The New Norms for Learning in High Progress Literacy

Changing Outcomes. Changing Learning. Changing Lives.

The New Norms for Learning in HPL are the processes real people in the real world use to make sense of large amounts of information. In HPL, we call these processes the New Norms because over time, they become “the new normal” for what we do to learn in academic settings.

Browsing Text Sets

Teachers build text sets for students to use to learn content. Each time students begin a new unit of study, the teacher gives them time to browse. They look through the materials, and share what they are thinking and wondering. They build a bit of background, and begin raising questions that will help them as they move into the new unit of study.


In HPL, we teach kids to systematically look over texts before reading them, using a two-step previewing process. Previewing helps readers to connect what they already know to what they are about to read, and helps to build background about new topics. It is one of the things readers do to construct meaning, make sense, and build new understandings.

Close Reading

After previewing, we determine where to begin reading. We read through parts that are less important, and closely read sections that require careful attention. Close reading involves breaking the text down into short segments, reading and rereading, and stopping to explain things to ourselves in our own words.

Taking Notes

We take notes only after we have built understandings about concepts and ideas. We use explaining in our words to monitor our own understandings. Once we are able to explain in our own words, we take notes to help us remember important information and to keep track of our thinking.

Talking from Notes

Talking and explaining are ways we make sense and develop and deepen our understandings. When we talk about what we are learning, we construct meaning. When we listen to others talk, we add to our own understandings. Talking and listening to others talk from their notes helps us to surface partial understandings and misunderstandings, and to seek help to understand what we don’t (yet) get.


Students learn how to create written pieces and presentations about what they are learning in every subject. By doing so, they learn how to write a range of texts and text types. Using their notes taken from a number of texts, they learn how to create informational texts.
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New Norms – An Original Song by Chorderro Williams

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New Norms Music Video

New Norms

by Chorderro Williams | Dirty $outh Records

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