Literate Environment Analysis
Dr. Gina Pink
EDUC 6706 The Beginning Reader Pre-K-3
April 14, 2014
Creating a Literacy Environment
• “When young children come to school, their knowledge about written language expands
quickly as they learn concepts about print and participate in meaningful experiences with
reading and writing”, (Tompkins, 2010, p. 111).
• Literacy environment is as effective as the teacher makes it. It is my responsibility as a
teacher, to provide a conducive learning environment for my young students. I must
keep in mind the interactive, critical, and response perspective categories of the literacy
• According to Angelillo (2008), “Classrooms are social settings. Together, students and
their teacher create their classroom community, and the type of community they create
strongly influences the learning that takes place”, (as cited by Tompkins, 2009, p. 16).
Characteristics of Literacy
• Student responsible for own learning, behavior, and contributions
• Student opportunities for reading meaningful text
• Student engages in learning activities
• Teacher demonstrates, models, and encourages literacy strategies
• Student takes risk to extend learning
• Teacher provides meaningful instruction
• Student responds to text through writing and/or conversations with peers
• Student chooses text to read, but within teacher set guidelines
• Teacher provides ample time for student reading and writing
• Teacher and student together monitor work through teacher
assessments, and student self-assessment
Literacy Environment is
• I. Getting to know my learners
• II. Selecting the right texts
• III. Implementation of literacy framework
– Interactive Perspective
– Critical Perspective
– Response Perspective
Getting to Know Your Literacy
• In order to plan lessons to meet the academic needs, but also include interest
motivators, as a teacher, it is critical to know my students’ interests, strengths
• To assess interest, I used the “Reading Interest Survey-Elementary”, (Shanker
and Cockrum, 2009, p.415), in addition to one-on-one conversation with my
Getting to Know Your Literacy
• Reading Inventories
• Running Records
• Word recognition list
• Reading interest survey
• Conversation with student
• Parent/teacher survey
• Personal reading journal
Getting to Know Your Learners
• By using cognitive and non-cognitive
assessments, these researched based practices help
evaluate and monitor student progress. In addition
to these assessments, teachers are able to learn
students’interests, as well as, their understanding of
the material being presented.
• Afflerbach’s Understanding and Using Reading
Assessment K-12, was a great tool in gaining an
understanding as to why we should assess our
students. He describes the importance in finding a
purpose for assessing our students and taking that
purpose in order to meet their individual needs.
• According to Afflerbach,“reading assessment helps
us understand the strengths and needs of each of our
students”, (Afflerbach, 2012, p.4).
• “Contemporary reading inventories can provide
information related to each of the five target areas
identified by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLM;
awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and
comprehension), as developmentally
appropriate”, (Afflerbach, 2012, pgs. 27 and 28).
• According to Dr. Hartman, (Laureate, 2010), we
must not only assess cognitively, but non-
cognitively as well. We should assess “the other”.
• “Reading Interest Survey-Elementary”, (Shanker
and Cockrum, 2009, p.415).
• By selecting engaging and appropriate texts, it
allows me to create a literate environment for
students. Through this research based
practice, the literacy matrix proved to be a
beneficial tool to use to determine levels of
difficulty for texts to meet my students’ need and
• By utilizing this practice, the literacy matrix
provided in the Analysis and Selecting Text
media clip, (Laureate,2010), it allows me, as the
teacher, to assess different texts used within
• Analyzing and Selecting Text
(Laureate, 2010), Dr. Hartman discussed the four
components of the literacy matrix, with the
addition of Dr. Almasi’s level’s of difficulty, to
determine the level of each of the text chosen to
use within the lesson.
• Four components of literacy matrix
• Texts difficulty include
– Concept density
– Text Length
– Size of Font
Dr. Douglas Hartman’s
Literacy Matrix, including
Dr. Janice Almasi’s level of
• Students’ common interest was sports, with soccer being the favorite.
I chose the following texts to address the literacy matrix components. I
have also included the online text to address growing technology in the 21st century.
Online text, Soccer Joy, by Jeremy Berlin
Literacy Lesson Interactive
• The literacy-learning objectives addressed the lack of
word analysis skills in decoding unfamiliar words and
helped build students’ comprehension and fluency of a
• In order to promote all students’ strategic processing
and metacognition, I began with a musical and visual
motivator about sports, and chose texts relating to the
• I chose to use the lesson as whole group structure, but
later divided the students into groups for a guided
reading lesson for easy assessment, and addressing the
three students’, from week two, weak areas found in the
• I was amazed how well the students tuned into the VCV
modeling, demonstrating how to use the sounds of the
letters and blending them to pronounce the unfamiliar
words they highlighted in the text.
• The students’ confidence level increased when they
were able to use the new strategies to decode unfamiliar
words during their personal recording of the story.
• “The most common causes of repetitions in a
student’s reading are similar to the causes of
omissions in reading – that is, poor word-
recognition skills, poor word-analysis skills, or poor
fluency skills. Of these, a problem with word-
recognition skills (sight vocabulary) occurs most
often. (Shanker & Cockrum, 2009, p. 113).
• According to Ms. Hilbreth’s media
reflection, visuals are important to hook our
students’interest, (Laureate, 2010).
Literacy Lesson Critical and
• The literacy-learning objectives for the chosen lesson addressed how to compare and contrast two
stories, analyze different views of the characters, and checking students’ comprehension skills by re-telling
• According to Dr. Alamsi, (Laureate, 2010), the response perspective helps students relate personally to a
given text. I opened by asking the students how they would feel if they were unable to express their side of
an argument. By using this approach, students were able to think critically, and relate personal
connections to a possible situation that may have occurred with a fellow classmate or peer.
• I chose whole group instruction, but later divided the students into smallgroups for the re-tell activity for
easy assessment. I made sure to group the three students, from week two, together to address the students’
comprehension skills. The metacognitive strategy using the Venn diagram to compare and contrast the
events in each story helped the students visually recognize similarities and differences within the two
• I included journal writing to help students think critically about texts, in addition to, reminded students the
importance of the three components, character, setting, and plot when writing.
Literacy Lesson Critical and
• “Critical literacy theorists believe that language is a means for social action and
advocate that teachers do more than teach students to read and write; students should
become agents of social change (McDaniel, 2004; Wink, 2005). This application of
sociolinguistics has a political agenda: The increasing social and cultural diversity in
American society adds urgency to resolving inequities and
injustices”, (Tompkins, 2010, p. 10).
• “Teachers can often tell if students are having difficulty comprehending by observing
their written work, their ability to answer questions, and their participation in discussions
about material read”, (Shanker & Cockrum, 2009, p. 163).
• “Effective instruction contributes to the development of students’ reading skills and
strategies, motivation, and commitment to reading” (Afflerbach, 2012, p. 7).
• “Hancock (2007) identified three types of response as students write about stories
they’re reading: immersion responses, involvement responses, and literacy
evaluation”, (Tompkins, 2010, p. 347).
Afflerbach, P. (2012). Understanding and using reading assessment, K-12 (2nd ed.). Newark,
DE: International Reading Association.
Berlin, J. (2013). Soccer joy. Retrieved from
Bildner, P. (2014). The soccer fence: a story of friendship. Putnam Juvenile.
Cline-Ransome, L. (2011). Young pele: soccer’s first star. Random House Children's Books.
Jones, J.V. (2010). Toward the goal: the kaka story. Zonderkidz .
Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Changes in literacy education. [Video file]. Retrieved from
Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Critical perspective. [Video file]. Retrieved from
Laureate Education (Producer).(n.d.). Getting to know your learners. [Video file] retrieved from
Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Perspectives on early literacy. [Video file]. Retrieved from
Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Response perspective. [Video file]. Retrieved from
Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Virtual field experience™: Strategic processing [Video file]. Retrieved from
Maccarone, G. (1994). Soccer game. Cartwheel.
Shanker. J. L. & Cockrum, W.A. (2009). Locating and correcting reading difficulties (9th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Feedback from Colleagues and Family
Members of Students
• What insights did you gain about literacy and literacy instruction from viewing
• 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 of your
• What questions do you have?