Creating an Environment Rich in LiteracyJada-Marie TuckerEDU 6706Professor Linda Holcomb
A Literate EnvironmentCreating a literate environment requires patience anddiligence. Educators are required to provide rich-textenvironments with interesting and engaging texts thatexposes students to narrative and informational texts.
Literacy EnvironmentStudents must be able to relate to the text, experience itand respond to it in a meaningful way. This can includeverbal responses, written responses, or students canrespond in writing prompts. When students haveauthentic experiences with the text, it enables them tocomprehend a little better. I’m looking forward to theconnections my students will continue to make in and outthe classroom.
Understanding theand identities andFinding out about students’ interests Studentsunderstanding what matters to students and who theyare as individuals. I find myself really connecting withmy students. I often listen to their conversations as theydiscuss certain topics with peers in the classroom andduring recess. I find out a lot about my students byhaving authentic conversations about their home lives,the current music trends, and the things they enjoy doingafter school. This enables me to choose text that they areinterested in. For example, from a recent conversation, Ifound that one of my emergent readers is reallyinterested in animals. So I have included many new textsin our class library about different types of animals andoften ask him to share additional information about the
Purpose of AssessmentsAssessment data provides valuable informationthat informs instruction and enables educators toprovide timely interventions where necessary. Withdata, teachers are able to choose appropriateactivities, methods of instruction, and appropriatestrategies that will be most beneficial.
Formal and Summative AssessmentsUsing a variety of informal and formal assessments to determineareas of strength and need in literacy development. For example, mygrade level uses a variety of assessments to assist students inmeeting goals. For instance, all students are assessed at the end ofeach reading unit to determine their level of understanding ofnarrative and informational texts. Students are assessed onvocabulary, reading comprehension, and utilizing information fromthe text to answer a short-answer question. I also informally assessmy students by questioning to determine what information they stillneed to reach goals.
AssessmentsDuring my literacy instruction, I address a multitude of needs thatare essential to the literacy development of my students and itprovides the foundation to effective teaching. For instance, Iadminister multiple formative and summative assessments that tellsme my students levels in reading, writing, fluency, andcomprehension. I consistently provide a story test at the end of everystory to test these things. I also utilize DIBELS, writing prompts,fluency test, etc to inform me of each student’s strengths andweaknesses.
Types of Literacyhttp://www.johnettereed.com/blog/2011/12/17/
Choosing TextsA literacy autobiography consists of the process in which we acquireliteracy. My literacy autobiography started with being introduced toreading with bedtime stories. It then stemmed into being introduced toletters, sounds, and reading systems that enabled me to formulate words.I then began to read independently and develop a thirst for reading andfound interesting text. As a result, I continue to read and find myselfwanting and desiring for my students to develop the same love forreading as I have.I know that much of their literacy development has to come from me. Ihave to choose texts that are engaging, relevant, appropriate, and able toconnect with students (Afflerbach, 2012). With these, my students candevelop essential skills that they need to be successful in literacy.
TextsWhen choosing the right texts for students to read in class, it is essential to consider a multitude of things. Forinstance, student motivation, level of engagement, relevance, connectivity to standards, and student interest(Tompkins, 2010). As educators we have to be mindful that in order for our students to develop a love for reading,they have to first love what they are reading. As we have learned, our literacy autobiographies help shape thereaders and non-readers that we are. When we have positive interactions with texts, we develop a true passionfor reading and continue that love and reading habits well into adulthood. It’s critical that educators create anenvironment that is rich in literacy and makes text readily accessible for students.To do this, teachers have to pay special attention to their students. They have to learn their likes and dislikes,habits, home lives, hobbies, and things they are interested in. From this information, teachers can begin to providetexts that are related to specific to their interests. When a student enjoys the topic they are reading about, theytypically do better at focusing and comprehend the text (Tompkins, 2010). Moreover, our school has a multitude ofavailable texts that correlate to student’s interests and national standards. Our students frequently check outbooks in our school’s library and I often catch them reading during instruction. Of course we do not want studentsto miss out on instructional material, but we definitely want them to enjoy reading to the point where they do it intheir free time.
Critical PerspectiveThe critical perspective I believe it is important tounderstand my students thoughts, the problems theyface, and the issues they encounter at home. I ask avariety of questions and engage my students in ameaningful conversations that enables me to get toknow them on a deeper level. From this information I canhave students engage in reading and writingassignments where they can think critically about thetext and evaluate it enough to write somethingmeaningful about it.
Critical PerspectiveCritical perspectives teaches students how to critically examine text(Tompkins, 2010). This idea can be implemented in my classroom byrelating the story to everyday issues that students may encounter.When a whole-group discussion is facilitated, students can sharetheir personal experiences. For instance, a few weeks ago, mystudents and I read a story about a character who lost a familymember. Students were able to share their feelings about when oneof their relatives died. They shared their thoughts, feelings, andways of handling the situation. For those students who had neverexperienced death, they were able to listen to their peers and gainan understanding of how our character might have felt. They wereable to relate feelings and emotions to the story.
Response PerspectiveThe response perspective helps me to understand theissues that matter to my students and help shape themas individuals. In order to do this I engage students insmall reading group on a particular text and we engagein dialogue in regards to what was read. I ask a varietyof questions that allows students to share theircomprehension and to talk about how the story and/orcharacters are like their lives. Depending on the story,students have to complete an assignment that relates,thus showing their knowledge of the story.
Response PerspectiveResponse perspectives allows children the opportunity to experienceand respond to the text (Tompkins, 2010). This idea allows studentsthe opportunity to have an authentic interaction with the story andbe able to respond with feelings, thoughtfulness, and experience. I willincorporate this in my class by allowing students to share personalexperiences that are related to the selected text. There is great joy instudents making a valuable connection with the stories. Studentsare able better able to fully understand the events taking place inthe story. From that they can provide significant value to classdiscussions and writing prompts.
Lesson DevelopmentTo assist in lesson development, I must remain cognizant of theperspectives and ensure that I’m including them in each lesson.When I do this, it enables me to address a variety of needs andallows me to understand my students. It’s important to focus on thecontent and keep the end goals in mind to assist each student inbecoming life-long learners. This helps me develop more meaningfullessons and choose texts that students can learn from, relate to,and grow from. With the skills they acquire, they can apply them ina variety of settings, including when they read independently.
Activating Prior KnowledgeActivating student’s prior knowledge by assisting them in paintingpictures for terms teachers want students to remember is a greatexample. The teacher should help students relate to the vocabularyword to help them remember and make personal connections with it.Teachers should also do this by sharing a lot of her own personalconnections with students so they can share things about their life,thus allowing them to see that they can get schema (priorknowledge) outside of a text. For instance, mentioning a relative whois a marine biologist that works and studies coral reef whichconnects to the story that they are about to read (LaureateEducation Inc., 2010).
Referenceshttp://www.johnettereed.com/blog/2011/12/17/Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century abalanced approach. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.