Literate environment analysis
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  • 1. Literate EnvironmentLiterate Environment AnalysisAnalysis Kristin MyersKristin Myers Walden University
  • 2. Creating a Literate Environment The foundation of a student’s education begins before they enter their first classroom. It is a teacher’s responsibility to continue this education in a positive and safe environment. Creating the most effective classroom environment to promote literacy and student achievement is vital. However as new teaching strategies arise and advanced resources become available teachers must continue to incorporate these changes into their planning. The challenge is to not be fearful of change but be willing to adapt (Laureate Education Inc., 2010a). The Framework for Literacy Instruction (n.d.) is a tool that can help teachers evaluate current procedures and make positive changes.
  • 3. Where to begin to create a literate environment Providing routines and predictable activities is a good foundation to build literacy around (Tompkins, 2010). Children look for patterns to help them derive meaning from surroundings and make connections to prior knowledge (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1998). It is important to surround students with words, provide access to quality texts at each student’s level, and talk about books (Laureate Education Inc., 2010c). To accomplish these items successfully a better understanding of each student is necessary.
  • 4. Getting to Know Literacy Learners For students to become engaged in their own learning, they must feel like they have input into and are a part of the learning process. Making students feel important lets them know that they matter (Laureate Education Inc., 2010b). Motivation can come from many different angles but encouraging and creating self-motivation in a student is the greatest task a teacher can achieve. Motivated readers create their own literacy opportunities (Gambrell, Palmer, Codling, & Mazzoni, 1996). The first step to increasing literacy levels and creating self-motivated learners is determining the current literacy level of each student. This includes both cognitive and noncognitive assessments to find students’ interest levels and academic levels.
  • 5. Getting to Know Literacy Learners (Process) Motivation to Read Profile (Gambrell, et al.) The first part of this non-cognitive assessment allows students to express their individual preferences about text materials, learning styles, and interests. The survey was created to allow students to express interests in a safe and simple way without the pressure of reading questions or writing answers. The results from these surveys gave the teacher a starting point to begin step two, individual interviews. The individual interviews gave the opportunity to uncover more strengths or fears that might help interest the student or help to understand the student more clearly.
  • 6. Getting to Know Literacy Learners (Process - continued) The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) (Good & Kaminski, 1988) This cognitive assessment includes a set of procedures and measures for evaluating the acquisition of early literacy skills in short intervals on a regular basis. Each section of this assessment provides different insights into a students’ development. The sections include: » First Sound Fluency (FSF) » Letter Naming Fluency (LNF) » Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF) » Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF)
  • 7. Getting to Know Literacy Learners (Process – continued) Writing Assessment Cognitive and non-cognitive assessments are common place for a new school year. There is another aspect of literacy that is often overlooked; writing. Each student was given a picture and tasked to write a minimum of one sentence about the picture. To interest students, the topic of the picture given can be a result of information gained during the interview with the teacher. These writing samples demonstrated students writing abilities while highlighted confidence levels and literacy levels. They provided another aspect that was yet uncovered in previous interviews, surveys, or assessments. Writing is a developmental process that should be observed and assessed regularly (Laureate Education Inc., 2010d).
  • 8. Getting to Know Literacy Learners (Analysis) The combination of these assessments provided valuable insight into the abilities and interests of the students. These assessments lead to overall shared reading lessons for the group that enhanced struggling readers interests. These assessments also lead to the creation of small groups based on academic, writing, or interest levels. Quality assessments can drive quality planning and quality education for students. These assessments must focus on both the process of learning and the final products (Afflebach). With a clear picture of each student in the classroom, detailed lesson plans to use students’ strengths to plan instruction in students’ weak areas were simplified. It is vital to view each learner as a unique individual with different strengths, weaknesses, and interests (Framework for Literacy Instruction, n.d.).
  • 9. Selecting Texts Reading programs and literacy is the main focus of most educators, administrators, and school support systems in the educational world today. Literacy is one connecting factor between all content areas and subject matter. Educators focus intently on teaching students to read the words on the page and to derive meaning from those words, yet these educators often do not spend enough time choosing the text placed in front of those students. All teachers want students to learn to read so that they can eventually read to learn (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1998). Reading to learn means that students can take all literary forms and decipher meaning, construct ideas, and analyze the text. This makes the selection of texts presented to the students vitally important at all ages and developmental levels.
  • 10. Selecting Texts (Process) The Literacy Matrix is an important tool to consider when selecting text for a student or group of students. Teachers need to include books from all ranges of the matrix. Semiotic texts are stories that are told with little word use and more pictorial representation. Linguistic texts focus on word use over illustrations to convey meaning. Informational texts present factual information while narrative texts rely on fictitious events or characters. Another aspect for choosing text materials not addressed by the matrix is including a mixture of print and electronic Materials.
  • 11. Selecting Texts (Analysis) A review of the current literature items utilized at Wonderland Charter School highlighted a lack of variation amongst the Literacy Matrix (Laureate Education Inc., 2010f). With a focus on Direct Instruction, stories and passages are found within a given textbook. It becomes more important then to select a variety of texts to incorporate into other content areas or shared reading lessons. The repetition and structure of each book is easily transferred to writing as well. Studying the specific text features presented in literature allows for related mini-lessons (Tompkins, 2010). Developing writers need these mini-lessons to help them get started in exploring the process of writing (National Council of Teachers of English, 2009). Through the utilization of varied texts and teaching methods, instruction can be enhanced for all levels of learners with a variety of interests, strengths, and weaknesses. This increases the likeliness of achieving academic success for all students in the classroom.
  • 12. Selecting Texts (Examples) At the Farm (Lakin, 1990) is a narrative, semiotic text that blends emergent sight words with upper emergent sight words to create a more challenging text. This book also pairs each farm animal with the name of its offspring. Busy Barnyard (Schnindel, 2006) is an informational, semiotic text that uses real photography for illustrations which draw students’ attention and increases interest levels. Sneaky Sheep (Samuel, 2007) is a narrative story that is linguistic but does have colorful pictures. Buzz the Bee (Lewison, 1992) is a narrative, semiotic text that includes rhyming words and identifies the sounds various animals make Farm Animals (Leanring A-Z, n.d.) is found on an online source for literacy materials, http://www.readinga- z.com/book.php?id=175. This text is an informational, semiotic text that also has worksheets and lessons to accompany it.
  • 13. Literary Lesson: Interactive Perspective Research outlines three perspectives that are necessary to develop literary learners (Framework for Literacy Instruction, n.d.). The interactive perspective focuses on learning and developing reading strategies and becoming metacognitive readers and writers (Laureate Education Inc., 2010e). It builds on phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension to enhance literacy (Tompkins, 2010).
  • 14. Literary Lesson: Interactive Perspective (Analysis) Within this instruction, I learned the value of being adaptable. When the lesson was not working for one student, I easily adapted with little interruption to the child. This allows the student to remain successful and avoid frustration. Being a metacognitive learner is not easy for many students. In teaching it is easy to focus on the present lesson but if metacognition is not an active part of the lesson there are many students who will not develop that skill. Students enjoy this type of learning when there thoughts and opinions are valued by an adult.
  • 15. Literary Lesson: Critical and Response Perspective Fluency and comprehension strategies are often the focus of reading lessons but it is important to allow students to examine stories and connect to what they are reading. The critical perspective focuses on the student’s ability to examine the validity, believability, and purpose of a story (Laureate Education Inc., 2010g). Examining, evaluating, and judging aspects of stories requires higher order thinking skills which can be applied at all ability levels. The response perspective is often the most undervalued teaching viewpoint. This perspective requires students to connect to the words on a page and give them meaning by making personal connections to a character, theme, or struggle. Teachers need to slow down and allow time for this process to occur (Laureate Education Inc., 2010h).
  • 16. Literary Lesson: Critical and Response Perspective (Analysis) The goal of this lesson was to help students think critically about texts and make connections to the text. The students did accomplish this goal. However, the best outcome of this lesson was the information about each student’s fear and how that fear can help me plan more appropriate lessons. Being aware of these fears and working closely with these students, allowed me to see their strengths and weaknesses more clearly. Working with young learners who have not experienced many school opportunities is challenging. Modeling thinking strategies and sharing stories with the students is a great way to enhance literacy and promote metacognitive learning. Allowing students to connect to a story allows them to share a piece of themselves.
  • 17. Literary Perspectives Being a metacognitive learner is not something that just happens. Students needs to see it done and need to experience it themselves. Using different perspectives to evaluate text and learning is a great way to engage students in their own learning. Critically analyzing texts is a great way to be a detective and engage their learning. After analyzing texts the final step is to make those important connections to the words on the page. When students connect to what they are reading, view stories from more than one perspective, and have the necessary reading strategies to be successful then those students can become literate lifelong learners.
  • 18. “Literacy is a process that begins in infancy and continues into adulthood, if not throughout life (Tompkins, 2010, p. 111). A child does not have to walk through school alone. A good teacher has the ability to use their knowledge gained from experience, research, and hard work to impact a child’s life in a positive manner while only knowing that child for a short period of time.
  • 19. Presentation Feedback • What insights did you gain about literacy instruction from viewing this presentation? • How might the information presented change your literacy practices and/or you literary interactions with students? • 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? • What questions do you have?
  • 20. References Afflerbach, P. (2012). Understanding and using reading assessment, K–12 (2nd ed). Newark, DE: International Reading Association. Framework for Literacy Instruction. (n.d.) [Course handout]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/ webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard %2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3398890_1%26url%3D Gambrell, L. B., Palmer, B. M., Codling, R. M., & Mazzoni, S. A. (1996). Assessing motivation to read. The Reading Teacher, 49(7), 518--533. Good, R., & Kaminski, R. (1988). Dynamic indicators of basic early literacy skills. Retrieved from http://dibels.org/dibels.html Lakin, P. (1990). At the farm. Miami, FL: Walt Disney Company. Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010a). Changes in literacy education. Retrieved from https://class. waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2F blackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3398890_1%26url%3D Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010b). Perspectives on early literacy. Retrieved from ttps://class. waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fbl ackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3398890_1%26url%3D
  • 21. References (continued) Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010c). Getting to know your students. Retrieved from ttps://class. waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fbl ackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3398890_1%26url%3D Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010d). Reading Inventories. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu. edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard %2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3398890_1%26url%3D Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010e). Interactive Perspective: Strategic Processing. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url= %2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_33988 90_1%26url%3D Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010f). Analyzing and selecting texts. Retrieved from ttps://class. waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fbl ackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3398890_1%26url%3D Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010g). Critical perspective. Retrieved from ttps://class. waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fbl ackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3398890_1%26url%3D
  • 22. References (continued) Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010h). Response perspective: Reading-writing connection. Retrieved from ttps://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_ 2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3 D_3398890_1%26url%3D Learning A-Z. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.readinga-z.com/book.php?id=175 Lewison, W. (2002). Buzz said the bee. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. National Association for the Education of Young Children. (1998). Learning to read and write: Developmentally appropriate practices for young children. Washington, DC: Author. National Council of Teachers of English. (2009). NCTE beliefs about the teaching of writing. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/writingbeliefs Samuel, J. (2007). One sneaky sheep. China: Piggy Toes Press. Schindel, J. (2006). Busy barnyard. New York, NY: Random House Childrens Books. Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.