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Access to high quality early languageand literacy experiences will enhanceyoung children’s development(International Reading Association,2005).In order for student to develop as awhole, a positive environment must becreated that foster learning andappropriate practices that encouragesstudent development (LaureateEducation Inc., 2010a).
I. Getting to Know Literacy LearnersII. Selecting appropriate TextsIII. The Interactive PerspectiveIV. The Critical and Response Perspective
Through research based practice I am provided with the insight of the importance of teachers learning their students and their interests. It is important for teachers to understand the motivation or lack of motivation a student possesses toward reading. Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (ERAS) measures two aspects of reading attitude: recreational reading and academic reading. This would be a useful tool to learn more about these students’ literacy autobiographies. Interest Reading Survey help a teacher figure out what his or her students are thinking, what they may want or even need, and how they can best be helped (Duffy, 2003). Word Recognition Test After discovering students’ level of motivation for reading a word recognition test can be administered to determine the difficulty level of reading passages the students will be asked to read. If more than half of the words in the Word Recognition test are recognizable by students a Running Record (RR) can be administered.
“Students’ motivation and engagement affect their success in reading and writing, therefore it is important that teachers learn about their students and work to ensure that they are motivated and have positive attitudes about literacy” (Tompkins, 2010 p. 280).These types of assessments "provides details about student’sreading abilities in relation to a specific grade level”(Afflerbach, 2007, p. 47).
After determining students’ cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of literacy learning, teachers may begin to select the appropriate texts to accommodate the needs of each student. When choosing texts, it is important to determine whether or not it is applicable for students. Small details significantly matter when determining students’ ability to comprehend a book. Some students prefer large print which seems to make the text easier to read in comparison to smaller print which seems to make text more difficult to read (Laureate, Education, Inc., 2010b). Choosing the appropriate length of the text and the text structure will greatly increase students’ readability. It is imperative for teachers to accommodate the reading needs of their students to better meet their educational requirements.
Hartman, (Laureate, Education, Inc., 2010b), described a matrix where texts are categorized based on three continuums; narrative to informative, linguistic to semiotic, and easy to difficult. By using this matrix educators can be sure to balance the types of texts that they use in the classroom. Research determines that students who are exposed to a selection of texts at an early age will show the development at a more rapidly rate in obtaining needed literacy skills (Tompkins, 2010). Using genre, text features, and text structures is vital in helping students understand how authors organize and present ideas in their stories (Tompkins, 2010). Most reading instruction in early literacy programs is based on narrative stories. Author, Kathy Stephens (2008), states that exposing children to a variety of informational text will stimulate development of background knowledge, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. Exposing students to a wide variety of text will also lead them to be proficient readers.
The interactive perspective of literacy instruction involvesreading and writing accurately, fluently, and withcomprehension (Framework for Literacy Instruction, n.d.).The teacher should foster expectations about the reading andarouse student interest to read. This can be done by askingwarm-up questions or by giving them a purpose for reading orlistening to a story.In this way students will enjoy learning language and develop apositive attitude towards reading. Monitoring comprehensionincludes not only activating background knowledge prior toreading, but also active listening and questioning of students atvarious points.
Stahl (2004) states, when children use reading strategies such assummarizing, questioning, or activating prior knowledge theyare more likely to comprehend and remember what they read.To be metacognitive as a learner, children must actively think abouttheir learning and process what they are doing (Laureate Education, Inc.,2010c).The five pillars of reading are: Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency,Comprehension, and Writing. Strategic processing must be threadedthrough all five pillars (Laureate Education, 2010c) of reading.A metacognitive learner must be able to use these five pillars in order tofurther develop reading strategies on their own. The reading strategiesto develop are: Making connections, Predicting, Clarifying, Askingquestions, Visualizing, and Summarizing.
The Critical Perspective of literacy involves challenging a text by considering problem- posing questions. The critical perspective also involves teaching children to examine the text and who created it (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010d). During this time discussions can arise about the author’s point of view, the main idea, the genre, the setting, and other components of the story.
The critical perspective of the framework for literacy instruction involves judging, evaluating, and thinking critically about text (Framework for Literacy Instruction, n.d.). . Critical literacy focuses on issues of power and promotes reflection, transformation, and action (Molden, 2007). Critical literacy encourages readers to be active participants in the reading process: to question, to dispute, and to examine power relations (Molden, 2007). The critical perspective also involves teaching children to examine the text and who created it (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010d). Young children need to engaged in meaningful academic content and build on prior learning (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1998).
The response perspective provides students with opportunities to experience texts in a personal and emotional way (Laureate, Education, Inc., 2010e).
Afflerbach, P. (2012). Understanding and using reading assessment, K–12 (2nd ed). Newark, DE: International Reading Association. Duffy, G. (2003). Explaining Reading: A Resource for Teaching Concepts, Skills, and Strategies. NY: The Guilford PressFramework for Literacy Learning (n.d.). Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_552773_1%26url%3DInternational Reading Association. (2005). Literacy development in the preschool years: a position statement of the InternationalReading Association. Newark, DE: AuthorLaureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010a). Perspectives on early literacy [Webcast]. The Beginning Reader, PreK-3.Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010b). Analyzing and selecting text [Webcast]. The beginning reader, PreK–3.Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010c). Interactive perspective: Strategic processing. [Webcast]. Baltimore, MD:Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010d). Week 6: Critical perspective. [Webcast]. The Beginning Reader. Baltimore:Author. Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010e). Week 6: Response perspective. [Webcast]. The Beginning Reader.Baltimore: Author.Molden, K. (2007). Critical literacy, the right answer for the reading classroom: Strategies to move beyond comprehension forreading improvement. Reading Improvement, 44(1), 50-56.National Association for the Education of Young Children. (1998). Learning to read and write: Developmentally appropriatepractices for young children. Washington, DC: AuthorStahl, 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. Tompkins, G.E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.