Creating a Literacy Rich Classroom By: Ashley Presley and Tania Molina
We love Literacy!! A “literacy-rich” classroom providesstudents with a wide variety of texts that include oral, print, and other media communication. The classroom isdesigned to not only enhance the language learning process but also in order tocreate a warm and comfortable transition for any student immerging into a new language.
Elements of a Literacy Rich Classroom:♥ The classroom has Visual Appeal with attractive posters, charts and "word-walls" at students’ eye-level.♥ Classroom has labels with words and pictures on all supplies, materials, learning centers and objects.♥ List of classroom rules is posted (using pictures, words, objects and photographs)♥ Students’ names have been posted on all desks, cubbies, and supplies ( this allows the student to feel welcome and comfortable and that the classroom actually belongs to them)♥ Areas of the room devoted to materials and equipment to encourage writing, viewing, and representing through art and drama.
Elements Continued…♥ A large and accessible Reading Center where students have immediate access to a variety of printed materials ( age appropriate books, poetry, dictionaries, menus, recipes, labels, signs, printed directions, student work, alphabet displays)♥ An Audio Center where students are exposed to music or story CD’s for a variety of written text and sounds.♥ Student-published books will be on bookshelves, student artwork and other representations will be displayed, and works-in-progress will be evident.♥ Student-made books or posters that display photographs with captions provide a record of past shared experiences and successes.♥ A Writing Center which offers a variety of media such as: (letter stamps, large writing charts, graphs, pockets charts, enlarged recipe cards, write-on boards)
A Wall on which to display important texts, high-frequency words and newly learned vocabulary. Many teachers begin their word wall by adding the name of all the students which helps students feel important. Word walls enable students to have an easy visual reference to every day words and vocabularyto which they can use in their written and oral language. Teachers should add words to wall along with the students every week.
Creating the essential elements of Promoting literaCy:
An inviting reading environment helps to stimulate children’s interests in books and reading. By arranging the furniture and materials in acomfortable, accessible manner, children will wantto spend more time looking at books either alone or with peers in the reading center.
Reading Centers are not only designedfor Learning but for Fun!
Reading Center Furnishings Soft, comfortable chairs, such as bean bag chairs, giant pillows or a small foam couch Child-sized rocking chair Stuffed animals to “read with a friend” Small table with two or more child-sized chairs if room permits Bookshelves, bins, or boxes which allows books to be seen at students’ eye level
Reading Center Materials and Equipment Head sets, tape recorders, CD players, and recorded books Story Felt board and flannel story pieces Magnetic board and magnetic story pieces Writing Center Materials Writing Tools- Plain and colored pencils, markers, crayons, erasers, stamps, glitter glue, scissors, tape and ribbon for book bindingVariety of Paper- lined, plain, white, colored, paper stapled together as a book, memo pads, journals, and envelopes. Materials that Support Writing- lists of the children’s names, wipe able writing boards, magnetic board and letters, laminated poster board pieces flannel board, letter tiles and blocks, alphabet chart, old magazine
A literacy-rich environment is important for all students but the most beneficial literacy experience for students at all grades is to be read to daily. Read-aloud and Guided Reading sessions introduce students to the world of texts beyond their own reading level and give them access to ideas, places, and characters they might otherwise never meet. They also help students become familiar with story language and text structure. Students who have been read to will adopt and adapt to the language of books when they write, retell a story, share information, represent a character or event, dramatize a scene, or create a storyboard.
Guided Reading and Read AloudsPre-Reading (Introducing the Book): Parts of a book- Front Cover, Back, Spine, Pages What is a title? Where can I find it? What is an Author? Where can I find the Author? What is an Illustrator? What do you see on the front cover? What do you think this story will be about? What genre do you think this story will be?
Reading the Story The first read through: Read story aloud to students. Throughout the story, stop every once in a while do the following: • Ask prediction questions… what do you think will happen next? • Questions about the character. What do you think the character is feeling at this point in the story? • Questions about the setting of the story. • Read a page and ask students if they heard an unfamiliar word. • Go over the word and its meaning. Use an illustration if needed and then re-read the sentence to reaffirm students understanding.
Post- Reading: After reading lead a discussion to reflect student comprehension Ask questions about the parts of the story, what events happened in the beginning, middle and the end. Create a story map with class which will include all the story elements: Title, Author, Setting, Main Character, Main Idea, and Resolution Have the students create an alternate ending to the story Reflective Writing in Journals
Modifications for Multi- Level Readers:Student Created Text Using a big book or picture book with large illustrations, cover all the text allowing students to invent ideas and sentences before reading the story. Afterwards they can compare their thoughts with what was actually written. Also, covering parts of a sentence to where students may guess the word or ending is a great decoding strategy that enhances comprehension.Echo Reading Students will mimic or echo repetitive lines through out the story to participate in the read aloud experience.Student- Recorded Audio Create a tape recording of various students reading parts of a story or parts of a character to play aloud in reading center.
Dramatizing the Story Students are natural actors, so using drawings, puppets are recyclable costumes are a fun way of allowing the students to live out the story.Word Study Find unfamiliar text with students. Clap out syllables and first sound out the word, then act out or illustrate the meaning. Discuss if the word may fit into a word or rhyming family ( cat, bat, sat). Add the newly learned vocabulary to the word wall display.