By: Jennifer Gemberling Walden University Cassandra BosierThe Beginning Reader, Pre K-3 - Educ 6706G-10 October 23, 2011
Literacy is the ability to use reading and writing for a variety of tasks.As teachers, we must get to know our students in avariety of aspects to help them become successful readers and writers. We must identify their interests, their previous literacy experiences and their ability levels. We must implement this information to create an effective literate environment where all students are successful.
To create a successful literate environment, you must first get to know your students. It is important as teachers that we know our students literacy autobiographies. We must know what type of readingexperiences they have, what their interests are, and what their abilities are. These questions can be answered through various cognitive and non-cognitive assessments.
Directed Reading Assessment (DRA) DIBELS Letter-Sound Assessment Letter-Name AssessmentNon-Cognitive Assessments Given to My Students Elementary Reading Attitude Survey Student learning autobiographies
By evaluating our students both cognitively, such aswhere they are in the five pillars, and non-cognitively, such as their motivations, attitudes andinterests, we can plan effective lessons to keep ourstudents motivated while giving them the skills theyneed to become successful readers. “By linkingassessment and instruction, teachers improve students’learning and their teaching” (Tompkins, 2010, p.75).These assessments improved my teaching and theirlearning, which creates a more successful literateenvironment, because I am better able to plan for mystudents’ needs and interests.
After assessing students using cognitive and non- cognitive measures, I evaluated the information and selected texts based on that information. This processhelped me to create a literate environment by choosingtexts based on my students’ abilities and interests using the Literacy Matrix (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010a).
Dr. Douglas Hartman described four points on theliteracy matrix which texts can fall between. Dependingon how the text is communicating its message, the textcan be categorized as linguistic or semiotic. Linguistictext is more word oriented with no pictures. Semiotictexts communicate their message through things otherthen words, such as still or moving pictures. Then, thetext can either be a narrative or an information piece.However, it is very possible for a text to fall in betweencategories (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010a).
After examining the assessment results of their interests and abilities, I chose books based on an animal themeand alphabet theme with a combination of narrative and information books. Several books chosen were more semiotic, which were used during shared reading,guided reading and independent reading. I also chose a few linguistic books which were used during read-alouds. I felt that a combination of these types of books would be the most beneficial for emergent readers and creating a successful literate environment within my classroom.
Alphabet Theme : Animal Theme:to introduce letters to spark student and sounds interest of animals
Once the texts were selected, I plannedlessons according to the three perspectives in the framework for literacy instruction. The interactive perspective is based on students reading and writing accurately and with comprehension. The ultimate goal in thisperspective is for students to be strategic and metacognitive readers and writers.
I focused on teachingstudents how to use picturesand clues to help them makepredictions in their reading.I also wanted students tothink about the text andanswer questions to be surethey fully comprehended thestory.
Then focusing on teaching students to read, I created aword sort game to help students identify initial sounds. Find the animal that begins with the /c/ sound.
This perspective helped me to create a literate environment by constructing a lesson based on teaching students to be metacognitive with their reading. When students are metacognitive aboutstrategy use, they are aware of how they are going to read the text, they can choose the best and most efficient strategies, they set purposes, make predictions, visualize and make sense of text (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010e).
Although teaching children to read is very important, it is also crucial that students can think critically about text,respond to text and reach higher levels of thinking. The next level of thinking comes out of the critical and response perspectives. The critical perspective is based on the abilityto think critically about text. Within the critical perspective, students should be able to examine the text from multipleperspectives, critically evaluate text, and judge the validity ofthe text (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010b). Basically we want students to think more deeply about text, determine the believability within the text, and examine the author’s perspective. The response perspective focuses on the transaction with the text and how it effects or even changes the reader (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010c).
The goals for mystudents were toidentify the author’spurpose and make text-to-self connections. Weused strategies such as“talk and turn” wherethey had deepdiscussions with otherclassmates about thetext (Durand, 2008).
I felt that by having the studentswrite as the Rainbow Fish, theywere able to make a connection toa character that had very strongfeelings. Reading and writing inresponse to a story helps studentsunderstand what they alreadyknow, understand what they don’tthink they know but actually do,and construct new knowledgewhich was very evident in theirillustrations and sentences(Laureate Education, Inc., 2010d).
The critical and response perspective allowed my students to examine a text more deeply, determine the author’s purpose and make personal connections with the characters. The goals for my students were to identify the author’s purpose, make text-to-self connections, and respond to text by relating to a character. These activities were very successful inallowing my students to make deeper, more meaningful connections to a text and create a more literate environment.
Creating a literate classroom is a step by step process. Beginning with assessing student abilities and student interests, I planned successful lessons based on the five pillars of literacy instruction. Looking at the threeperspectives within the framework for literacy instruction I implemented the interactive perspective, the critical perspective and theresponse perspective. In doing so, my studentswere exposed to a variety of reading and writing experiences within a literate classroom. “The goal of literacy instruction is to ensure that all students reach their full potential” (Tompkins, 2010, p.5).
Running Head: Literate Environment Analysis 1 ReferencesDurand, C., Howell, R., Schumacher, L. A., & Sutton, J. (2008). Using interactive read-alouds and reader response to shape students’ concept of care. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 36(1), 22–29.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010a). Analyzing and selecting text. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010b). Critical perspective. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010c). Response perspective. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010d). Response perspective: Reading and writing connection. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010e). Strategic processing. Baltimore, MD: Author.Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.