CREATING A LITERATE ENVIRONMENT:PRE-K TO THIRD GRADE Genevieve Coon Walden University Dr. Gregory EDUC-6706R-3 The Beginning Reader, PreK-3 December 18, 2011
CREATING A LITERATE ENVIRONMENT Index Getting to Know Literacy Learners, Pre-kindergarten-Third Grade Cognitive Assessments and Noncognitive/Affective Assessments Selecting Texts Selecting Appropriate and Engaging Texts The Interactive Perspective Selecting Specific Learning Strategies That Address Word Recognition and Comprehension The Critical and Response Perspectives Selecting Specific Learning Strategies That Address Critically Thinking About Texts and Responding To Them In Personal and Meaningful Ways
GETTING TO KNOW LITERACY LEARNERS, PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE Implementing cognitive and noncognitive assessments allow you to gain knowledge aboutstudents’ skills, strategies, development, motivation, attitude, beliefs, identities, and interests.
GETTING TO KNOW LITERACY LEARNERS, PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUED To understand each child’s attitude, interests, and motivations try implementing these two noncognitive/affective assessments. First Assessment: Have the child bring 3 to 5 items you can discuss (Laureate Education, 2010a).Second Assessment: Utilize the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (McKenna & Kear, 1990, p. 630).
GETTING TO KNOW LITERACY LEARNERS,PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUEDTo understand where each child is developmentally one can perform a series of cognitive assessments. These various assessments allow you to assess knowledge of phonics, word recognition, writing capabilities, knowledge of print, as well as speed, rhythm, accuracy, and comprehension throughout the reading process.
GETTING TO KNOW LITERACY LEARNERS,PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUEDThe Tile Test allows each child to “manipulate letter tiles to make words, and you can also arrange tiles to spell words for them to read” (Tompkins, 2010, p. 166). This test allows one to assess phonic knowledge, while developing appropriate lessons or activities to meet the child’s future needs.
GETTING TO KNOW LITERACY LEARNERS,PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUEDTo determine word recognition one can use a high- frequency word list, which can be found online or within the Literacy for the 21st Century text. During this activity have each child read a list of 100 high- frequency words aloud. This activity allows one to see what sight words a child can recognize, as well as the number of words they can recognize overall.
GETTING TO KNOW LITERACY LEARNERS,PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUEDTo understand each child’s writing capabilities have the child write for ten minutes about anything he or she wants (Laureate Education, 2010b). Then look for how the child expresses his or herself, how the child uses periods, capitalization, etc…, and how the child spells to determine where each child is developmentally (Laureate Education, 2010b).
GETTING TO KNOW LITERACY LEARNERS,PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUEDTo understand each child’s development of reading have him or her read a leveled book, of his or hers choice, aloud while you observe a variety of areas. Observe each child’s knowledge of print; perform a miscue analysis; and check for speed, rhythm, accuracy, and comprehension to determine if the book is too easy, just right, or too hard for the child (Tompkins, 2010).
GETTING TO KNOW LITERACY LEARNERS,PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUED (Tompkins, 2010, p. 113) (Tompkins, 2010, p. 87)
SELECTING TEXTS FORPRE-KINDERGARTENERS-THIRD GRADERSConsider using a variety of literacy experiences with children by selecting appropriate and engaging texts that help him or her feel confident; the selection(s) should be based on each child’s literacy needs and characteristics.
SELECTING TEXTS FORPRE-KINDERGARTENERS-THIRD GRADERS CONT.Begin selecting texts by choosing a literacy topic for the child; it’s best to choose one that is based on the child’s interests so he or she stays motivated. Then, select appropriately leveled texts for the child based on the chosen topic and previous assessments.
SELECTING TEXTS FORPRE-KINDERGARTENERS-THIRD GRADERS CONT.Additionally, offer the child different texts to expose him or her to a variety of literacies. For example, expose the child to narrative texts, informational texts, and online texts. By exposing him or her to these texts you are meeting the child’s needs and interests while exposing him or her to new reading experiences as well.
SELECTING TEXTS FORPRE-KINDERGARTENERS-THIRD GRADERS CONT. When selecting texts don’t forget get to consider these characteristics: Sentence Length Number of Syllables Concept Difficulty Text Length Text Structure (informational, poetic, etc…) Size of Print Visual Supports Purpose for Using Text(s) (Laureate Education, 2010c).
THE INTERACTIVE PERSPECTIVE, PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADEWe need to teach children how to be strategic and metacognitive in order to be in control of their learning. This means that we need to teach children specific learning skills and strategies to provide them with the opportunities to think about their strategy use and become self-regulated in their use of strategies. I have chosen two strategies that address word recognition andcomprehension to demonstrate the effectiveness of integrating the Interactive Perspective into the learning process.
THE INTERACTIVE PERSPECTIVE,PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUEDThe first Interactive Perspective strategy is a picture word list activity. This activity demonstrates how pictures can help us decode words, as well as help with word recognition. Furthermore, by incorporating the picture word list the children are more apt to refer to illustrations when they are struggling with a word in the future.
THE INTERACTIVE PERSPECTIVE,PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUEDStart by introducing the picture word list to the child and explaining that pictures can help us decode unknown words. On this list include ten pictures and two blank lines (for high frequency words) that correspond with the preselected text. Next, display the pre-cut words to accompany the pictures. Give the child a few minutes to review the words, and then ask him or her to predict which word goes with the corresponding picture. Last, review the words together and glue them into place. Again, by doing this activity you are reinforcing that pictures can help with word recognition and decoding when reading a story.
THE INTERACTIVE PERSPECTIVE,PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUEDThe second Interactive Perspective strategy is toteach children about how to use their “schema” to connect prior knowledge to new information for better comprehension.
THE INTERACTIVE PERSPECTIVE,PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUEDBegin by explaining that our “schema” is our ideas that help us understand text. Then present a folder, with a picture of the brain, and explain that all these ideas are stored in pretend folders in our brain (Laureate Education, 2010d). Proceed to tell him or her that these stored ideas help us to understand books that we read. Demonstrate howto retrieve these ideas by thinking aloud and writing these thoughts down on sticky notes. Allow the child to participate as you add these notes to the folder.
THE INTERACTIVE PERSPECTIVE, PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONTINUEDAt different points during the read aloud make sure to stop to recall some of the sticky notes from the folder to reinforce the schema strategy. Hopefully, the reader will proceed to stop on his or her own to add new information to the folder and/or to reconnect to information that was already written by him or her. At the end of the story, again talk about how our prior knowledge, schema, and/or ideas help us to understand and connect to new text.
THE CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVES, PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADEWe need to teach children how to be critical and responsive in order to examine, evaluate, judge, and become emotionally and personally connected with the text(s). This further means that we need to teach children specific strategies to provide them with the knowledge to become self-regulated in their use of critical and response strategies. To demonstrate the importance of including Critical and Response Perspectives I have chosen four strategies that address thinking about texts in-depth and responding to texts on a personal level. I chose to share a bookmark activity (Molden, 2007) and a Venn diagram for thinking critically about texts, and to demonstrate that children need to examine each text carefully to fully understand them. Additionally, I chose to share a series of questions and a written response, using a prompt, to teach children how to use their prior knowledge and feelings for better comprehension when responding meaningfully.
THE CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVES, PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONT.At the end of the story one can discuss the follow-up critical thinking activity; the four bookmarks that require specific information on each (Molden, 2007). The bookmarks require the child to write and draw a part of the text he or she really liked and found interesting on the first bookmark; write and draw something he or she did not understand and found confusing on the second bookmark; write a word he or she thought was important for the entire class or you to know and why; and choose a picture and write why this picture helped him or her understand the book (Molden, 2007, p. 52).
THE CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVES, PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONT.
THE CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVES, PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONT.A Venn diagram is a great tool to compare two stories and for children to critically think about both texts. Begin by talking about what a Venn diagram is and the directions on how to complete one; a Venn diagram allows a child to list several differences between the two stories, as well as many similarities on the same template.
THE CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVES, PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONT.Give children the opportunity to interact with and experience the texts on a personal level so they can respond meaningfully while using their emotions. One can accomplish this by asking aseries of questions, such as the ones listed below. “How did this story make you feel?”“How can this story help you and the people around you?” “Has this ever happened to you or a friend?” “What does the author want us to learn?” (Durand, Howell, Schumacher, & Sutton, 2008, p. 25)?
THE CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVES, PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONT.Another way to let children interact with texts in ameaningful way is to allow them to write about the text(s) using their background knowledge and feelings. Prompts can be used as well to helpchildren express their feelings. To evoke a child’s self-worth I often use the prompt, “I like mebecause…”. This will allow one to see how a child views him or herself, and if any self-esteem strategies are needed to build this child’s confidence.
THE CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVES, PRE-KINDERGARTEN-THIRD GRADE CONT. By teaching children how to examine texts andrespond to texts it allows them to make connectionson a personal level, while acquiring new information through critiquing. Additionally, children learn thatby critiquing texts it better helps them to understand the content better. Furthermore, when children connect with the text(s) the children are also more apt to use their emotions to help them understand when reading next time. By teaching children how to use these strategies they become critical andresponsive readers since they are able to examine, evaluate, judge, and become emotionally and personally connected to the text(s).
CONCLUSIONBy incorporating these strategies and activities one can begin to create a literate environment for children. These strategies can further help any child become a successful reader and/or writer when the time is taken to implement them properly.
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