Dr. Denise Love The Beginning ReaderPre K-3 EDUC - 6706R – 4 December 13, 2011
A. Getting To Know Literacy Learners B. Selection Of Texts C. Literacy Lesson: Interactive Perspective D. Literacy Lesson: Critical and Response Perspectives “Students in our classrooms possess a complex array of reading skills and strategies. They vary in their ability to recognize words, unlock word meanings, read fluently, comprehend text, and monitor the construction of meaning. Each of these reader characteristics is important for us to know, for every student.” (Afflerbach, 2007, p. 27)
When I set out to get to knowmy literacy learners, I used aninformal reading inventory, with a focuson vocabulary in context. This assessmentwas only five questions in length. I chose this assessmentbecause I had three struggling second grade readers in mygroup, who I did not want to overwhelm with excessive textor questions. Because I knew that I would have a limitedamount of time to work with the students, I kept in mindwhat Dr. Bear said in the Assessing Word Knowledge video,“assessment in the classroom is important to considerbecause this is something that you will need to do when youhave children right there in front of you” (Laureate, 2010b).
The contextual vocabulary inventory helped me to thinkabout the home lives of my students and what theirexposure to different types of usage for words might be. Iwas able to surmise that one of the students was strugglingmore than the others in terms of his exposure and abilityto use vocabulary. The inventory also gave me evidence tosupport my thoughts that one student possessed a numberof reading skills such as using context clues. I also was ableto figure out which student was a concrete thinker fromwhich one was more abstract in thought. The contextualvocabulary inventory that I used is available throughProject Central through the Florida Department ofEducation’s website. There are other inventories that areavailable through that website that are helpful diagnostictools for teachers (Project Central, 2003).
When I thought about selecting texts for my group, Iturned to the advice that I found in the article,Hooking Struggling Readers: Using Books They CanAnd Want To Read, which was simply, to feature textsthat use realistic characters which readers findcompelling, to use texts that the readers can makepersonal and/or emotional connections with, and tobe careful to select texts that used illustrationsappropriately especially when combining text withillustrations, making sure that hyphens are not a partof the text, as they often times are problematic forstruggling readers. Also the size of the font was aconsideration. Font should not be too small, so as notto overwhelm the readers with an abundance of text(Rog & Kropp, 2011).
With all of these criteria in mind, I made my first textselection: Ready, Freddy! A Very Crazy Christmas byAbby Klein (2011). The story was a great length to usefor lessons that would be taught over the course of twotutoring sessions at 82 pages. The book presented mygroup of three students and myself eight chapters whichwe all took turns reading one chapter each per tutoringsession followed by a short related reading andvocabulary building Activity. I think that the group reallyrelated to Freddy’s description of “things getting a littlecrazy” when his cousins Kelly and Kasey were in town(Klein, 2011).
I also used the literacy matrix that Dr. Heartmanspoke about the literacy matrix in the video,Analyzing and Selecting Texts. I was able tosquarely place Ready, Freddy! A Very CrazyChristmas by Abby Klein (2011) in the linguistic –narrative quadrant. This was due to the use ofabout twenty well placed illustrations throughoutthe text. Above is an illustration of the literacyMatrix as it was explained by Dr. Heartman andillustrated in Analyzing and Selecting Texts(Laureate Education, 2010a).
When I began to plan for this lesson I reflectedback to what I had read in Literacy for the 21stCentury A Balanced Approach, which was thatthe different schemas that each reader bringsinto the reading experience will have an effecton how that text is perceived by each individualschema(Tompkins 2010, p. 261).
I was sure to point out to the group that they should alwaystry to think of themselves actually taking part in or witnessingthe events of the text first hand when they read. In that waythey were never just blindly reading for the sake of reading orto only build their AR score, but rather they were makingimportant text to self, text to world and text to textconnections. All of these things are points that are critical tocreating what I call “thirsty learners”. I think that my studentsreally understood and took to heart this lesson because one ofthe students jotted down the note “think of me when I read”.
When I began planning this lesson I thought abouthow I could further my student’s vocabulary buildinglessons, in doing so I decided that I could expandtheir vocabulary and usage by using the MakingWords exercise (Tompkins, 2010 p.p. 447-9) locatedin the Compendium of Instructional Procedure(Tompkins, 2010).
I used the title of the book for thislesson, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (1993)for the letters that the students used to form theirword lists. I was quite pleased to learn afterconducting a Bing search that there were quite afew websites that were dedicated to formingwords from other words, one of the most userfriendly ones that I came across was wordles.com.
After searching the words the snowy day, I was pleasedTo learn that there were 24 pages of words that couldbe formed from the title The Snowy Day (Keats, 1993).After the word lists were formed, the students weregiven about five minutes to brainstorm and come upwith a short oral story about what how they and afriend of their choice would choose to spend a snowyday. This activity was based upon the Quickwriting(Tompkins,2010 p.p. 454-6) procedure mentioned inCompendium of Instructional Procedure(Tompkins,2010).
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?From: Literate Environment Analysis Presentation Outline (Laureate Education, 2011).
Afflerbach, P. (2007). Understanding and using reading assessment k-12. (p. 27). Newark, DE: International Reading Association Keats, E. J. (1993). The snowy day. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. Klein, A. (2011). Ready, freddy! a very crazy christmas. (p. 93). New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010a). Analyzing and selecting texts. [Webcast]. The Beginning Reader, PreK-3. Baltimore: Author Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010b). Assessing Word Knowledge . [Webcast]. The Beginning Reader, PreK3. Baltimore: Author.
Project Central (2003). Cool tool informal reading assessments. Retrieved from Florida Department of Education website: http://www.paec.org/itrk3files/pdfs/readingPd fs/coolToolsAll.pdf Rog, L. & Kropp, P. (2011, November). Hooking struggling readers: using books they can and want to read. Retrieved from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/374/ Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century a balanced approach. (custom ed., Vol. edition, pp. 261; 447-449; 454-456). New York, NY: Pearson Custom Publishing. Words in words machine. (2011, December). Retrieved from http://www.wordles.com/getWordsInWords.aspx