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ReLeah Cossett Lent

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Bio:

ReLeah Cossett Lent was a middle and high school English, social studies, and journalism teacher before becoming a founding member of a state-wide literacy project at the University of Central Florida. While there, she worked with a team to develop Florida’s Reading Endorsement courses and coordinated literacy leadership teams in schools across the state. She is now an international consultant— speaking, writing, and providing workshops on topics ranging from literacy to leadership teams. She has authored 11 books on all aspects of literacy, including engagement, disciplinary literacy, and literacy leadership teams. Her most recent books are the bestsellers This is Disciplinary Literacy: Reading, Writing, Thinking and Doing. . .Content Area by Content Area and Disciplinary Literacy in Action: How to Create and Sustain a School-Wide Culture of Deep Reading, Writing, and Thinking.


While she often provides keynote addresses and one-day workshops, her most productive work has been through multi-day residencies in schools, districts and consortiums. As an example, she has created numerous professional learning initiatives in and across districts for content-area teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators with in-school follow-up. The significant increase in student achievement and teacher leadership demonstrated the effectiveness of such a disciplinary literacy approach. She recently facilitated a year-long literacy leadership initiative in a high school, and the principal termed the experience “transformational” in terms of teacher learning and transfer to the classroom. They plan to expand the model throughout the district.


ReLeah
believes strongly in facilitating student ownership and active learning, most often through powerful collective efficacy as teacher teams engage in problem solving.


ReLeah
has been the recipient of several educational awards, such as intellectual freedom awards from both the National Council of Teachers of English and The American Library Association. She also received the prestigious PEN First Amendment Award and was awarded the Florida Council of Teachers of English (FCTE) President’s Award for “significant contribution to the teaching of English in the State of Florida.”


Expertise

  • Disciplinary Literacy
  • Engagement
  • Writing in the Content Areas
  • Reading/Writing Workshop in ELA
  • Literacy Leadership Teams
  • Coaching for Disciplinary Literacy

Workshops

Workshops

  • Disciplinary Literacy: Deeper Learning in All Content Areas: The paradigm is shifting, thankfully, so that now ELA teachers are not the only ones responsible for teaching kids to read, write, and utilize other forms of literacy.  It’s not that science, math, or social studies teachers are expected to “become teachers of reading.” Instead, a disciplinary literacy approach shows teachers how to infuse content-specific literacy as a tool to increase learning.  That means kids are taught to read documents as historians, write lab notes as scientists, and communicate about problems as mathematicians. As for ELA teachers, they can support literacy learning within the disciplines, but they are free to concentrate on their own content. This workshop honors the expertise of all teachers while helping them integrate literacy as an inherent part of everyday lessons.

  • PLCs with a Literacy Twist: ReLeah shows teachers how to increase  professional learning by utilizing their own content expertise along with discipline-specific literacy support.  In place of using PLCs to implement “across-the-board” literacy strategies, these PLCs help teachers discover relevant practices inherent to each content area, allowing them to share both within and across departments, teams, and grade levels. As a significant benefit, such PLCs result  in collective efficacy, the number one factor cited by John Hattie in increasing student learning.

    ReLeah can also help create a literacy leadership team to guide and sustain the effort.

  • Engagement: The Key to Literacy. . . and Learning:  Who could argue that students should be reading more challenging texts, tackling more complex tasks, and becoming college/career ready? The reality is that most standards have left out an important component of learning: engagement. Research shows that engagement is an essential factor in increased student outcomes. In fact, lack of engagement is a precursor to dropping out of school. But how do we engage students who are tuned out and turned off? Join ReLeah Lent, author of several books on engagement, for a lively look at the principles of engagement and inquiry-- and learn how small changes in classroom practices can produce intrinsic motivation for literacy. . .and learning. 

  • Reading/Writing Workshop: An Exciting Shift for ELA: What’s not to love about a classroom where students buzz around authentic reading,  writing and communicating? It takes a while to make the transition from an environment where the textbook rules to one where students are supported as they build a diverse literacy framework that includes independent reading, book clubs, teacher and peer conferencing, authentic writing workshops, accountable talk, and relevant inquiry projects. Not only do students become more engaged through such an approach, but the amount of reading and writing they do increases dramatically. It is a path to independence that serves students well in other subjects, college, and career. ReLeah will help ELA teachers find their way to make small changes or transition to a complete reading/writing workshop.

What are people saying...

“ReLeah’s ability to work with and inspire teachers is unique. And her grasp of literacy-based instruction is inspirational. I am developing as a literacy principal and she has truly become my driving force in this endeavor.”

- Middle School Principal, Massacusetts

“In my 13 years of teaching, Tuesday’s workshop with ReLeah Lent was the best. It wasn’t about nuts and bolts; it was about educating our students.”

- High School English Teacher, Florida

“The year-long literacy project with Releah Lent is, I believe, one of the best projects that the Department of Education has ever funded. I still get comments from teachers about how beneficial it was and how it changed the way they thought about reading instruction as well as how they delivered it.”

- Director of Literacy Florida Education Consortium

 


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