrell, an Adult Probation & Parole Officer, came to our center to explain his job - what happens when people enter APP - and show us his gear. He also told us about related careers and qualifications. 

Bottom line, we learned a lot about our rights as citizens and career opportunities.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

CCRS+

State-sponsored Professional Development

In 2015-2016. Deb and Apina participated in a 9-session Adult Education Math Institute and Summer Conference 2016, both sponsored by Utah State Board of Education (USBE).

In the fall of 2016, Betsy, Travis, and Deb participated in the first state-offered adult education CCRS (College-Career Readiness Standards) workshops.

This spring, we participated in the SIP (Standards-in-Practice) Training which was also focused on CCRS. Debbie, Carol, Kathy, and Deb attended 2 full-day workshops, 3 webinars, and produced 4 college/career-related lesson plans.

Last week, Paul, Ashley, Mike, and Deb attended Summer Conference 2017, a two-day conference jam-packed with college-career information plus many other possibilities.

Why do we go?

Literacy Action Center is not your ordinary adult literacy organization. We see ourselves as a part of the bigger picture of delivering quality adult literacy education and instruction to a specific group of adults who struggle with literacy issues. Without intervention or support, these adults are barred access to further education.

As such, we are part of a feeder system, moving these adults on to high school diplomas or a GED, trade school, or community college. We also raise knowledge, skills, and abilities so learners can gain confidence to keep or pursue employment. And, we help them help their families members and engage in community activities.

While we don't have all the answers, we do know how to struggle with these issues and engage our learners in helping us make the best decisions to help them.
Interesting fact. We are the only community-based adult literacy organization in Utah that has attended all of these trainings. This means, we are the only Utah adult literacy program to use these interactions and opportunities to figure out how to best implement these changes as we simultaneously focus on the needs and difficulties of the adults we serve.

Please participate in our journey. 
Follow us and give input. 
Your engagement is always welcome.

CCRS Implementation Phase II

Jeff & Sara engage us in CCRS.

From January to May 2017, Debbie, Carol, Kathy, and Deb participated in Phase II of the CCR Standards-in-Practice Training. Our goal was to better integrate CCRS (College-Career Readiness Standards) into our everyday instruction. And, beef up our career-related instruction.

Facilitators

Jeff Fantine and Sara Gutting facilitated this instruction. Both individuals were experienced adult educators who had previously incorporated CCRS into their instructional practices.

Content

Jeff & Sara's goal for Phase II was to make CCRS a habit of mind. We, along with fourteen other adult educators, were challenged to become so attuned to the content and structure of CCRS that we could easily incorporate these standards into any instruction. To prove our agility, we were to create a single lesson plan and then build the single plan into an entire unit.

This training included:

  • January 17 - pre-webinar on understanding and breaking down the standards; 
  • February 7-8 - two-day face-to-face training focused on:

            Aligning Existing Lessons to Anchors
            Incorporating Instructional Shifts and Relevant Resources
            Creating and Teaching Standards-based Lessons
  • March 22 - webinar about sharing lessons; and 
  • May 3 - webinar about units of instruction and next steps.

Results

We examined the standards, shared ideas, wrote plans, and implemented CCRS-oriented instruction. See our Composition of our Neighborhood lesson to judge how we did. Here's the CCRS (College-Career Readiness Standards) for a bigger pictures of what we're supposed to include in our lessons. 


Saturday, June 10, 2017

CCRS Lesson: Composition of our Neighborhoods


This lesson incorporates College-Career Readiness Standards. We use this plan annually to engage a range of learners in exploring the legislative jurisdictions in which they live. (These reports can be found under Demographic Profiles for Legislative Districts.) Enjoy.


Composition of our Neighborhoods – Best Place to Live

Summary: Lesson engages learners in examining the elements that make up neighborhoods (specifically the legislative (house) district they live in) and then lets them compare statistics of several districts to answer questions.

Curriculum Tie: AE/English Language Arts, AE/Math


Day 1 Lesson Activities:

(1)   CCRS: Anchor SL1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion. b. Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed. c. Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas. d. Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented. (SL.8.1)

(2)   CCRS Anchor W8: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. (W/WHST.6-8.8)

·         CCRS Anchor W6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically. (W.9-10.6)

(3) CCRS 6.SP5: Statistics and Probability. Summarize and describe distributions. Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context, such as by: a. Reporting the number of observations. b. Describing the nature of the attribute under investigation, including how it was measured and its units of measurement. c. Giving quantitative measures of center (median and/or mean) and variability (interquartile range and/or mean absolute deviation), as well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data were gathered. d. Relating the choice of measures of center and variability to the shape of the data distribution and the context in which the data were gathered. (6.SP.5)

Day 2 Lesson Activities:

(1) CCRS Anchor SL1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion. b. Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed. c. Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas. d. Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented. (SL.8.1)

·         CCRS Anchor RI8: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient, recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced. (RI.8.8)

·         CCRS Anchor SL4: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. (SL.8.4)

       (2) CCRS MP3: Construct viable arguments & critique reasoning of others. (MP.3)
 CCRS MP1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. (MP.1)
 CCRS MP2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MP.2)
 CCRS MP5: Use appropriate tools strategically. (MP.5)

·         CCRS: Number and Operations: Base Ten. Understand place value. Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <. (1.NBT.3)

·         CCRS: Measurement and Data. Represent and interpret data. Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems using information presented in a bar graph. (2.MD.10)

Time frame: 2 classes at 60 minutes each
Group size: pairs/triads (homework may be done individually)
Life skill: Social/civic responsibility; Thinking & reasoning; Systems thinking
Career connections: Business Information, Scientific
Bibliography: none
Keywords: legislators, neighborhoods, graphs, statistics, interpreting data, citizenship, content-rich nonfiction

Materials:
  • House district demographic profiles (at le.utah.gov click on specific house of representative OR click on Legislators and then on “Demographic Profiles for Legislative Districts.” Click on House district of choice for most current year, based on most recent data release.
  • Laptops/computers, projection equipment, access to le.utah.gov

Background for teachers:
  • Be familiar with le.utah.gov.
  • Be familiar with House of Representatives district demographic profile data

Student prior knowledge:
  • Each learner should already have info about House district number.
  • Understand how to read bar graphs & tables.
  • Know how to calculate basic statistics (mean, mode, median, and range).
  • Know how to enter data into google sheets. (Have access for entering data.)

Intended learning outcomes: Become familiar with statistics that define the place (neighborhood) in which we live. Compare neighborhoods for their characteristics that make them “livable.” Use numerical data to support/refute argument. Give social value/meaning to numbers.

Instructional procedures:

Lesson: Over the next 2 sessions, our goal is to examine the characteristics of a neighborhood to decide which neighborhood is the “best place to live.” First, we’ll examine the characteristics of each of our neighborhoods (as defined by our state House districts). As a group, we’ll identify features we want to compare across districts – you’ll find the data from your district then enter it into a shared spreadsheet (google sheets). Next time we meet, we’ll compare the data you collected to determine which neighborhood might be the “Best Place to Live.”


Day 1 Overview: Today, we’ll examine the characteristics of each of our neighborhoods based on our state House districts. As a group, we’ll identify features we want to compare across districts – you’ll find the data from your district then enter it into a shared spreadsheet (google sheets).

Teaser: Prediction/Anticipation (20 minutes)

  • Step 1 - Assign: Write 3-5 features about where you live that make it the best place to live (or make it the worst place to live).
  • Step 2 – Prioritize: Which 2 characteristics most important to you? Number them 1 & 2.
  • Step 3 – Share: Discuss expectations (Start with each person reading top 2 on list; Clap after each sharing but don’t discuss items). Compile group list of 3 agreed-upon characteristics.

Activity 1: Whole group (20 minutes)

  • Show how to get to House district demographic document.
  • Talk about set up & categories listed on profile page (typically on page 4-5). (Use this time to ensure that learners can read and interpret the charts.) (Use the teacher’s district to introduce the profile page.)
  • Talk about what data says & doesn’t say about the people living in the neighborhoods. (Note: This data redefines what neighborhood means. May be very different from conversation in teaser. Talk about why this info is limited to the “people” aspect of neighborhood.)
  • Based on list from lesson introduction (teaser) or from discussion of the table, as a group choose at least 5 fields to examine in this chart.
  • Show/discuss those sections with the sample (teacher’s) district data. Condense data into only 2-3 subcategories. Show how to do this. (For example: Age = under 18, 18-64, 65+; Citizenship = Born Utah, Citizen (but not born in Utah), non-citizen; Education = no HS, HS, college; Housing = House, Apartment, Mobile) In each case, must all agree about what is being combined to make up the categories. Post these decisions on the board so everyone has access later. 

Result of this activity is to identify 4-6 categories of data to collect and show exactly how to collect it. (Note: Should have 1 more category than pairs/partners, so 1 category can be discussed as group, leaving pairs their own categories to work on together.) Some categories may be examined by more than 1 group.


Activity 2: Pairs – assign category to each pair; save 1 category for Day 2 whole group (20 minutes)

  • Learners read their house district demographic document to collect the agree-upon data.
  • While learners collect data, teacher sets up google sheets file with correct headings & shares file with class.
  • Learners enter data into google sheets. 
Google sheets is closed.



Day 2 Overview: Today, you’ll examine the data you collected last time. You’ll begin by examining one category to determine which neighborhoods might be the “Best Place to Live.” Then, you’ll present your finding about your category to the class. For homework, you’ll use yours and your colleagues’ findings to develop and deliver a written essay describing the best place to live (based on data displayed in class’ google sheets).


Activity 1: Whole group (20 minutes) Teacher does the homework with the category saved to use with the whole class, ready to discuss

  • Display compiled data. Choose 1 category to examine as a group. (Use category reserved in previous class.)
  • Use series of questions to guide learners in explaining how to do basic statistics (mean, median, mode, range) as part of examining category as whole group to talk about the category. Do statistics for individual columns in a single category. Do statistics to compare columns within category.
  • Discuss implications resulting from mathematical exploration. What does this data say about these neighborhoods? Which neighborhood faired the best or the worst based on this category?

Activity 2: pairs/partners (20 minutes) Learners will do the same statistics and comparisons to their categories. They must also draw conclusions based on the evidence grounded in their numbers.

  • Examine assigned category of data mathematically.
  • Discuss implications for determining desirable place to live.
  • *Prepare report for the whole group, explaining what data means and what is implied by the results. 
*Note: If more than 1 group working with the same category, then give them time to share their results and then prepare a group presentation. Data results may be manipulated in google sheets to generate graphs, etc., to illustrate oral report.


Activity 3: sharing (20 minutes)

  • Pairs/partners report their findings back to the whole group.
If large number of pairs, then have pairs present to other pairs in small groups (e.g., 3 pairs share), rather then whole group. Then, ask 1-2 small groups to tell highlights to whole group.

Wrap up with comparison of findings across all districts. Talk about which district is the “best!”


Evaluation: Complete exit feedback form: What is the average of these three test scores: 3.6, 2.1, and 4.3? _____  Which statistic did you use? Median, mode, mean, or range. (Circle one.)



Homework: Best place to live (Can be done as individual or pairs. Note: Either way, you may need to devote 2 more class periods to preparing and supporting the writing of these essays.)

  • Write a 5-paragraph essay to answer the question “Which district is the best place to live?” Use combination of data to determine decision. Illustrate answer. Ground answers in data. (Can use credible, outside resources to enhance response, including pictures of area, etc., to illustrate point.) 
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose. b. Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details. c. Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically). d. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented. (W.5.1)

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically. (W.9-10.6)

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English…. (L9-10.1; L9-10.2)


Homework rubric
5 points
3 points
1 point
Introductory paragraph
well-crafted
some elements missing
poorly-crafted
3 reasons with examples
grounded in data with appropriate examples
partly grounded in data or lacking appropriate examples
not grounded in data or no examples included
Followed conventions of standard written English
grammar, etc., written correctly (1 or no errors)
2-4 errors
more than 4 errors
Optional: other resources included to enhance the report
1 or more resources outside of google sheets data included
NA
NA


Strategies for diverse learners: Pair high-level readers/tech users with low-level readers/tech users. Pairs may need guidance on performing statistics; therefore, assigning volunteer tutors two groups each to oversee helps keep learners on track. In previous discussions (or as part of this lesson – in which case this lesson will need to be extended into a second session), guide learners in creating a document that lists and explains exactly how to calculate mean, median, mode, and range. Include examples in this written guide along with explanation as to when this data is collected and how it is interpreted. Learners may write this information into their notebooks and a group document may be created through google docs that may be shared. (Note: Learners copying from board – after agreed upon language – tends to be the most effective in terms of learners understanding, revisiting their notes, and remembering what they wrote. Being part of the process of developing this document has large impact on learner’s future use.)


Extensions: Examine lists for “best places.” How does your community fit? Using data, write informational piece highlighting why people should move to your community. Create brochure to entice people to move to the neighborhood. Make video highlighting reasons to relocate.

Assessment plan: Lesson rubric:

Day 1 activities
5 points
3 points
1 point
Identified  characteristics
shared 2 characteristics
shared only 1 characteristic
No characteristics shared
District data

entered district data correctly
--
no district data entered or data entered incorrectly
Day 2 activities
5 points
3 points
1 point
Compiled data
statistics applied correctly; no help needed
difficulty with statistics
statistics incorrect or missing
Delivered report
conclusions grounded in evidence
some conclusions grounded in evidence
conclusions not supported by evidence