DR. GENE PEASEEDUC 6706: THE BEGINNING READER, PREK–3JUNE 20, 2013Literate Environment Analysis PresentationTravis VolkWalden University
Creating a Literate EnvironmentTompkins (2010) states, “Reading is a constructive processof creating meaning that involves the reader, the text andthe purpose within social and cultural contexts” (p. 42).Ensuring that all students have equal access to learning isessential to create a literate environment. The learners,texts and instructional need to be aligned and match thecognitive demand that is appropriate for students.
Getting to Know Literacy LearnersThere are a multitude of reading assessments that alloweducators to understand student strengths and needs.Afflerbach (2012) explains, “Our assessments shouldreflect, at minimum, those things that we believe to bevital to growth and development in early reading” (p.141).
Getting to Know Literacy Learners: CognitiveAssessmentsCognitive Assessments indentify students’ specificabilities in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency,vocabulary and comprehension.Assessment results provide specific information so thateducators can align instruction to students’ needs.Afflerbach (2007) states, “A key feature of mostinventories is the means to identify a student’sindependent, instructional, and frustration reading levels”(p. 28).
Getting to Know Literacy Learners: NoncognitiveAssessmentsNoncognitive assessments, such as McKenna and Kear’s(1990) Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (p. 630)allow teachers to further understand students’ literacydevelopmentAfflerbach (2013) states, “Factors such as motivation andself-esteem are possible outcomes of becoming a betterreader” (p. 174).Teachers can adjust grouping and activities based uponstudents’ interests and attitudes.
Selecting Texts“The better you know your students, the better youcan connect them with texts that will impact them inprofound ways” (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010a)Using both cognitive assessments and noncognitiveassessments allow teachers to select texts that matchtheir needs.Being intentional with text selection results inchoosing books that connect to students’ interest andexpand their thinking
Selecting TextsTompkins (2010) states, “Comprehension involves morethan just reader factors: It involves text factors” (p. 290).The format of text depends upon the text’s genre.Text structure varies depending on the important ideasthe author wants to emphasize.Depending upon the effect an author wants to achieve,various text features are used.Online text can be used to demonstrate the variety of textfactors, engage students and help English languagelearners attain new information and comprehend text.Tompkins explains that when students understand howauthors present and organize ideas, students can greatercomprehend and scaffold their learning (p. 290).
Selecting TextsTo help identify whether or not my approach toselecting text is balanced, I use the literacy matrixdiscussed in Analyzing and Selecting Texts (LaureateEducation Inc., 2010b) to determine if my approachis balanced.LinguisticInformationalSemioticNarrative
Selecting TextsConsidering different aspects of literature on theliteracy continuum can aid in a teacher’s work ofhelping students arrive at a particular goal. Theimplication of selecting text with intention can leadto greater student understanding and engagement.
Literacy Lesson: Interactive PerspectiveTompkins (2010) states, “Students assume anincreasingly important role in interactive readingand writing” (p. 22). In order for students to interact with textindependently, instructional practices need to matchtheir cognitive and noncognitive needs.The interactive promotes students’ use ofmetacognitive strategies and strategic processing.Tompkins (2010) explains that metacognitioninolves students thinking about their own thinking(p. 12).
Literacy Lesson: Interactive PerspectiveStrategic processing involves the dymanicsaddressed in cognitive reading assessments: phonics,phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension andvocabulary.To demonstrate how the interactive perspective isaddressed in a first grade literate environment.
Literacy Lesson: Interactive PerspectiveI worked with three students to focus on comprehension in areading lesson focused on first grade social studies standards.(A student reading far above grade level, an English LanguageLearner and a student with little interest in reading)I utilized three different texts to meet the cognitive andnoncogntive needs outlined by their assessment results.For my student who is reading at a third grade level I choseThe Relatives Came (Rylant, 1993), which is leveled at a 3.7For my ELL student, I chose My Very Own Room (Pérez,2000) an online, bilingual, interactive text.For my student who is often disengaged, I chose a patternbook at his level with engaging illustrations, The Family Book(Parr, 2010).
Literacy Lesson: Interactive PerspectiveI promoted students’ use of metacogntive strategiesthrough the lesson.Students engaged in a discussion prior to the lessonto active background knowledge and scaffold newlearning.Students work on a comprehension strategiesspecific to their needs and the text their wereworking with to promote independent use ofstrategic processing and metacognitve strategies.
Literacy Lesson: Interactive PerspectiveThe lesson effectively allowed students to interact with thetext appropriately as their interest and instructional needswere taken into account.Effectiveness was demonstrated by students’ ability tocomplete their comprehension activity after interacting withthe text.Tompkins (2010) states, “To match students’ needs, teacherscreate several tiered or related activities that focus on thesame essential knowledge but vary in complexity” (p. 367).The new learning in each group was synthesized as studentsshared out during the lesson closure. This activity allowstudents to reflect on their own learning and the learning ofothers as it related to our lesson objective.
Literacy Lesson: Critical and Response PerspectivesDurrand, Howell, Schumacher and Sutton (2008) explainsthat when students are encouraged to read analyticallythey uncover hidden values in the text.The critical perspective teaches students how to judge,evaluate and think critically about text.Tompkins (2010) states, “Students use literacy tochallenge social injustices and inequities. Critical literacyemphasizes students’ potential to become thoughtful,active citizens” (p. 10).
Literacy Lesson: Critical and Response PerspectivesThe response perspective provides students with theopportunity to read, react and engage in a personalresponse to the text.The critical and response perspectives are both enhancedthrough the selection of text that not only connects tostudents’ interests and identities, but evokes a personal oremotional response.
Literacy Lesson: Critical and Response PerspectivesI implemented a reading lesson to address the critical andresponse perspectives.I worked with the three students in focus from theprevious lesson.I chose a specific book, Fly Away Home (Bunting,1991) to allow students to connect to the textpersonally and emotionally.Students had time to reflect and respond as theyformulated a response to the character’s experiencein the story.
Literacy Lesson: Critical and Response PerspectivesStudents evaluated the text to think critically aboutthe character’s life of being homeless. The textprovided many examples of positives and negativesabout being homeless and living in airport.Students were able to examine their own thoughtsand reflect on their own thinking as students sharedtheir responses in the synthesis of the lesson.
Literacy Lesson: Critical and Response PerspectivesMolden (2007) explains that books can be just as powerfulas unpowerful depending on how much one questions thetext (p. 50).These perspectives allow students to develop their ownthinking, connect to text and build upon their priorknowledge.Literature can expose students to new ideas and help themexamine their world when critical thinking is taught andreinforced.
ReferencesAfflerbach, P. (2007). Understanding and using reading assessments, K-12. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Durand, C., Howell, R., Schumacher, L., & Sutton, J. (2008). Using interactive read-alouds and reader resonse to shape students’ concepts of care.Illinois Reading Council Journal, 36(1), 22-29.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010a). Getting to know your students [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.McKenna, M. C., & Kear, D. J. (1990). Measuring attitude toward reading: A new tool for teachers. The Reading Teacher, 43(9), 626--639.Molden, K. (2007). Critical literacy, the right answer for the reading classroom: strategies to move beyond comprehensionfor reading improvement.Reading Improvement, 44(1), 50-56.Parr, T. (2010). The Family Book. New York: Little Brown.Pérez, A. (2000). My Very Own Room. Children’s Book Press. Retrieved from: http://www.childrenslibrary.org/icdl/BookPreview?bookid=pervery_00030024&route=simple_0_0_family_English_0&lang=English&msg=&ilang=EnglishRylant, C. (1993). The Relatives Came. New York: Bradbury Press.Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.