Creating a literate environment


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Creating a literate environment

  1. 1. Creating a Literate EnvironmentPresentation by : Mindy J. Dole EDUC 6706R-4 The Beginning Reader PreK-3 Instructor – Dr. Denise Love
  2. 2. The Essential Components of Creating a Literate Environment• Getting to Know the Literacy Learner• Selecting Texts• The Interactive Perspective• The Critical Perspective• The Response Perspective• Feedback from Colleagues and Family Members of Students
  3. 3. Getting to Know the Literacy LearnerAccording to Tompkins, “It is important that teachers learn about their students andwork to ensure that they’re motivated and have positive attitudes about literacy”(Tompkins, 2010). To assess the motivation as well as the level of literacydevelopment of the three PreK emergent readers I chose to work with I performedboth cognitive and non-cognitive assessments with the students.Non-Cognitive – Non-cognitive assessments evaluate motivation, interests, self-concepts and attitudes of the reader (Afflerbach, 2007). In addition to classroomobservation I performed the Elementary Reading Attitudes Survey with each student.The ERAS is a tool that can be used to gauge the reading attitudes of students bothat home and at school (McKenna & Kear, 1990). This was helpful to me in identifyingwhich students I needed to work with to find new ways to spark their interest inreading.Cognitive – I regularly use anecdotal note taking and running records to assessstudents’ cognitive development. In addition, I performed a subtest of the DynamicIndicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) that focuses on assessing initialsound fluency. According to the DIBELS Administration Guide, the Initial SoundFluency is a “standardized, individually administered measure of phonologicalawareness that assesses a child’s ability to recognize and produce the initial sound inan orally presented word” (DIBELS, 2011). I look forward to using this tool to trackmy students’ progress throughout the year and will pass on the results to theirKindergarten teachers.
  4. 4. Selecting TextsResearch tells us that there is a definite link between literacy learning at anearly age and a student’s success later in school (Laureate Education, 2010b).It is important to provide my students with a range of different types of textswith which to work. For this reason, while I usually lean toward the narrativeside of the literacy matrix, I made sure to include an informational text whileselecting texts for our current unit on bears. According to Dr. Neuman, childrenare not taught enough informational text in the early years of school (LaureateEducation, 2010b). (word-focused) (picture-focused)In addition, while choosing texts, I took into account the preferences andinterests of the students I was working with. It is important to find texts thatwill not only spark the students’ interest but ones that are at the appropriateinstructional level of those students.
  5. 5. The Interactive PerspectiveAccording to the Framework for Literacy Instruction, the interactiveperspective involves helping students to be metacognitive readers and writersas well as promoting the use of their independent use of reading strategies(Laureate Education, 2010a).The lesson I developed for this perspective was based on the book Brown Bear,Brown Bear, What do you See? (Martin, 2007). It focused on connecting toprior experiences with a similarly written story as well as using the repetitivepattern of the story to allow for students to practice retelling the story andword recognition. According to Tompkins, “Readers bring their backgroundknowledge to every reading experience; in fact, they read text differentlydepending on their prior experiences” (Tompkins, 2010, p. 261).My students were able to successfully recall the pattern of the story and retellit to other students as well as their parents by looking at the illustrations eventhough they are not yet reading. Also, they were able to recognize and writesome of the color words in the story.
  6. 6. The Critical PerspectiveThe critical perspective focuses on teaching students to examine and evaluatetexts (Laureate Education, 2010a). This is an area I had not previouslyfocused as much time on due to the young age of my students. While planningand teaching I realized that they are more capable than I thought and I willcontinue to find new ways for them to work on evaluating what they read.The lesson I taught worked on comparing two versions of the Goldilocks story:Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Marshall, 1998) and Beware of the Bears(MacDonald, 2005). The students and I worked together in a small groupsetting to compare the two stories using a Venn Diagram. Graphic organizerssuch as Venn diagrams can aid students in identifying the important ideas intext and the relationships between them (Tompkins, 2010). Small groups aremost effective when everyone works together to complete the task (Chapman &King, 2005). The lesson was successful; after a couple of examples thestudents were able to recall events from the stories and identify which story(or both) they took place in. There was also much discussion and debate aboutif the characters were making good choices in their actions.
  7. 7. The Response PerspectiveThe response perspective encourages students to react to what they arereading and to make connections to their own lives and experiences (LaureateEducation, 2010a). As an extension of our comparison and discussions aboutGoldilocks and the Three Bears (Marshall, 1998) and Beware of the Bears(MacDonald, 2005), the students and I talked about how in both of the storiesthe characters were scared when the owner of the house came home in the endof the story. I asked each student to think about a time when they felt scaredand to draw a picture of it in their reading response journal. I then had themtell me the story of their drawing and I wrote their words in their journal.It is important to provide students with opportunities to respond and makemeaningful connections to text to help them comprehend what they arereading. According to Tompkins, “Without learning to thoughtfully engage inthe reading process, it’s unlikely that students who struggle withcomprehension will improve very much” (Tompkins, 2010 p. 267).
  8. 8. Feedback from Colleagues and Family Members of Students• What insights did you gain about literacy and literacy instruction from viewing this presentation?• How might the information presented change your literacy practices and/or your literacy instruction with students?• 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 children?• What questions do you have?
  9. 9. ReferencesAfflerbach, P. (2007) Understanding and using reading assessment K-12. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Chapman, C., & King, R. (2005). Differentiated assessment strategies: One tool doesn’t fit all. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills Data System, (2011). Administration Guide. Retreived from Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010a). EDUC-6706R-4 The Beginning Reader, Prek-3 [Webcast]. Perspectives on Literacy Learning. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education Inc., (Executive Producer). (2010b). Informational text and the early years {Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.McKenna, M. C., & Kear, D. J. (1990). Measuring attitude toward reading: A new tool for teachers. The Reading Teacher, 43(9), 626–639.MacDonald, A. (2005). Beware of the bears. London, UK: Little Tiger Press.Marshall, J. (1998). Goldilocks and the three bears. London, UK: Puffin Books.Martin, Bill, & Carle, E. (2007). Brown bear, brown bear what do you see? New York, NY: Henry Holt & Co.Tompkins, G. (2010) Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.