In order to get to know my first grade students better I administered the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (McKenna & Kear, 1990). I felt this would be an appropriate tool to use due to the simplicity of the survey. The ERAS is a kid friendly survey that uses a cartoon character and requires students to circle a picture which is easy for them to do. It is important for me as a teacher to understand how they view themselves as readers. I learned many of my students were at the recreational level of reading. This lead to many conversations about what do you like? What are your interest? For some this discussion was insightful, for others it was a struggle to pinpoint topics they wanted to learn more about.
I also administered Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) to each student. This assessment provides me instant and reliable data that I can use for small group instruction. The results of these assessments are vital due to the fact that teachers are using the data to make instructional decisions with hopes of improving student learning (Tompkins, 2010).
Teachers need to also recognize a successful reader must be motivated, maintain a positive attitude, have a good self concept and be able to make accurate attributions’ of their performances (Afflerbach, 2007).
Activities to help get to know your literacy learner
I have learned how important it is to conduct class interviews with all my students and converse with each of them to learn about their favorite topics including books, sports and food. These activities are valuable to me because they help build a sense of community and allow me to keep my students engaged while learning and including their interest in the classroom (Laureate Education, 2010).
Selecting text can be challenging and time consuming for teachers however, it is necessary in order to meet Individual needs of your students. Previously, I was not aware of the four important elements that need to be
considered when selecting text.
These four factors are:
* text difficulty
* text structure
In addition to these elements it is crucial that I am exposing my students to a wide variety of genres. I believe the literacy matrix explained by Dr. Hartman will be a valuable tool that I will now include in my lesson planning to ensure I am exposing my students to a wide variety of text (Laureate Education, 2010).
Semiotic Linguistic Informational Narrative
Students of all grades and reading levels need to be exposed to a variety of genres and hear and read stories from all quadrants of the literacy matrix (Laureate Education, 2010 ).
The interactive perspective is where we are teaching our students to read and write accurately, fluently and with comprehension. We need to teach our students how to become strategic and metacognitive thinkers (Laureate Education Inc., 2010). In order achieve this goal it is imperative that teachers are modeling these strategies for students and allowing them time in the classroom to be strategic and in control of their learning.
This perspective showed me the importance of activating my students schema . Modeling and practicing these metacognitive strategies are imperative to teach children how to interact with a text. Dr. Almasi said " “The ultimate goal of the interactive perspective is to teach children how to be literate learners and to be able to navigate the textual world independently (Laureate Education Inc., 2010)". My students will achieve better comprehension of the story as well as recalling when they are using this strategy (Stahl 2004).
Activities to do to teach the interactive perspective
Activate students schema
Bringing a visual item in to help with prior knowledge
Connection of stories, articles or other reading materials
Asking questions about text
Make connections to the topic (self, text, world) (Laureate Education Inc., 2010).
In this perspective students are taught how to judge, evaluate and think critically about the text.
The critical perspective allows students to view a text from multiple perspectives and think more deeply about the text as well as the authors purpose in writing the story (Laureate Education Inc., 2010a).
I thoroughly enjoyed modeling this perspective to my first grade students. For many years, I believed because of their age that they were not quite capable of evaluating text . I plan to use the activity of rating the importance of characters with my class.
The response perspective works simultaneously with the critical perspective. Dr. Almasi describes our goal as teachers is to provide text that will leave our students forever changed after reading a particular text (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010b).
Students need the opportunity after reading to react and connect with the story. Providing students with activities to express their thoughts and feelings are necessary.
Unfortunately, this perspective is one that I believe is the easiest to implement in the classroom however was the one I overlooked the most. I now plan on being more intentional in this area. I can include more activities that involve my students expressing how they were connected to the text and plan time for this discussion .
Activities to use to teach the critical and response perspective