Dr. Martha Moore, Instructor
EDUC 6706: The Beginning Reader, PreK–3
January 12, 2014
Educating and guiding students to read and become fluent readers is a life changing experience for the students. Increasing literacy skills in students prepares them for academic and professional careers. Educators must reflect on their own teaching practices and implementation of intervention strategies to meet the needs of all children while taking into account of their individual reading readiness: emergent, beginner, and transitional. As educators are implementing strategies and teaching practices, they are creating a literate environment that is conducive to all readers.
The Framework for Literacy Instruction is rubric that allows an educator to self-evaluate current literacy instruction. The Response Perspective for learners is an area of strength. At the beginning of school, getting to know you activities are used to gain information and understanding of students’ likes and dislikes. This includes revealing their favorite subject, color, hobby, or book. In addition to the information gained from the beginning of school, student consults are completed to learn information about students’ literary experiences. Students are asked about what kind of books they like to read, do they have anyone at home to help them with reading, and a very important question asked is if students have books at home. Many students that come from low income families share that they do have books at home, and these students are struggling readers. It is important to supply these students with a variety of text that interest them and motivates them to read. Students also need a “volume of reading,” to enlarge their world, increase their vocabulary and foster fluency (including texts and books beyond school and classroom assignments) (Expeditionary Learning, 2013).
An area to improve in creating a literate environment for students is Critical Perspective for instructional practices. In this area, teachers are modeling and guiding students to think critically about text through making judgments and evaluations about texts. Often students expect the answer to a question to jump out from a page rather than re-reading the text, processing the text that was read, and analyzing the information to provide a response. As the world changes with technological and informational advances, students need to develop and define skills in obtaining, understanding, analyzing, and sharing information (Schneider, 2002). To improve in this area, there are some strategies to implement into instruction that will guide students and help them in gaining knowledge in these needed skills. One method to promote critical thinking is to have students compare and contrast a variety of objects. Most anything can be compared and contrasted with another object. This activity provides students with the opportunity to view objects or even people with a different perspective than they normally would.
Reading instruction is currently planned according to the district pacing guide and framework performance tasks. Harcourt Trophies is the selected basal for the school district. Students are assigned a weekly story along with vocabulary and spelling words aligned to the story. Resources are limited, this results in a variety of texts being limited to addressing student interest. Strickland (Laureate Education, n.d.) addresses the issue of students bringing background knowledge while reading text and making connections. If resources are limited, students’ background knowledge and experiences may be just as limited.
Creating a literate environment for students is a very important responsibility for educators. In addition to teaching basic fundamental reading skills, educators must instill a desire to read within students. Completing research, implementing and applying new methods into instruction will...
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