LITERATE ENVIRONMENT ANALYSISMEGAN CHARCHALISWALDEN UNIVERSITYEDUC 6706G -10: BEGINNING READER PREK -3INSTRUCTOR: DR. CASSANDRA BOSIER
WHAT IS A LITERATE ENVIRONMENT? A literate environment is engaging classroom atmosphere that provides meaningful learningexperiences while meeting the developmental andacademic needs of all learners. A variety of richtexts, instruction, and activities are provided to increase the levels of literacy learning and understanding for all students.
ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF A LITERATE ENVIRONMENT• A deep understanding of students• Appropriate Text Selection• Literacy Instruction : • Interactive • Critical • Response
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR STUDENTS Gaining an understanding of student academic ability, as well as personal experiences and interests are a key component of a literate environment. Using cognitive and non-cognitive assessments can help you to build a deep understanding of your learners and you can apply this insight to your instructional and text decisions. Examples of assessments used in my classroom: • Cognitive: letter recognition, phoneme, and sight word checklists that align to state and district standards • Non-cognitive: “All About Me” posters (posters students create that include facts or pictures about their family, likes, dislikes, pets, strengths, and hobbies ) These assessments helped me to create effective instructional practices while adhering tostudents ability levels and personal interests, all of which align to the Framework for Literacy Insruction (Walden University, 2011).
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR STUDENTSCONTINUED As Almasi (2011) suggests throughout her research, it is necessary to talk with your students about their world, interests, and cultural background in order to see how they think and learn most effectively (Laureate Education, Inc.). Using a variety of assessments will help you to gain insight into a childs academic ability and personal experiences. This knowledge will help you to provide them with the most beneficial instruction to challenge them as they become lifelong learners. Resources I used to support this research-based practice in my classroom:• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2011c). Getting to know your learners. [DVD]. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.• Walden University (2011). Framework for literacy instruction. Retrieved from http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=5700120&Survey=1&477729 097&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=1&bhcp=1
SELECTING TEXTS Text selection is a vital component of any literate environment. Incorporating a variety of texts that meet students developmental and academic needs, while adhering to their interests will help to foster a strong foundation of literacy skills.When beginning text selection, some important things to consider are:• Using a variety of texts (such as narrative, informative, and online)• Dimensions of difficulty• Literacy Matrix (a tool used to analyze text according to linguistic, versus semiotic and narrative versus informative)
SELECTING TEXTSCONTINUED Literacy Matrix Dimensions of Difficulty Semiotic (pictures)• Readability• text length Narrative Informative• text structure• size of print,• visual support Linguistic (words) (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011)
SELECTING TEXTSCONTINUEDAs Stephens (2008) suggests throughout his research, ―[Students] need to experience a variety of texts in order to progress successfully as readers and writers‖ (p. 488). Using resources such as the literacymatrix and dimensions of difficulty as presented by Dr. Hartman and Dr. Alamasi (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011) will aid in text selection. Avariety of appropriate texts will increase the levels of literacy learning in our classrooms. Resources I used to support this research-based practice in my classroom:• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2011a). Analyzing and selecting text. [DVD]. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.• Stephens, K. E. (2008). A quick guide to selecting great informational books for young children. Reading teacher, 61(6), 488–490. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
LITERACYINSTRUCTION The Framework for Literacy Instruction suggests that teacher strive to address three perspectives of learning. Incorporating these three perspectives will allow students to make deeper connections to text, while increasing their literacy learning. Interactive Response Perspective Perspective Critical Perspective
LITERACY INSTRUCTION:INTERACTIVE PERSPECTIVE When creating a literate environment we must promote studentsstrategic processing while addressing the cognitive and metacognitive needs of our students through the interactive perspective.Activities that you can use in your classroom to address this perspective: Guided Reading Groups, Read-Alouds, Modeling, Word Walls, K-W-L Charts During the above activities I am able to help my students build phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary skills; all of which will lead to their success in readingand writing. Through this learning perspective, I taught my student various reading strategies,increased their metacognition, and provided meaningful opportunities to develop their literacy skills.
INTERACTIVE INSTRUCTIONCONTINUED Incorporating the interactive perspective will help enhance student learning, while reinforcing the importance of literacy strategies. We must remember that, ―…as children practice these strategies in a group setting, they will habituate them and will transfer them to other appropriate settings independently‖ (Stahl, 2004, p. 598). Providing students with continuous opportunities to use the skills and strategies introduced will lead to a stronger, solid literacy foundation. Resources I used to support this research-based practice in my classroom:• Stahl, K. (2004). Proof, practice, and promise: Comprehension strategy instruction in the primary grades. Reading teacher, 57(7), 598-609. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.• Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
LITERACY INSTRUCTION:CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVES To build a successful literate environment, it is imperative that students are provided with opportunities to thinkcritically and to explore their own thoughts and feelings about classroom texts. Using these perspectives will allow students to connect more deeply to the text, while increasing literacy skills.• Critical Perspective: evaluate, judge, and examine texts• Response Perspective: discuss, interpret, and connect
CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVESCONTINUEDAn example of an activity used in my classroomto incorporate these perspectives of learning:Text: Little Red Hen by Amanda WheelerSetting: Whole Group read-aloudActivity:• Critical: After reading, students critically examine the intentions of the characters and author. Students share their opinion of the hen’s actions through a classroom graph.• Response: After reading, students share their opinions of the story through journaling or ―think-pair-share‖.
CRITICAL AND RESPONSE PERSPECTIVECONTINUEDAs suggested, ―reading instruction needs to empower students so they can comprehend real life situations‖ (Clyde, 2003, p.159). Incorporating these perpectives through activities thatinclude guided reading, read-aloud, and journaling can not only lead to deeper thinking, but will also lead to well-rounded readers who can read effectively and are excited to read. Resources I used to support this research-based practice in my classroom:• Clyde, J. A. (2003). Stepping inside the story world: The subtext strategy—a tool for connecting and comprehending. The Reading Teacher, 57(2), 150–160. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2011). Critical perspective. [DVD]. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.
A LITERATE ENVIRONMENT Getting to know your students Successful Literacy text Instruction selection