Literacy Environment Analysis Olivia Bradley EDUC 6705 The Beginning Reader PK-3 Instructor: Linda Holcomb February, 2012
Getting to Know Literacy Learners• As a teacher, it is vital to understand your students, to be able to provide differentiated instruction for students that motivates them, and provides opportunities for them to become better readers.• Allows the teacher to gain an insight as to how they feel about reading, and what motivates them to read.• Discovering what interests the students enables the teacher to find books and stories that relate to them, whereby they can find connections between texts and themselves.
Getting to Know Literacy Learners cont…• Afflerbach (2007 p155) states that for students to be successful readers, they need to be motivated have a positive attitude, and good self –concept.• Weak, positive, or negative motivation has an effect on reading and this is based upon prior experiences (Afflerbach, 2007).• The self-concept of a student, contributes to a student’s achievement, and this means how students view themselves as readers.• Attitude is related to both motivation, and self- concept, and through the Elementary Reading Survey (McKenna & Kear, 1990) students can represent their own feelings.
Getting to Know Literacy Learners cont…• There are two different areas for assessment (Afflerbach, 2007) 1. Cognitive Assessments 2. Non-Cognitive Assessments
Getting to Know Literacy Learners cont…1. Cognitive Assessments that I do with my students: • DRA II (twice a year) • Running Records - enables teachers to assess student’s oral reading to determine their word identification, fluency, and comprehension (Tompkins, 2010 p86). • Guided Reading • Observations & Anecdotal note-taking2. Non-Cognitive Assessments • Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (McKenna & Kear, 1990) • Motivation to Read Profile (Gambrell, Palmer, Codling & Mazzoni, 1996)
Getting to Know Literacy Learners cont…• There are many different ways in which to collect data that enables me to choose appropriate texts, that drives instruction, through understanding their learning profile, background and culture, for example: – Show a student 10 different texts and ask them to say which interests them (Laureate Education Inc., 2010a), or – Bring in a bag with 5 items in that describe the student (Laureate Education Inc., 2010a).
Selecting Texts• Analysing and selecting text is an important area of literacy that teachers need to take into consideration when planning for their students. – Teachers should consider the dimension of difficulty including how readability is improved, with the repetition of multi-syllabic words, but singleton words are unique and this makes it more difficult to read. – The length of the text, as shorter texts are easier, and longer texts are harder; – The structure of the text, whether it is informational, descriptive, what the cause, effect, problem, and the solution are; – The use connective words, or signal words that make considerate text; – Poetic structure; and finally – The size of print.
Selecting Texts cont…• Books can fall into four quadrants (see next slide) based on narrative, informational, linguistic, or semiotic (Laureate Education Inc., 2010b).• Books that fall into the narrative and semiotic quadrant are usually easier, whereas books that fall into the informational and linguistic quadrant are harder (Laureate Education Inc., 2010b).• A balance of various texts supports students in a cognitive and non-cognitive way.
Selecting Texts cont…• Douglas Hartman (Laureate Education Inc., 2010b) describes how useful it is to Narrative Semiotic use a tool known as the 4 (Pictures) quadrants of the Literacy Matrix to choose texts: – Think of texts on a continuum from narrative to Linguistic Informational informational – look at (words) genre, features, – Another dimension to analysing texts, is to look at Linguistic (words) or Semiotic (pictures, icons) – Take a text and locate it in one of the quadrants
Selecting Texts cont…• The Internet is becoming a great tool for children to develop their reading experiences (Castek, Bevans-Mangelson, & Goldstone, 2006).• If possible, teachers need to provide these opportunities to their students, as this is vital for their participation in the digital world (Castek et al, 2006). Some students do not have access to the internet at home, and in some cases, parents are not sure what is appropriate or not.• I want to provide as many opportunities to my students as possible for using the resources online. I have repeatedly used the project by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation called Storyline www.storylineonline.net.
Selecting Texts cont…• Castek et al. (2006) suggest ways in which to use the Internet for teaching literacy. – These include using online stories, publishing student work, participating in virtual book clubs, collaborating on Internet projects and adding informational websites to study of literacy. – I already use online stories, however I would like to try to publish my students writing on the Internet.• According to Stephens (2008), making good choices for literacy can be a difficult task for teachers and students, as there are so many different topics and genres in children’s books.• Work by Pappas (Stephens, 2008) show that if teachers want their students to develop into successful readers and writers, teachers need to provide, and include informational texts in their classrooms to provide more experiences and opportunities.
Literacy Lesson: Interactive Perspective• According to Almasi (Laureate Education Inc., 2010c), students need to be strategic processors in order to become strategic thinkers, and this is alleviated through teachers choosing the best strategies to be taught to students for information and fiction text.• Teachers need to be metacognitive about strategy use to develop strategic processing: – Choosing the best and most efficient strategy – Using different strategies for narrative and informational texts – Setting purposes, making predictions, visualizing, making sense of text
Literacy Lesson: Interactive Perspective Guided Reading cont…• Guided reading is an effective instructional strategy that can be used with students of all levels, to help improve their reading ability.• During a guided reading, a small group of students at the same level of reading, read a book at an instructional level with the teacher (Tompkins, 2010).• Each lesson is adapted to meet the needs of individual students (Tompkins, 2010 p437).• In planning a guided reading lesson, I use data that I have collected through a cognitive running record assessment, and non-cognitive assessments.
Literacy Lesson: Interactive Perspective Guided Reading cont…• The group of students need to improve their skill of predicting and retelling stories in sequence.• I was able to promote students’ strategic processing and metacognition through the discussions at the beginning of the lesson, during the reading, and at the end.• Accessing students prior knowledge enabled me to have deeper discussions with the students, and all of the children were able to relate to the story, either through the idea of Easter, or through their grandparents.• One aspect of the lesson, which I found to be extremely beneficial, was how I wrote down each student’s predictions onto index cards, which we referred to at the end of the lesson.• The students appeared to be more engaged in retelling the story after reading it, and we were able to refer back to their predictions, which I feel proved to help them in understanding the importance of predicting, and confirming or revising their predictions.
Literacy Lesson: Interactive Perspective Guided Reading cont…• I always write anecdotal notes while listening to the students reading independently.• I split the students and send them to different places in the room, to avoid any distractions from other readers, and it also enables me to work with those students independently, without them feeling that they cannot do something• It is important to remember that decoding and fluency is important for reading development, and as the levels of books become more structured with deeper comprehension, this is a skill that needs to be taught to students.• We cannot assume that students will automatically be competent in different comprehension skills. Stahl (2004) believes that these strategies are important because they provide access to knowledge; these students are then able to participate in cognitive strategies and show greater understanding of texts read.
Literacy Lesson: Interactive Perspective Guided Reading cont…• Data gained during the reading, showed that this lesson needs to be repeated with these three students, using a different text.• This was the first lesson, that I asked the students to edit and revise their predictions while they were reading, and it is a difficult concept to do at this stage.• The idea of revising and editing predictions needs to be modelled during interactive read alouds with accountable talk.• The students were not sure of what was expected of them, and how they should make changes.
Literacy Lesson: Critical and Response Perspectives• According to Janice Almasi (Laureate Education Inc., 2010d) students need to examine text from multiple perspectives, and in order for the students to be able to do this, they need to be instructed, and have opportunities to observe this being modelled on a frequent basis.• Molden (2007) states that part of having critical perspectives on texts, is to have the ability to analyse all of its areas. It encourages analytical skills that will equip the students for all areas of learning.• Rosenblatt’s (Laureate Education Inc., 2010e) “transactional theory” is how students can either have an interaction with text or a transaction with text. Having the ability to transact with text, means that the students are able to personally and emotionally respond to text.
Literacy Lesson: Critical and Response Perspectives• It is important for students to be interactive, critical, and responsive during reading as this will allow them to have a better understanding and give opportunities for deeper discussions about texts that engage them and give them a purpose for reading.• Students need to be critical thinkers about the author, and think about what they author was thinking when they wrote the story and what they are trying to tell us in their story (Laureate Education Inc., 2010e).• According to Tompkins (2010 p439), interactive read-alouds enhance students comprehension by engaging them before, during and after the reading. Students prior knowledge is activated and they interact during the lesson.• I use think-pair-share during interactive read-alouds, which allow for conversations between peers as thinking partners. These partnerships are based upon mixed ability and personality. I give students an opportunity to share either his or her view or their partners view to the class, and this does not interrupt the story.
Literacy Lesson: Critical and Response Perspectives• The purpose of this interactive read-aloud with accountable talk, was to help students to start thinking about why authors write specific stories and what they were thinking, and how we can learn from stories.• Although the students enjoyed the story and understood the basics of what the author was trying to tell us, they had difficulty in thinking in a critical way about what the author had written.• They made quite good predictions about the story, and they were able to engage in what I would call the top layer of the story. At the end of the story, when I asked students what is the moral of the story, there was only one student who was able to relate it to a personal experience.
Literacy Lesson: Critical and Response Perspectives• Students need to learn to have a concept of care, this includes care for oneself, care for others, and care for the world (Durand, Howell, Schumacher, & Sutton, 2008).• Teachers need to search for texts that have multiple perspectives (Durand et al. 2008), to encourage this thinking.• The way in which books are read to students have a huge impression on students, and interactive read-alouds give students and opportunity to think more about the text (Durand et al. 2008).
Feedback from Colleagues and Family Members• 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 interactions 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?
References• Afflerbach, P. (2007). Understanding and using reading assessment, K-12. Newark, DE: International Reading Association• Castek, J., Bevans-Mangelson, J., & Goldstone, B. (2006). Reading Adventures online: Five ways to introduce the new literacies of the Internet through children’s literature. Reading Teacher, 59(7), 714-728. Retrieved from Education Research Complete: Accession Number: 20430347• Durand, 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. Retrieved from Education Research Complete. Accession Number 29731090.• Gambrell, L.B., Palmer, B. M., Codling, R. M., & Mazzoni, S. A. (1996). Assessing motivation to read. The Reading Teacher, 49(7), 518-533. Retrieved from the Education Research Complete, Accession Number: 9606160778• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010a). Getting to know your students [DVD]. The Beginning Reader, PreK-3. Baltimore: Author• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010b). Analyzing and Selecting Texts [DVD]. The Beginning Reader. Baltimore: Author.• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010c). Interactive Perspective: Strategic Processing [DVD]. The Beginning Reader. Baltimore: Author.
References• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010d). Critical Perspective. [DVD]. The Beginning Reader. Baltimore: Author.• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010e). Response Perspective. [DVD]. The Beginning Reader. Baltimore: Author.• McKenna, M.C., & Kear, D.J. (1990). Measuring attitude toward reading: A new tool for teachers. The Reading Teacher, 43(9), 626-639. Retrieved from the Education Research Complete, Accession Number: 11080456• Molden, K., (2007). Critical literacy, the right answer for the reading classroom: Strategies to move beyond comprehension for reading improvement. Reading Improvement, 44(1), 50-56. Retrieved from Education Research Complete: Accession Number: 24954486• Stahl, K. A. D. (2004). Proof, practice, and promise: Comprehension strategy instruction in the primary grades. Reading Teacher, 57(7), 598-608• Stephens, K.E. (2008). A quick guide to selecting great informational books for young children. Reading Teacher, 61(6), 488-490. Retrieved from Education Research Complete Accession Number: 31195717• Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon