It is imperative that teachers find out about the ideas, issues, and problems that matter to students, as their home experiences greatly impact their literacy and language development (Walden University, 2012).
By delving deeper into the students’ cognitive and noncognitive aspects as literacy learners as well as their literacy autobiographies (motivation, attitude, beliefs, identities, and interests), I am now in a better position to scaffold their language acquisition and literacy development.
Learning to read and write is more challenging for the English language learners (ELLs) because they are learning to speak English at the same time they are developing literacy (Tompkins, 2010).
Although the ELLs benefit from participating in the same instructional programs that mainstream students do, I need to adapt these programs to create classroom learning contexts that respect them and meet their needs (Tompkins, 2010).
By understanding the learners as unique individuals, I need to use a variety of informal and formal assessments to determine their areas of strengths and needs in literacy development (Walden University, 2012).
It is more challenging to assess English learners than native English speakers, because when students are not proficient in English, their scores do not accurately reflect what they know (Tompkins, 2010).
Using assessments well, demands my knowledge and vigilance (Afflerback, 2007). All of my work in reading assessments must be guided by a detailed understanding and definition of what reading is and a clear conceptualization of reading assessments (Afflerback, 2007).
Reading assessments help me to construct understanding of how students are developing as readers and also provide critical information to make important instructional decisions.
Assessment of word knowledge is critical to planning developmentally appropriate literacy experiences (Laureate Education Inc., 2007a). I now understand that the purposes, timing and focus of an evaluation affect its form (NBPTS, 2002).
Exposing children to a variety of texts stimulates their development of background knowledge, vocabulary, and comprehension skills (Stephens, 2008).
I need to select texts that connect to students identities and/or interests and that have the potential to evoke an emotional or personal response (Walden University, 2012).
Although texts today come in many forms, from printed books to digital media, their structures, types, genres, and difficulty levels need to match the literacy goals and objectives of the literacy learners (Walden University, 2012).
I need to determine texts of the appropriate types and levels of difficulty to meet the literacy goals and objectives for students (Walden University, 2012). However, with an abundance of children’s books on any topic and in every genre available in the market, making good choices can be a dilemma for teachers and students (Stephens, 2008).
As young children need to experience a variety of texts in order to progress successfully as readers and writers, I should include texts in all genres that provide them with the opportunities to judge, evaluate, think critically, and experience broader language growth (Walden University, 2012).
If struggling readers are to increase both the quantity and quality of their reading, they need reading materials that they can read and will want to read (Rog & Kropp, 2012).
While capable readers often have a wide range of reading interests, and can access texts in a variety of genres and levels of difficulty, struggling readers tend to be more narrowly focused both in terms of interest and ability (Rog & Kropp, 2012).
Finding the "right books" for these students is essential for them to build both confidence and proficiency.
The key is linking reading material to the things that interest the students and providing them with books that they can and want to read. (Rog & Kropp, 2012).
The interactive perspective is mostly concerned with teaching students how to read and to be strategic and metacognitive processors, thinkers, readers, and writers (Laureate Education Inc., 2010).
For students to become effective, lifelong readers, they must have both the skill and the will to read (Johns & Lenski, 2010).
By using this perspective, I teach students how to read and write accurately, fluently, and with comprehension (Walden University, 2012).
By using a variety of informal and formal assessments, I am able to determine areas of strength and needs of students in literacy development (Walden University, 2012).
By determining texts of the appropriate types and levels of difficulty, I meet the literacy goals and objectives for students (Walden University, 2012).
By using instructional methods that address the cognitive and affective needs of students and the demands of the particular texts, I promote their independent use of reading strategies and skills (Walden University, 2012).
By understanding the unique needs of the ELLs, I recognize the essential ways in which I must adapt lessons and assessments (Herrell & Jordan, 2008).
The critical perspective teaches students to critically examine, evaluate, judge, and interpret texts in multiple ways (Laureate Education Inc., 2010).
This perspective fosters a critical stance by teaching students how to judge, evaluate, and think critically about texts (Walden University, 2012).
The response perspective allows students the opportunity to read, experience, react, and formulate personal responses to texts in meaningful ways (Laureate Education Inc., 2010).
When using the Response perspective during my instruction, I select texts that connect to students identities and/or interests and that have the potential to evoke an emotional or personal response (Walden University, 2012).
By using a combination of both, the Critical and Response perspectives, I understand my students as unique individuals. I am also able to delve deeper into what matters to them, their interests, identities, ideas, issues, and problems (Walden University, 2012).
By providing transformative experiences for students, teachers promote and honor their personal responses to text, challenge them to think critically and be responsive to what they read, recognize and respect the value of critical thinking and responsive skills and introduce them early on, in the educational process (Schneider, 2002).
Afflerbach, P. (2007). Understanding and Using Reading Assessment. International ReadingAssociation, Inc.Herrell, A., & Jordan, M. (2008). 50 strategies for teaching English language learners (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.Johns, L. J., & Lenski, S. D. (2010). Improving Reading. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2007a). Assessing word knowledge [Video webcast]. The beginning reader. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education Inc. (Producer). (2010). Perspectives on literacy learning. [DVD]. Baltimore, MDLaureate Education Inc. (Producer). (2010). Perspectives on literacy learning. [DVD]. Baltimore, MD
National Board Professional Teaching Standards. (2002). What teachers should know and be able to do. Retrieved from http://www.nbpts.org/UserFiles/File/what_teachers.pdfRog, L., & Kropp, P. (2012, July 14). Hooking Struggling Readers: Using Books They Can and Want to Read. Reading Rockets. Retrieved from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/374/Schneider, V. (2002). Critical Thinking in the Elementary Classroom: Problems and Solutions. Educators Publishing Service. Retrieved from http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/downloads/articles/critical_thin king-schneider.pdf
Stephens, K. E. (2008). A quick guide to selecting great informational books for young children. The Reading Teacher, 61(6), 488–490.Tompkins, G.E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Walden University. (2011). Framework for Literacy Instruction. Walden University, Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership. Minneapolis, MN