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Alanna Parlee's Resource Folder

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  • 1. Resource Folder Alanna Parlee EDUC 460 March 17, 2014 “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” -Anonymous Teacher
  • 2. Introduction As a future elementary teacher specializing in English Language Arts, it is evident how teaching literacy is no longer linear; as stated by Alberta Education, “literacy has become even more complex as ‘new literacies’ have emerged” and literacy learning is “multimodal and multilayered”. Literacy learning can also be viewed as a “social practice” that is “socially constructed” (Larson & Marsh, 2005, p 8). Larson and Marsh (2005) suggest that because literacy is a social practice, it is therefore something people do; an activity that people participate in (p. 10). This is a key idea as a pre-service teacher, like myself, needs to remember when thinking about how to teach literacy.
  • 3. Introduction cont…. The Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (2014) lists the nine Essential Skills that are “foundational skills required to learn all other skills”. These skills are: reading text; document use; numeracy; writing; oral communication; working with others; computer use; continuous learning; thinking skills; and job task planning and organizing (Canadian Literacy and Learning Network, 2014). These skills transfer over to most of the resources I have included in my folder. These essential skills also help to clarify the meaning of the “new literacies” that have emerged because they tie in traditional reading and writing skills with using a computer and working with others in cooperation; all of which are important for the 21st century learner.
  • 4. Introduction cont…. Teachers play an integral and vitally important role in literacy development and skill making. Hawken (n.d.) describes how “early learning situations are critical to lifelong development” and that “teachers are undertaking a challenging and exciting role in establishing these skills” (p.11). This resource folder contains just some of the potential resources that I will be implementing in my classroom because they benefit both the students, and myself. Reading and writing skills are fundamental to everything we do, and I find it extremely rewarding to know that I will be flourishing these skills in my students. As said by Dr. Suess, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
  • 5. http://www.raz-kids.com/ Raz-Kids is an online reading resource that students use to read books at their reading level. The teacher is able to monitor the student’s progress. The students can listen to a book being read; read the book aloud themselves; and answer questions about the book. After each book they read and complete questions for, they get points that they can use to build a rocket ship and decorate their aliens, etc. This makes using the website fun and exciting for kids. This is a resource I have already seen used by teachers during my first practicum. It is something a lot of the students were excited to use because they get to use the laptops or computers, which is a fun way to get students reading and involved. A beginning teacher can use this resource during reading time, or could implement it in a reward system, so that students are not missing out on reading traditional print-based texts.
  • 6. http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews This link is from Reading Rockets and features video interviews with authors of children’s books. These interviews are engaging and informative and allow student’s to make a link between the book and the person who wrote the book. It could be used in the classroom after the class has read a book together. The students could think of what they imagine the author to look like, where they are from, how many books they have written, etc. By getting students to think about these questions, they are imagining and making links between what they have just read, or heard being read to them, and can make assumptions about the author. This type of activity can tie into creative writing because students need to stretch their imagination. A beginning teacher can use these videos to introduce the students to the authors, making the connection that the author is a real person. This can be adapted to use with ESL students by getting them to draw pictures if they are struggling with conveying their thoughts in words.
  • 7. http://busyteacher.org/creative_writing_prompt s_part_one.html This is a blog that features 600 writing prompts for teachers to use in the classroom. Some of the prompts are directed towards older students, however, as a future elementary teacher these prompts can be adjusted to accommodate a younger group of students. This type of activity is useful for students because it allows them to use their imagination in writing they come up with after seeing the writing prompt. During my practicum, I saw this type of activity being used in a classroom, and the students loved to write whatever came to mind, and to then share it with a classmate. It is a more creative way to approach writing. As a beginning teacher, I can see myself using writing prompts as a daily journaling activity to just simply get students writing and using their imagination. Journaling is something teachers can use as formative assessment to check up on students writing skills. Teachers can look at the journals each day and pick out what students are struggling with, and can use that information to guide the next lesson.
  • 8. http://kindergarteniscrazy.blogspot.ca/2013/03/ sight-word-literacy-center-activities.html?m=1 This is a sight word literacy centre resource that introduces more interesting ways for students to practice their sight words. It includes “Sight Word Finger Paint”, “Fine Motor Sight Words”, “Kinesthetic Sight Words”, “Build a Sight Word”, “Sight Word Jenga”, “Mystery Sight Words’, and “Sight Word Cookies”. All of these activities are fun ways for students to learn sight words; and they can even be used with ESL students, because it uses a variety of ways to learn the sight words – such as tracing sight words, using a baggie with paint and water in it to create the sight word, serving “cookie” sight words to each other, and playing Jenga where they need to remove a word, but have to say it first. Teachers can use these methods of teaching sight words in the daily literacy centres, and that way it builds in a fun aspect to learning sight words.
  • 9. http://www.readingrockets.org/article/39 This is a link to Reader’s Theatre featured on Reading Rockets that explains what Reader’s Theatre is, what it does for developing critical reading skills, and how to implement it in the classroom. This type of activity is to help involve kids in reading aloud and to gain confidence in reading by practicing with their peers. Students get actively involved in reading, and it is a fun way to build up reading fluency, and to get kids motivated to read. The teacher can implement this in the classroom by choosing a fun, easy to read script at the beginning of the year, and work towards a longer, more detailed script by the end of the year.
  • 10. http://grover.concordia.ca/abra/current This is the link to the ABRACADBRA website. Similar to RazKids, it is an online reading resource. Students are able to read a story, hear a story being read, go to the activities page which features reading comprehension, writing, reading and different types of stories, etc. ABRACADABRA explores several key reading areas that are important for students to learn. A beginning teacher can implement this resource by using it as a free time activity; a reading time activity; or could even use this as a ‘prize’ for a reward system. Teachers should be aware that this type of resource cannot substitute direct instruction of reading and writing, but it is an engaging and fun way for students to read and practice literacy skills.
  • 11. http://teachmama.com/3-all-time-best-games- to-play-with-sight-words/#_a5y_p=1280531 This link is a blog, that was posted on Pinterest. It offers fun games to play while students are learning sight words. The games listed are: Go Fish!; Old Maid; Sight Word Memory; and WORDO!. I would also add in, Sight Word Bingo. The webpage also has a video where the teacher explains how to play some of the games. These games get students involved in learning sight words in a fun, interactive way. This resource would be good for younger grades, because you can turn sight word learning into “Game Time”, getting the students more excited to learn. These games can be used with ESL students as well, because even if they are unsure what the word means, matching the same word during Memory or Go Fish! will help to create connections between print and meaning. This resource is great for a beginning teacher, because it offers a more creative way to introduce sight words to their students. I can definitely see myself using these games to get my students more excited and intrigued to learn sight words.
  • 12. http://education.alberta.ca/media/1233960/6_c h3%20learner.pdf This chapter titled “Developing Learner Profiles” comes from “Making a Difference: Meeting diverse learning needs with differentiated instruction” from Alberta Education (2010). The chapter explains in explicit detail how to develop a learner profile for students. It provides information on what to collect to create a learner profile; describes types of learners students may be; assessment information; and questions you can ask students to create a more in-depth learner profile. The purpose of a learner profile is to better understand the needs of the learners in a teachers’ classroom. Every student is unique which means that each learner profile will be unique to that particular student. As a beginning teacher, it will be important to educate myself about my students and their learning needs, because I want all my students to succeed to their utmost potential. Although this is a resource for teachers, students will see the benefit in implicit ways because I will know more about my students and will be able to differentiate my instruction to suit their needs. Students will get more out of each lesson and activity, because I will have kept them in mind when planning and implementing each day’s lesson plan.
  • 13. http://education.alberta.ca/teachers/program/e nglish/programs.aspx The Programs of Study for English Language Arts from Alberta Education is a resource that all teachers should be aware of. Each grade has specific learning outcomes that the students need to achieve and be successful in. By referring to this document and understanding the outcomes, teachers will be able to help their students excel in achieving the desired outcomes. Although this is definitely a resource for teachers, it will benefit students because it explains what students in a specific grade need to learn, in regards to English Language Arts. Beginning teachers can use this document to pinpoint what they need to teach their students, and it even offers examples of activities to use in the classroom.
  • 14. http://foundationsforliteracy.cllrnet.ca/pdf/Rea dWriteKit08.pdf Although the entire document is extremely beneficial for teachers, I will focus on Chapter 6 titled, “Writing”. As described in the document, “writing is essential to any reading instruction program” and this chapter gives great information to new teachers on how to teach writing. This will benefit students because teachers will be able to learn new ways of teaching writing that keeps kids more engaged. A new teacher can use this document to make sure their instruction is on the right path.
  • 15. References ABRACADBRA (2008). A Balanced Reading Approach for CAnadians Designed to Achieve Best Results for All. Retrieved from http://grover.concordia.ca/abra/current/ Alberta Education (n.d.). AISI Themes: Literacy. Retrieved from http://education.alberta.ca/teachers/aisi/themes/literacy.aspx Alberta Education (2010). Chapter 3: Developing learner profiles. In Alberta Education (Ed.), Making a difference: Meeting diverse learning needs with differentiated instruction (pp.23-44). Edmonton, AB: Author. Retrieved from http://education.alberta.ca/media/1233960/6_ch3%20learner.pdf Alberta Learning. (2000). English Language Arts (K – 9) Program of Study. Available online at: http://education.alberta.ca/teachers/program/english/programs.aspx Bafile, C. (2014). Reading Rockets: Reader’s Theatre: Giving Students a Reason to Read Aloud. Retrieved from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/39 Busy Teacher (n.d.). Creative Writing Prompts. Retrieved from http://busyteacher.org/creative_writing_prompts_part_one.html Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (2014). Essential Skills. Retrieved from http://www.literacy.ca/essential-skills/
  • 16. References cont…. Hawken, J. (n.d.). Foundations for Literacy: An Evidence-based Toolkit for the Effective Reading and Writing Teacher. Published by Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network. Available online at: http://foundationsforliteracy.cllrnet.ca/index.php/Foundations_For_Literacy Larson, J. & Marsh, J. (2005). Making literacy real: Theories and practices for learning and teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Raz-Kids (2004). Retrieved from http://www.raz-kids.com/ Reading Rockets (2014). Video Interviews with Top Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators. Retrieved from http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews Teach Mama (2013, May 2). 3 all-time best games to play with sight words. Retrieved from http://teachmama.com/3-all-time-best-games-to-play-with-sight-words/#_a5y_p=1280531 Wabuge, K. (2013, March 15). Kindergarten is Crazy (Fun): Sight Word Literacy Center Activities. Retrieved from http://kindergarteniscrazy.blogspot.ca/2013/ 03sight-word-literacy-center-activities.html?m=1