<ul>“ If books could have more, give more, be more, show more, they would still need readers who bring to them sound and smell and light and all the rest that can’t be in books. The book needs you.” -Gary Paulsen </ul>
Get to Know Your Learners <ul><li>Tap into your students' backgrounds and interests to discover ways to evaluate their needs and help connect them to texts (Laureate Education, 2010).
Use a variety of informal and formal assessments to determine areas of strength and need in literacy development. </li></ul>
Get to Know MY Learners My Analysis <ul><li>Getting to know my students is helping me create a literate environment as I am more in tune to each student's background and interests, which allows me to draw them into group discussions, and steer them toward texts they are likely to enjoy. Getting to know my students is also helping me offer meaningful guidance toward writing. When students claim they don't know what to write about – I am able to offer suggestions based on things I know about them and experiences they have shared with me.
While it is easy to get wrapped up in the academic pressures in education, it is important not to lose sight of the main focus of teaching, which is the students , as opposed to merely subjects or grades . Showing students that I care about them as individuals makes them feel significant and the payoff leads to mutually respectful relationships. In most cases, students work harder for people they respect; they want to please. Also, the non-academic aspect of teaching often makes a lasting impression on students. </li></ul>
Selecting Texts . <ul>Ensure balanced literacy experiences by exposing students to a variety of texts and genres. Teach students the necessary strategies and skills to read expository texts, which differ from narrative texts. Proficiency in comprehending informational text will help students build the enduring skills necessary to be successful in school, work, community, and everyday life (Maranak & Gambrell, 2008). </ul>
Selecting Texts My Analysis I am incorporating a lot more expository text into my instruction so that students are familiar with how to read non-fiction text, and to appreciate its purpose. I frequently expose students to piles of non-fiction books so they can explore and discuss the features, while they enjoy learning a variety of new information. When students understand how authors organize and present their ideas in texts, they can apply what they learned about genres, text structures and features in their own writing (Tompkins, 2010). Second grade students are expected to write non-fiction, which is another reason it is important that they understand the genre's features. Proficiency in comprehending informational text will help students build the enduring skills necessary to be successful in school, work, community, and everyday life (Maranak & Gambrell, 2008).
Interactive Perspective What is it? <ul><li>Reading and writing accurately, fluently, and with comprehension
Being strategic and metacognitive readers and writers
Instructional methods address the cognitive and affective needs of students, and the demands of a particular text.
Promotes students’ independent use of reading strategies and skills </li></ul>( Laureate Education, 2010) .
Interactive Perspective My Analysis Keeping in mind that although many of my young students are still learning decoding skills and aren't yet independently reading deep chapter books or informational texts, they are still very capable of thinking critically and I need to foster those skills. During read aloud, I model critical thinking and encourage students to share their thoughts, predictions and ideas. I push students to higher level thinking through prompts and questions (Stahl, 2004). I am finding that when students are working without me – their discussions are more thoughtful and purposeful.
Critical Perspective What is it? <ul><li>Judging, evaluating, and thinking critically about text (Laureate Education, 2010) . </li></ul>
Critical Perspective My Analysis I have been helping students recognize different perspectives in texts and to provide them time to reflect and discuss, which promotes critical thinking. As a result, the students are becoming more comfortable sharing their emotions and connections to a text; they are less inhibited. We discuss themes, story elements, predictions, and authors' purposes. My seven-year old students are capable of pretty powerful thinking when given the time and the space to do so.
Response Perspective What is it? <ul><li>Reading, reacting, and responding to text in a variety of meaningful ways.
Provides opportunities for students to read, react, and generate personal responses to text.
Response Perspective My Analysis My students are keeping reading response journals where they reflect on texts we read. This practice is allowing them to see that even though we all read the same book, we each approach the text in our own way – and that's okay. They are learning that their ideas/thoughts are just as important as anyone else's and that's a valuable lesson in itself. Our class discussions are becoming increasingly meaningful and interesting. My students surprise me, enlighten me and make me proud each day!
<ul>“ The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” -Dr. Seuss </ul>
References Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Changes in Literacy [ Webcast ] . The Beginning Reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD. Marinak, B., & Gambrell, L. B. (2008). Elementary Informational Text Instruction: A Research Review. International Journal of Learning , 15(9), 75-83. Retrieved from EBSCO host . Molden, K. (2007). Critical literacy, the right answer for the reading classroom: Strategies to move beyond comprehension for reading improvement. Reading I Improvement, 44(1), 50–56. Stahl, K. (2004). Proof, practice, and promise: Comprehension strategy instruction in the primary grades. Reading Teacher , 57(7), 598-609. Retrieved from EBSCO host . Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.).