The Literate Environment Lauren Schipper October 12, 2012 Walden UniversityEDUC 6706: The Beginning Reader, Pre K-3 Instructor: Dr. Bernice Gregory
The Literate Environment A literate environment is one that promotes reading andwriting by integrating foundational knowledge, instructional practices, approaches and methods, curriculum materials, and the appropriate use of assessments (International Reading Association, 2010).
ContentsGetting to Know Literacy LearnersSelecting TextsLiteracy Lesson: The Interactive PerspectiveLiteracy Lesson: The Critical & Response PerspectivesReferences
Getting to Know Literacy Learners “Effective teachers understand how students learn” (Tompkins, 2009, p.5)A combination of cognitive and non-cognitive tools is key toaccurately assess students’ literacy learning. Cognitive Assessments – Tools focused on the skills and strategies used by students as they develop as readers. These skills and strategies are those that students use in decoding, understanding words, and constructing meaning (Afflerbach, 2007). Non-Cognitive Assessments – Tools focused on assessing students’ motivation to read, the reader’s self- concept, reading attitudes, an reader attributions (Afflerbach, 2007).
Assessment Tools Concepts About Print Test (CAP Test) is a cognitive assessment used to assess what children know about written language concepts (Tompkins, 2010). Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (ERAS) is a non- cognitive assessment used by teachers to help them understand students’ attitudes toward reading at home and at school (Tompkins, 2010).These assessment are equally important. Cognitiveassessments like the CAP Test help teachers identifystudents’ weaknesses or areas of confusion. The non-cognitive assessments like the ERAS, help teachers to seewhat factors influence each child’s learning. They alsoreveal students’ interests which a teacher can capitalize onwhen it comes to literacy instruction.
Selecting TextsDr. Hartman’s Literacy Matrix simplifies the text selection.Teachers consider whether a text is narrative orinformational. They also decide is a text is more linguistic(word oriented) or more semiotic (in which messages areconveyed heavily by pictures). Where a text falls on thismatrix helps to determine its appropriateness for a particulargroup or individual (Laureate Education Inc., 2010a). Linguistic Narrative Informational Semiotic
Selecting TextsWhen selecting texts, teachers must consider the followingfactors: Readability – sentence length, number of syllables, and concept density Length of text Text Structure - Informational, Descriptive, Cause & Effect, etc. Print size Visual supports
Selecting TextsI used these two assessment tools, the Literacy Matrix and the“Checklist for Choosing Informational Books for Young Children”(Stephens, 2008) to find appropriate texts for a small group ofKindergarten students. I learned that these students wereemergent readers with very little knowledge of what words are.They also were unfamiliar with the format of a book. The ERASrevealed that the students all had interest or experience ingardening. Based on this knowledge, I chose the following texts: Little Critter: A Green, Green Garden by Mercer Mayer Farm Tractors by Matt Doeden Pumpkin (online book found on kindersite.org)
Literacy Lesson: The Interactive PerspectiveThe ultimate goal of the Interactive Perspective is to teach studentshow to be literate learners who are able to navigate textindependently (Laureate Education Inc., 2010c). We want to teachthem to be strategic and metacognitive readers and writers. To doso, it must be a part of all five pillars of reading instruction: Phonic Awareness Phonics & Concepts about Print Fluency Vocabulary Comprehension
Literacy Lesson: The Interactive PerspectiveIn a recent lesson, I utilized the book King Bidgood’s in theBathtub by Audrey Wood to have students work oncomprehension and word concepts. Learning objectives: Students will practice critical thinking by predicting what would happen in the story by using the illustrations and a few word cues. They will also ask and answer questions about the text. Strategies: Shared reading, grand conversation, picture walk, and teacher generated questions.
Literacy Lesson: The Interactive Perspective AnalysisThe students successfully met my learning objectives for thislesson. Shared reading is a strategy widely used inkindergarten classrooms (Stahl, 2004). Accompanying thiswith a picture walk, teacher generated questions, predictionmaking, and grand conversations ensured that the studentsthoroughly comprehended the text.Every lesson is trial and error, and every group of studentsresponds differently. This lesson worked for this groupbecause it suited their literacy learning needs and theirinterests.
Literacy Lesson: Critical & Response PerspectivesThe Critical and Response Perspectives are vital to literacyinstruction. In the Critical Perspective, students criticallyexamine and evaluate text through multiple perspectives(Laureate Education Inc., 2010b). The ResponsePerspective allows students to be thoughtful and reflectiveabout texts.In a recent lesson with kindergarten students, I was able toincorporate both these perspectives using the book EnemyPie by Derek Munson. This book was chosen based upon arecent school-wide activity about bullying that the studentsparticipated in.
Literacy Lesson: Critical & Response PerspectivesLearning Objectives: Students will ask and answerquestions about a text. They will react to characters andevents in the story. The students will make connectionsbetween the story and their own world. They will alsoexpress feelings and opinions about the story.Finally, students will understand the different perspectivesof the characters in the story.Strategies: Shared reading, grand conversation, picturewalk, and teacher generated questions.
Literacy Lesson: Critical & Response Perspectives AnalysisOverall, this lesson was a success. I feel that the students relatedto Enemy Pie, especially given their prior knowledge that theygained from their school-wide activity about bullying. They wereable to connect the story to their own lives easily. It seemed thatwith each page read, the students had a story to tell or a questionto ask. They also were drawn to the two main characters, andwere empathetic toward them. At the end of the story, the studentsdiscussed what this story reminded them of and drew a picture toillustrate their thoughts. According to Dr. Vacca, writing (drawingbeing the equivalent of at the kindergarten level) lead to newdiscoveries about a text (Laureate Education Inc., 2010d). In thislesson, the student were able to critically analyze the text and theirresponses demonstrate what they learned.
ReferencesAfflerbach, P. (2007). Understanding and Using Reading Assessment, K-12 (2nd ed.). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.International Reading Association (IRA). (2010). Standards for reading professionals – revised 2010. Retrieved from http://www.reading.org/General/CurrentResearch/Standards/ProfessionalStandards.aspxLaureate Education Inc., (Producer). (2010). Analyzing and selecting texts. [Video Webcast]. Retrieved fromhttps://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_1374068_1%26url%3DLaureate Education Inc., (Producer). (2010). Critical Perspectives. [Video Webcast]. Retrieved fromhttps://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_1374068_1%26url%3DLaureate Education Inc., (Producer). (2010). Interactive Perspective: Strategic Processing. [Video Webcast]. Retrieved fromhttps://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_1374068_1%26url%3DLaureate Education Inc., (Producer). (2010). Response Perspective: Reading-Writing Connection. [Video Webcast]. Retrieved fromhttps://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_1374068_1%26url%3DMunson, D. (2000). Enemy Pie. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books LLC.Stahl, K.A.D. (2004). Proof, practice, and promise: Comprehension strategy instruction in the primary grades. The Reading Teacher. 57(7). 598-608.Stephens, K.E. (2008). A quick guide to selecting great informational books for young children. The Reading Teacher, 61(6), 488-490.Tompkins, G.E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Wood , A. (1985). King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace & Company.