LITERATE ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS Bethany Scanlon EDUC-6706R-8 The Beginning Reader, PreK-3 Instructor Dr. Bernice Gregory October, 2011
GETTING TO KNOW MY LITERACY LEARNERS “THE SECRET OF EDUCATION IS RESPECTING THE PUPIL”. -RALPH WALDO EMERSON As a teacher, I use both cognitive and noncognitive assessments to gather evidence of student learning and interests. I then evaluate the outcomes and use the data to guide my instructional decisions (Stiggins, 2005).
GETTING TO KNOW MY LITERACY LEARNERS (CONTINUED)Examples of Examples ofCognitive NoncognitiveAssessments: Assessments: Dynamic Indicators of Student Interviews Basic Early Literacy McKenna & Kear’s Skills (DIBELS) (1990) Elementary Developmental Reading Attitudes Reading Assessment Survey Student Work Student Journals Samples Classroom Running Records Observations Reading Inventories
GETTING TO KNOW LITERACY LEARNERS: RESEARCH: ANALYSIS In order to provide appropriate instruction, it is important that I amaware of the different reading skills and strategies my students possess (Afflerbach, 2007).To assess my students “cognitive” readingdevelopment, I administered what Fountas andPinnell (1998), refer to this as “shorthandobservation”. I chose to perform a reading inventoryin the form of a running record. This assessmentallowed me to efficiently validate the students readinglevels, check their fluency, and find weaknesses incomprehension. I also collected a writing sample thatallowed me to see what developmental stage ofwriting each student was in. Both gave me greatinsight into each child’s abilities and unique academicbehaviors.
GETTING TO KNOW LITERACY LEARNERS: RESEARCH: ANALYSIS (CONTINUED)Conducting these assessments gave me theopportunity to evaluate a group of students withabilities that I typically do not work with. I combinedthe data that I obtained from the DIBELS and pastDRA’s, with my observations and information from therunning record assessment.Doing this allowed me to make proper instructionaldecisions about future lessons that I would use withthese young learners. I was able to review the groupsstrengths and weaknesses and design activities thatmet them at their own instructional level.
GETTING TO KNOW LITERACY LEARNERS:RESEARCH: ANALYSIS (CONTINUED) If teachers have an “awareness” of who their students are, then they can address insecurities and encourage student success (Laureate Education Inc., 2010a).To assess the “other” or the “noncognitive”, I chose to do anactivity in which I filled a backpack with 6 items that representedme as an individual and my personal interests. I shared a little bitabout each item, and then asked the students to consider whatthey would include in their backpack. The students and Iconversed as they drew pictures and wrote simple sentencesdescribing their interests, beliefs, concerns and even fears.Students enjoyed having the time to talk about themselves andappeared to be very comfortable doing so.Having this type of information is crucial to understanding thelearner as a whole. Having this knowledge, allows me to makebetter decisions on how to make my lessons more exciting andmeaningful and effective.
SELECTING TEXTS:CONSIDERING THE LITERACY MATRIX“We have a responsibility as teachersto provide students with a wide range of literacy experiences that The “Literacy Matrix” is a tool demonstrate the ways we read and that should be used towrite” (Castek, Bevan-Mangelson and analyze and determine the Goldstone ,2006). appropriateness of a text (Laureate Education Inc., More Words 2010b) Teachers should provide students with texts that can be placed in each quadrant of the matrix Other factors to consider: Length Readability Vocabulary Format (sentences and print)(Laureate Education Inc., More pictures 2010)
SELECTING TEXTS FOR BEGINNING READERS :PUMPKIN THEME Its Pumpkin Time, by Zoe Hall Pumpkin, Pumpkin, by M. Hillert The Pumpkin Patch, by Elizabeth King The Biggest Pumpkin Ever, by S. Kroll I Was a Pumpkin, by Marci McGowan(www.marcias-lesson-links.com) The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin: Teacher Tube
SELECTING TEXTS FOR BEGINNING READERS :PUMPKIN THEME (CONTINUED) Why did I choose these texts?• Students are highly motivated by the subject and exploration of the seasonal theme• The books allow students to identify and learn about different “text factors” (Tompkins, 2010).• The books are semiotic (developmentally appropriate) and use pictures to promote understanding• Both the narrative and the informational activate background knowledge• The books are appropriate for each student because the books coincide with their current, cognitive development.• The books are engaging, use familiar sentence structures and incorporate simple, sight words and descriptive pictures.• The books and online texts encourage students to “interact with text” participate in discussion and make personal inferences (Castek, Bevan-Mangelson and Goldstone ,2006) .
LITERACY LESSON: INTERACTIVE PERSPECTIVE The goal of the interactive perspective is to help students become good, independent, strategic learners (Laureate Education Inc.,2010c).Examples of Interactive Perspective Teaching Methods:Read Aloud Guided Reading K-W-L Charts Grand Conversations Word Walls I encouraged my students to strengthen their metacognition or “think abouttheir thinking” by creating a word recognition and reading comprehension lessonusing poem “Pumpkin Pumpkin”(www.canTeach.ca)and the book “It’s PumpkinTime” by Zoe Hall. Students participated in “spelling cheerleading” in order to learn sight wordsfound in the poem. According to Rogers (1999 pg. 110) a strategy and approachlike this “integrates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities that aid inretention and understanding” and can truly benefit struggling readers. Students completed KWL charts to help them retain and recall the informationthey read. Doing this activity helped themmap their thinking” and increased reading comprehension.
LITERACY LESSON: CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVE We need to provide our students with experiences that allow them to be “transformed” by text (Laureate Education Inc., 2010c).Examples of Critical & Response Perspective Teaching Methods:Journaling Hot Seat Open-Mind Portraits Questioning the Author Grand ConversationTo encourage my students to deepen their thinking ,I created a lesson in whichmy students had to identify different character’s emotions and point of views.Each student had to complete what Tompkins (2010 pg. 449) refers to as an“Open Mind Portrait” using the book “Voices in the Park” by Anthony Browne(1998). This strategy that allowed my students to activate both “critical thinking”and critical reading” skills, while evaluating the text. During this activity, Iobserved the students evaluating the text and reasoning with theirunderstanding. They discussed their ideas, as they reviewed the text, drewtheir pictures and wrote descriptions.
LITERACY LESSON: CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVE (CONTINUED)To reinforce the “Response” perspective ,I had to find a book that my studentscould relate to and discuss their “text-to-self” connection (Tompkins, 2010).Thisis why I chose to use the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good,Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (1987). I chose this book because the theme iseasy to comprehend and is one that all three students could share a similarprior experience. Each student was required to draw a picture and write a fewsentences describing their bad day, edit the work and share their story withtheir peers. This activity allowed students to genuinely “transact” and respondto the text in a meaningful way (Laureate Education Inc.,2010d).This responsive strategy was exciting for the students! It was evident that itstrengthened their overall comprehension and their ability to recall theimportant details of the story.
FEEDBACK FROM COLLEAGUES AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF STUDENTSWould you please take a few moments, andrespond to the following questions?1. What insights did you gain about literacy and literacy instruction from viewing my presentation?2. How might the information presented change your literacy practices and/or your literacy actions with students?3. In what ways can I support you in the literacy development of your students or children? How might you support me in my work with students or your children?4. What questions do you have? THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!
REFERENCESAfflerbach, P. (2007). Understanding and using reading assessment, K–12. Newark, DE: International Reading AssociationCastek, J., Bevans-Mangelson, J., & Goldstone, B. (2006). Reading adventures online: Five ways to introduce the new literacies of the Internet through children’s literature. The Reading Teacher, 59(7), 714–728.Fountas, I. C., & Pinell, G. S (1998). Word matters: teaching phonics and spelling in the reading/writing classroom. Portsmith, NH: Heinemann.Hillert, M.(Author), & Shutz, S. (Photographer). (2005). Pumpkin, pumpkin. [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.starfall.com/n/fiction- nonfiction/pumpkin/load.htm?fHall, Z. (1999). Its pumpkin time. (pp. 1-40). Scholastic Paperbacks.King, E. (1996). The pumpkin patch. (pp. 1-40). Puffin.Kroll, S. (1993). The biggest pumpkin ever. (pp. 1-32). Cartwheel Books.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010a) Getting to Know Your Students.[Webcast]. Baltimore, MD: Dr. Janice Almasi.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010b) Analyzing and Selecting Text. [Webcast]. Baltimore, MD: Dr. Douglas Hartman & Dr. Janice Almasi.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010c). Perspectives on Literacy Learning. [Webcast]. The Beginning Reader. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010d). Response Perspective [Webcast]. The Beginning Reader (PreK-3). Baltimore, MD.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010e). Critical Perspective [Webcast]. The Beginning Reader (PreK-3). Baltimore, MD.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010b) Reading Inventories. [Webcast]. Baltimore, MD: Dr. Peter Afflerbach.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010c). Virtual field experience: Strategic processing. [Webcast]. The Beginning Reader. Baltimore, MD: AuthorMcGowan, M. (1999). I was a pumpkin. Marcias Lesson Link. Retrieved from http://www.marcias-lesson-links.comMcKenna, M. C., & Kear, D. J. (1990). Measuring Attitude toward Reading: A New Tool for Teachers. Reading Teacher, 43(9), 626-39. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.Tompkins, G. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5 th ed.).Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
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