Literate Environment Analysis Created by Lisa Speed Walden University EDUC 6706 The Beginning Reader, PreK-3 Professor Donna Bialach
Creating a Literate EnvironmentT h r e e E s s e n t ia l A s p e c t s o f a L it e r a t e E n v ir o n m e n t• Getting to know your literacy learners• Selecting appropriate texts• Literacy instruction: Interactive Perspective Critical Perspective Response Perspective
Getting to Know Your Literacy LearnersIt is not what we are teaching, but rather who we are teaching (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008a)
Getting to Know Literacy Learners G e t t in g t o k n o w o u r lit e r a c y le a r n e r s is a c r u c ia l f ir s t s t e p t o w a r d s h e lp in g t h e m b e c o m e a lif e lo n g lit e r a t e s t u d e n t . Understanding literacy learners includes the use of cognitive and non-cognitive assessments.Cognitive Assessments Non-Cognitive AssessmentsRunning Records Reading SurveyReading Inventory Student Interest InterviewSpelling Inventory Anecdotal NotesPhonemic awareness JournalPhonics Conversation
Getting to Know Literacy Learners AnalysisGetting to know my students is a priority for me as an educator. In order to meet the needs of my diverse literacy learners, utilizing cognitive and non-cognitive assessments provided me with valuable insight into my kindergarten students’ interests and literacy levels. Engaging in meaningful informal observation by having lunch with my small group of learners, I was able to gain insight into my students’ interests. Spending purposeful time with my students, whether formally or informally, resulted in a clear and better understanding of who my literacy learners are as individuals. Using gathered data, instructional levels were determined. Based on the needs of my students, instruction was adjusted and enhanced to meet the learning goals of all my literacy learners.
Getting to Know Literacy Learners Research Tompkins (2010) suggests, “Understanding how students learn, and particularly how they learn to read and write, influences the instructional approaches teachers use” (p.5).Afflerbach (2007) reminds us that learners “have life interests that can be founded and extended through reading, with interests that can influence a reader’s stance toward a reading task” (p. 156).
Selecting Appropriate Texts When selecting engaging texts, Tompkins (2010) suggests that students are, “more likely to become engaged with reading and writing when they expectto be successful, when they work collaboratively with classmates, when they’re competent readers and writers, and when they have opportunities to make choices and develop ownership of their work” (p. 278).
Selecting Appropriate Texts Utilizing the Literacy Matrix (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008c) assists in choosing texts that meet learning goals and the individual needs of literacy learners.Analyzing text to determine which quadrant the text falls, (narrative/ semiotic, informative/semiotic, narrative/linguistic, informative/linguistic) provides educators with useful information when selecting text to meet student needs (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008c). Being mindful of where each text falls on the continuum helps educators find a balance in the types of texts being chosen.
Selecting Appropriate Texts Difficulty ConsiderationsWhen selecting text, several considerations must be made to ensure the text is appropriate for the literacy learner. • Read Ability • Text Length • Text Structure • Size of Print • Visual Supports
Selecting Appropriate Texts AnalysisUnderstanding the crucial significance of selecting appropriate texts for my students, utilizing gained knowledge along with the Literacy Matrix, I was able to select meaningful texts for my literacy learners. With my students in mind, selecting texts that fell in the informative/ semiotic quadrant provided picture support to help my young learners build content vocabulary and construct meaning within the text (Tompkins, 2010). Being mindful of the difficulty considerations and using the valuable literacy tool guided my decisions when selecting texts to meet my students’ needs and promote learning. Providing my young literacy learners with engaging informational texts, opportunities to make choices, and time to write collaboratively with others, promoted learning, met learning goals, and stimulated motivation(Laureate Education, Inc., 2008b). ResearchDr. Hartman reminds educators that using the Literacy Matrix provides an opportunity to find a balance when choosing texts as well as checking if the text fits the learning goals (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008c).
Framework for Literacy Instruction Utilizing the Literacy Framework provides educators with a guideline to help our students become literate learners by creating effective lessons with appropriately selected texts (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008c).We must know: We can then use:• Learners Interactive Perspective• Texts Critical Perspective• Instructional Response Perspective Practices
Literacy Instruction Interactive Perspective The interactive perspective focuses on teaching our literacy learners how to read. In addition, we want our learners to be strategic and metacognitive readers and writers. LearnersEducators need to use a variety of assessments both cognitive and non- cognitive to determine areas of strength and need. TextsSelect texts that are of appropriate types and levels of difficulty to meet students’ literacy goals and needs. Instructional PracticesEducators must use instructional practices to promote students’ independent use of reading strategies and skills. (Walden, 2011)
Literacy Instruction Interactive Perspective AnalysisWorking with a small group of literacy learners, I was able to implement an effective literacy lesson focusing on the interactive perspective. Utilizing a variety of informative assessments, gained understanding of my young literacy learners’ strengths and needs became apparent. Determining the appropriate instructional level as well as my students’ interest in non-fiction material, I was able to select appropriate texts that met literacy goals and needs. Using instructional methods to meet my kindergarteners’ beginning reading level, foundational reading and comprehension strategies along with content vocabulary, were successfully practiced and reinforced. Incorporating strategic processing within the lesson afforded my students with the opportunity to think on their own. The interactive perspective allowed me to create an effective lesson that focused on teaching my students how to read and think strategically, thus it ultimately promoted student independence.
Literacy Instruction Interactive Perspective ResearchDr. Almasi reminds educators that we are not only teaching our students how to read, but how to become strategic thinkers. The strategic process is threaded through the five pillars. Furthermore, Almasi suggests that the ultimate goal of the interactive perspective is to teach children how to become literate learners who can work their way through the world of text independently (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008d).
Literacy Instruction Critical PerspectiveThe critical perspective focuses on teaching our literacy learners how to think critically about the text. It also involves evaluating and making judgments about the validity of a text (Laureate Education, 2008e). LearnersEducators need to know what matters to students. It is important to understand the learner as a unique individual. Texts Texts must be selected that provide opportunities for students to think critically, evaluate, and judge the text. Instructional PracticesEducators need to foster a critical stance by teaching students how to think critically, evaluate, and judge the text. (Walden, 2011)
Literacy Instruction Critical Perspective AnalysisCreating a lesson for my group of literacy learners that included the critical perspective, positive results were observed. Implementing a lesson focused on citizenship, the appropriate selected text about how we speak to others, provided several opportunities to identify with the text and think critically about personal choices. Students discussed the impact their words make on others around home, school, and the community abroad. Providing guidance, students learned how to evaluate the author’s writing and analyze the author’s intent for writing the book. Successfully, students gained a deeper understanding of the choices they make by engaging in the critical thinking process. ResearchDr. Almasi suggests that, engaging in the critical perspective students can examine the text critically then think more deeply about that text (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008e).
Literacy Instruction Response Perspective The response perspective focuses on teaching our literacy learners how to read, react, connect, and respond to text in meaningful ways (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008f). Learners Educators need to know students’ interests and identities. Furthermore, we need to understand what matters to them. TextsSelect texts that connect to students’ identities and may provoke an emotional or personal response. Instructional Practices Students need to be provided with many opportunities to read, connect personally, and respond to texts. (Walden, 2011)
Literacy Instruction Response Perspective AnalysisTeaching a lesson about citizenship to my young literacy learners provided many opportunities to engage in the response perspective. Kindergarten students are aware and sensitive to the types of words used towards them personally. Choosing a citizenship book focused on the types of words that are helpful and hurtful, students made personal connections which ignited a meaningful discussion. They identified with this selected text. My students successfully connected to the content and responded to open-ended questions with personal relevant information. Furthermore, students wrote in their response journals with personal experiences that were moving and touching to the reader. ResearchDr. Almasi states that educators can provide literacy experiences that allow students to connect to a text on a personal level. It is not enough to just know their interests, in order to help them become literate learners we must know what types of texts move our students. (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008f).
Literate Environment Analysis Feedback from Colleagues and Parents• 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?
ReferencesAfflerbach, P. (2007). Understanding and using reading assessment. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Laureate Education, Inc., (2008a). Reading inventories. [Video Webcast].The beginning reader, pre-K-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc., (2008b). Assessing writing development. [Video Webcast]. The beginning reader, pre-K-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc., (2008c). Analyzing and selecting texts. [Video Webcast].The beginning reader, pre-K-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc., (2008d). Interactive perspective: Strategic Processing. [Video Webcast]. The beginning reader, pre-K-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc., (2008e). Critical Perspective. [Video Webcast]. The beginning reader, pre-K-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc., (2008f). Response Perspective. [Video Webcast]. The beginning reader, pre-K-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.