Getting to Know Literacy Learners, P-3
The Framework for Literacy Instruction outlines that teachers need
to consider the learners, texts, and instructional practices when
planning and creating literacy lessons. I begin each school year
getting to know my students personally and academically by “using
a variety of informal and formal assessments to determine areas of
strength and need in literacy development” (Framework for Literacy
Motivation to Read Profile
Share mouse bags
After reading Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes on the first day of
school the students made a mouse bag and filled it with 3-5 items from home
to share with the class so we could all get to know each other.
The personal information that I gather in the first few weeks of school will help
me in selecting texts that my students are interested in.
Getting to Know Literacy Learners, P-3
Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Stage 1 kit - to determine guided
Reading and writing of 100 High Frequency Words (HFW) for 1st grade
and 100 (HFW) for 2nd grade
Developmental Spelling Analysis (DSA)
ELA writing assessment
BOCES Regional Test for ELA and math.
The data that I receive from the cognitive assessments will help me drive
my literacy instruction throughout the school year.
Dr. Hartman suggest that teachers plot the text they are using on the
Literacy Matrix to ensure that we are providing a balance of texts to meet
the student needs and the goal of the unit (Laureate, 2010).
The Common Core Learning Standards want teachers to have a balanced
selection(50/50) of fiction and non-fiction text. The literacy matrix a useful
tool to help me make the best text selection to meet my students needs.
Analyzing and Selecting Text
When choosing texts Dr. Almasi states that there are difficulty
considerations to keep in mind:
Concept density/text length
Visual supports (Laureate, 2010)
These considerations are helpful for me when I am selecting
interactive read alouds for a lesson.
Students need to learn about schema and how to activate it.
Schema is using what you already know to help you make sense of a
text (Laureate, 2010c) and it can help students be strategic
During guided reading instruction I tell students ”When you come
across words that you don’t know when you are reading you need to
use the strategies that your reading teachers and I have taught you.
One of the first things that you all know is that every vowel makes
two sounds. They make a long and a short sound. Try both vowel
sounds to help you make sense of the word.”
I am seeing a shift in my students responses towards higher level
thinking. They are using the term schema correctly and making
connections to prior learning.
A close reading engages students in critically thinking about the text
and what the authors’ purpose was for writing the text, and why the
author chose the words and the characters they used in the story
(RL.2.4) Students will be able to describe how words and phrases
(e.g., regular beats, alliterations, rhymes, repeated lines) supply
rhythm and meaning in the story, poem or song.
Critical Perspective cont…
We need to teach the students how to be detectives and go back
into the text to find evidence about the objective we are teaching
I read When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant and
projected onto the Smart Board. I thought that I helped my
students become more metacognitive with how I introduced the
lesson linking the title of the book back to the communities unit
the students learned about earlier in the year and activating their
schema (Laureate, 2010c) about other places where they see or
hear repeated phrases being used.
I want my students to understand how important the response
perspective is. By giving the students time to think about this
statement (Describe how words and phrases in When I was Young in
the Mountains supply meaning in a story.) I was trying to stress to
the students that I want their thoughts to have meaning and I really
wanted them to think about why the author used the words and
phrases that she did.
Tim – “The author might want us to remember it.”
Alyssa – “It was nice being in the mountains.”
Robyn – “It was important to her!”
What insights did you gain about literacy and literacy
instruction from viewing this presentation?
How might the information presented change your
literacy practice and/or your literacy interactions with
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
What questions do you have?
Fountas, L & Pinnell, G. (2012) Instructional level expectations for reading,
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
Framework for Literacy Instruction. (2013, November 2). Retrieved
Gambrell, Linda B., And Others. (1995). Assessing motivation to
resource no.14. National Reading Research
Center, Athens GA
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Analyzing and selecting text.
Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010a). Critical perspective.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010c). Virtual field experience:
strategic processing. Retrieved from