Supporting Effective Implementation
Word Gen Weekly is designed as a whole-school program. School leadership must be sure to communicate with the entire school community clearly in advance of implementation.
ASSESS the school's readiness for the program.
Consider the school's entire literacy program. Devote time to necessary professional development. Discuss data and program implementation during faculty meetings. Mark optimal launch dates on the school calendar.
FRAME the discussion as "how" to improve vocabulary instruction instead of "whether" to do so.
Discuss the principal's role in the Word Generation program. Determine whether Word Generation as an intervention matches a school's needs. Refocus the debate among faculty—think together about how to address vocabulary rather than whether. Develop systems of planning, debriefing on, and revising program implementation.
ENSURE that the principal has support from another instructional leader on site.
Emphasize the necessity of a Word Generation point person on site. Consider a literacy coach (or other credible team member) the ideal candidate. Bear in mind that the principal should not work alone.
PREPARE for skeptical responses.
Anticipate a possible lack of "buy-in" among teachers. Retain the flexibility needed to listen to skeptics but still persevere. Use data to determine the program's effectiveness. Take the important step to reach out to content teachers in areas other than English.
INTEGRATE Word Generation into other school accountability systems.
Track evidence of teacher enthusiasm. Consider Word Generation an effective and meaningful alternative to test-preparation activities. Provide feedback on essays to add to students' sense of accountability.
Principal Andrew Bott
Hear Principal Andrew Bott of Rogers Middle School (Boston, MA) explain his five stages of implementation of the Interdisciplinary Middle School Word Generation Program (Word Gen Weekly).
THE WORDGEN TEAMDevelopment of Word Generation was led by Catherine Snow (Harvard University) through a SERP collaboration with the Boston Public Schools and other districts in Massachusetts and Maryland. Support for Word Generation was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Leon Lowenstein Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education through grant numbers R305A090555 and R305F100026. The information provided does not represent views of the funders.
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