Literate Environment Analysis


Published on

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Literate Environment Analysis

  1. 1. Analysis of a Literate Environment Heather Myers Walden University Dr. Denise Love EDUC 6706 R-4 December 16, 2011
  2. 2. Creating a Literate EnvironmentA literate environment is one that encouragesreaders and writers to use the cognitive skillsand strategies they have acquired to critically evaluate and personally respond to text.
  3. 3. How Do I Create a Literate Environment? The environment in my classroom encourages students’ literacy in avariety of ways. I have a classroom collection of books that students haveunlimited access to. Each student has his or her own private reading andwriting spot in the classroom where they spend time daily. Students alsoparticipate in Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop daily. BothWorkshops typically begin with a mini-lesson that addresses a specific skill orstrategy. During Reading Workshop students are then involved in literacyactivities that include Silent Reading, Word Work, Response Journals, andSmall Group Reading Time. Writer’s Workshop provides students time todraft, write, edit, rewrite, and publish their own stories. Since conferencing issuch an important element in Language Arts instruction, I take time every dayto meet with individual students so that they can share with me about theirreading and writing.
  4. 4. How Do I Create A Literate Environment (continued) In the video Perspectives On Early Literacy, Dr. DorothyStrickland points out that students must be active participantsin their literacy learning experience, and their development isfed by responsive adults (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). Theenvironment in my classroom, partnered with daily Readingand Writing Workshop, allows me to spend time discussingand sharing with students as they are active participants intheir literacy development.
  5. 5. Getting to Know Your Literacy Learners Highly effective teachers differentiate literacy instruction using researchbased strategies that meet the needs of individual students in the classroom. Forstudents to be successful in their literacy development, teachers must know thestage of development at which the child is performing academically. It is equallyimportant that the teacher know about the student’s personal interests andunderstand what motivates that student to want to learn. In the video Getting toKnow Your Students, Dr. Janice Almasi reminds us that children need to feelvalued. For this to happen, teachers must get to know each student in terms oftheir interests, motivation, and background knowledge. Knowing the types ofthings that uniquely represent each student allows us to cater our instruction tothe individual (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).
  6. 6. How Do I Get To Know Literacy Learners? There are many ways to get to know students. In addition to spending time talking and sharing with students, I use a variety of reading inventories and motivation assessments to deepen my understanding of each student and guide my instruction. The assessments used for the students I worked with during this course are the following:* The Elementary Reading Attitude Survey ( McKenna & Kear, 1990)* The Motivation to Read Profile (Gambrell, Palmer, Codling, and Mazzoni, 1996)* Rigby PM Benchmark Kit: A Reading Assessment Resource for Grades K-5 (Nelley & Smith, 2000).
  7. 7. How Do I Get To Know Literacy Learners? (continued) By using these particular assessments, I am able to learnmore about how students view themselves as readers andwriters. I also gain insight into what motivates and intereststhese students so that I am able to make their learningexperiences engaging.
  8. 8. Selecting Texts Selecting texts that match individual students’ability levels and personal interests is an importantcomponent of effective literacy instruction.Teachers must provide students with a variety oftexts, both in print and digital form, so that thechildren are exposed to the different ways text canbe accessed, chosen, and utilized. Skills andstrategies for how to read, use, and comprehenddifferent texts should also be included in one’sliteracy instruction. It is important that teachersselect interesting texts that are aligned with wherea student is performing and show that student thevarious ways a particular text can enhance theirliteracy development.
  9. 9. Selecting Texts (continued) In the video Analyzing and Selecting Texts , Dr. DouglasHartman introduces a Literacy Matrix that allows teachers tomonitor the types of texts they are choosing. The Literacy Matrixworks off of continuums that address informational and narrativetext as well as whether a book is more semiotic or linguistic innature. Finally, the Literacy Matrix considers the difficulty level of atext in comparison to the students’ reading ability. These elementsof the Literacy Matrix are designed to ensure that students are beingexposed to a good balance of texts (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).In order to choose texts that will be engaging and meaningful for astudent, teachers should use what they know about the student andchoose texts with the Literacy Matrix in mind.
  10. 10. How Do I Select Texts? Selecting the appropriate texts for individual students is important. The textsthat I chose for the students I worked with during this course matched their abilitylevels and personal interests as determined by the Rigby Assessment and theMotivational Assessments given . Each of the boys in the group had previouslyexpressed an interest in penguins, so I chose one informational text, one narrativetext, and one website that all had to do with penguins. Each of these texts was alsowithin the readability range of each of the boys in the group. The informational textchosen was Penguins: Nature’s Coolest Birds by F. Stout. This text had interestinginformation about penguins as well as wonderful pictures that accompanied theinformation. The narrative text I chose for the students was A Penguin Pup forPinkerton by S. Kellogg. In this story, the children join the family of Pinkerton thedog as he longs for a penguin of his own to raise. As the author tells the story, heinfuses it with a good deal of factual information about penguins. The book alsoappealed to the boys as there was a sports element and a good deal of humorthroughout the story.
  11. 11. How Do I Select Texts? (continued) The final text I chose to use with the boys was a Penguin Fact Index thatcame from a website called Kidzone. On this site, the boys were able toread about penguins, see pictures and video footage of penguins, and dosome games and activities related to penguins. Using this site showed theboys how the internet can be used to gain information about a particulartopic. The texts I chose for the group I worked with were chosenintentionally and carefully. As I chose what texts to use, I referred to theLiteracy Matrix to make sure that I was using a balance of texts for thelessons I taught. I also wanted to make sure that I chose texts that thestudents would find informational as well as engaging. In the videoAnalyzing and Selecting Texts, Dr. Douglas Hartman reminds us that byusing what we know about students, as well as the Literacy Matrix, one isable to choose texts that match the individual learner, their needs, and thegoals you set for them to achieve (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).
  12. 12. Interactive Perspective The Interactive Perspective is designed to help students learnhow to read, comprehend, and write about a variety of texts fluidlyand with understanding. This perspective highlights strategicprocessing skills that cover phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency,comprehension, and vocabulary, also known as the Five Pillars ofLiteracy Instruction as reviewed in the video The Beginning Reader(Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). Features of writing are also anintegral part of this perspective. This perspective teaches studentsmetacognitive skills that lead them to think about the strategiesthey need to use to read and comprehend text.
  13. 13. Interactive Perspective (continued) Instructional methods used in the Interactive Perspective should“address the cognitive and affective needs of students and thedemands of the particular text” as explained in the Framework forLiteracy Instruction featured in the video Changes in LiteracyEducation (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). As Dr. Sue Bredekamppoints out in the video Developing Language and Literacy, asstudents advance in their literacy development there are times whenskills and strategies need to be taught directly, as well as times thatstudents must initiate the course their learning and understandingwill take (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).
  14. 14. Interactive Perspective (continued) The Interactive Perspective uses a variety of approaches.Some examples of such approaches are shared reading, guidedreading, read aloud, and word study. In the video InteractivePerspective: Strategic Processing the goal of the InteractivePerspective is stated as being to show students how to use theliteracy skills and strategies they have acquired to maneuverthrough text independently (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010)
  15. 15. How Did I Use The Interactive Perspective? The small group I worked with during this course participated in alearning experience that used the Interactive Perspective. The children inthe group are all currently working at the same level of ability, so thelessons were designed having taken that level of ability into consideration.This learning activity spanned over the course of four days. On Day One,we engaged in a type of Guided Reading activity using the narrative text APenguin Pup for Pinkerton by S. Kellogg where we explored the variousphonological features of words we encountered in the text. I usedobservational data, that I collected as the students worked, to assess theirfluency, decoding skills, and use of metacognitive strategies as theypredicted, read, and commented on the text.
  16. 16. How Did I Use The Interactive Perspective? (continued) On Day Two, the group used the informational text Penguins:Nature’s Coolest Birds by F. Stout to examine how to use thefeatures of informational text to read and comprehend. We alsolooked at specific vocabulary associated with penguins. Studentswere assessed on their ability to gather information about penguinsfrom the text and share facts that they learned from their reading.Day Three found the group using the Kidzone website to gatherinformation about penguins and compare and contrast it toinformation we already knew about penguins. As students worked, Iobserved students’ ability to navigate through the website to gatherinformation and made notes on their ability to do so.
  17. 17. How Did I Use The Interactive Perspective (continued) Day Four, the final day of the learning experience, had students writingan informational paragraph about penguins using the information gatheredin Days One through Three. A rubric was used to assess the students’paragraphs. The rubric specifically looked at the structure of the paragraphand the validity of the facts included in the paragraph. There were a fewdifferent goals for this learning experience. One goal was for the studentsto use cognitive skills and strategies they have in place to decode wordsthey are unfamiliar with. Another goal was for students to broaden theirknowledge of effective ways to use text features to gather andcomprehend information.
  18. 18. How Did I Use The Interactive Perspective (continued) A final goal of this learning experience using the InteractivePerspective was for students to write a well composed paragraphthat exhibited their comprehension of a particular topic. In thevideo Interactive Perspective: Read Aloud, we are reminded thatthe Interactive Perspective provides teachers with opportunitiesto use a variety of research based strategies within theirinstruction (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). The variety ofinstructional methods used during these lessons were intendedto help these students advance in their literacy development.
  19. 19. Critical Perspective The Critical Perspective examines the viewpoint that thereader has toward a particular text. According to theFramework for Literacy Instruction, the Critical Perspectiveallows students to “judge, evaluate, and think critically abouttext”. Kellie Molden summarizes the Critical Perspective in thearticle Critical Literacy, The Right Answer For The ReadingClassroom: Strategies To Move Beyond Comprehension ForReading Improvement when she points out that the CriticalPerspective encourages the reader to reflect on the text andallow themselves to be changed as a result of that text. Moldenalso challenges readers to use that reflection of the text to actand react within the world around us (2007).
  20. 20. How Did I Use The Critical Perspective? I designed a learning experience that used the Critical Perspective forthe group I was working with during this course. In this lesson we used thenarrative text A Penguin Pup for Pinkerton by S. Kellogg. The group isvery familiar with this text which means that we did not have to focus onskills covered under the Five Pillars of Literacy Instruction as reviewed inthe video The Beginning Reader (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). Instead,we will be able to focus solely on how to think critically about a text. In thelesson, the students and I began with a type of Grand Conversation asdescribed in Gail Tompkins book Literacy for the 21st Century: A BalancedApproach (2010). During this time we shared our opinions about variousfeatures of this particular text. We then moved into a form of Question-Answer- Relationship (Tompkins, 2010) activity where I asked the childrenspecific questions about the text and they each shared their thoughts andjudgments about what I was asking.
  21. 21. How Did I Use The Critical Perspective? (continued) After the students shared and debated their critical evaluations of thistext, we closed the lesson reviewing the importance of using the CriticalPerspective when they read. I assessed the students’ ability to thinkcritically about a text based on observational notes that I made. In thevideo Critical Perspective, Dr. Janice Almasi explains the importance ofteaching children to use the Critical Perspective as they read. Dr. Almasitells us that teaching students to think this way is a key component of theirliteracy development. The critical examination of text causes the reader toconsider, in depth, the meaning of the text and how it affects them and theworld around them (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).
  22. 22. Response Perspective The Response Perspective allows students to personally respond totext. Within this perspective, students are looking for ways that theyconnected to the text on a personal level. The connections may haveto do with other texts they have read, things that are going on in theworld around them, or things that have happened to them personallythat allow them to identify closely with a particular text. In the videoResponse Perspective Dr. Janice Almasi stresses the importance ofgiving students opportunities to make personal connections with textsand the characters or subject matter within them. These connectionsmade within the Response Perspective can make life changingimpressions on a reader (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).
  23. 23. How Did I Use The Response Perspective? The final lesson that I did with the group I had been working withduring this course involved the Response Perspective. Responding to text issomething that we do in class often. Part of the students’ Reader’sWorkshop deals with reader response activities, so the ResponsePerspective is one that this group is very familiar with. In this responselesson, the group was asked to recall the book A Penguin Pup for Pinkertonby S. Kellogg and think specifically about Pinkerton and his thoughts andfeelings throughout the book. Together we went through the text page bypage and the children shared their ideas about what Pinkerton was thinkingand feeling. I then asked the students if they could identify with any ofPinkerton’s thoughts and emotions. The children were given time to sharepersonal connections they were making to Pinkerton and the differentemotions he felt as they story was told.
  24. 24. How Did I Use The Response Perspective? (continued) At the close of the lesson, I told the students that they weregoing to write their personal responses to the text. Since this groupof students sometimes has difficulty getting started with theirwriting, I gave them a list of response prompts to choose from. Onceeach child chose a prompt, a personal response to the text waswritten. I assessed the children’s ability to make personalconnections to a given text based on observational notes madethroughout our discussion and based on the personal responses thatwere written.
  25. 25. Promoting Literacy Development Highly effective teachers create environments where students aresurrounded by literacy opportunities. These teachers use instructionalmethods that employ the Interactive, Critical, and Response Perspectives toenhance student learning. It is important that teachers take time to get toknow their students both academically and personally as this knowledgewill play a major role in the texts that are selected for each child’s learningexperiences. In the video Perspectives on Literacy Learning teachers arereminded that our main goals should be to teach children how to read, howto think while they are reading, and how to respond to the text in ways thatrepresent what the text means to them and who they are (LaureateEducation, Inc., 2010).
  26. 26. How Do I Promote Literacy? In my classroom, I promote literacy in many different ways. Through myinstructional practices, I use research based approaches to create learningexperiences that are engaging and meaningful in terms of students’ literacydevelopment. The time that we spend in Reading and Writing Workshopprovides independent and shared literacy experiences for the students. Also,being able to conference with students one on one allows me to not onlyassess their growth academically; but, it gives me insight into their interestsand the things that motivate them to want to learn. As Dr. DorothyStrickland reminds us in the video Perspectives on Early Literacy (LaureateEducation, Inc., 2010), a large part of a child’s literacy development isbuilding a sense of who they are and how they fit in the world. I can thinkof no greater gift than to know that I contributed to a child’s realization thatthey are valued and important.
  27. 27. ReferencesGambrell, L.B., Palmer, B.M., Codling, R.M., & Mazzoni, S.A. (1996). Assessing motivation to read. The Reading Teacher, 49(7), 518-533.Kellog, S. (2001). A penguin pup for Pinkerton. New York, NY: Dial Books for Young Readers.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Analyzing and selecting texts {Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Changes in literacy education {Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Critical perspective {Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Developing language and literacy {Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Getting to know your students {Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Interactive perspective: Read aloud {Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Interactive perspective: Strategic processing Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Perspectives on early literacy {Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.
  28. 28. References (continued)Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Perspectives on literacy learning {Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Response perspective {Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). The beginning reader {Webcast}. The beginning reader, PreK-3. Baltimore, MD: Author.McKenna, M.C. & Kear, D.J. (1990). Measuring attitude toward reading: A new tool for teachers. The Reading Teacher, 43 (9), 626-639.Nelley, E., Smith, A. (2000). Rigby PM benchmark kit: A reading assessment resource for grades K- 5. Melbourne, Australia: Nelson.Penguin Fact Index. Retrieved from, F. (2009). Penguins: Nature’s coolest birds. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group.Tompkins, G. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.