Tuesday, April 10, 2012
By allowing students to write about characters that they know, they will have storage of stories and have an even greater capacity to expand upon these stories and themes. When children bring their toys to school, they will be able to use their play to translate to their writing and story telling. It may seem like a stretch to some, but if students are given the opportunity to have their toys with them while they write, the play will encourage imagination in writing and elicit excitement for getting the students' thoughts down onto paper.
So release the fears and start integrating children's outside lives into their school lives with writing inspired by play!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
The ambiguity of language is a main point that should be adressed, and this idea that the words from a poem and the way that they are combined and arranged can mean very different things to different people, will show my students that differences exist in the understandings that they each have, but no interpretation is the correct one. No one will know what exactly a poem is saying unless they are the poet, therefore bringing up the magic of this type of literature. It carries with it the facility to unify a classroom through shared dialogue that brings mutual understandings that everyone is unique in but valued for their interpretation of poetry, and therefore unique in and valued for their culture, beliefs, appearances, and other realms of differences.
Having said that, the ways that poetry can be incorporated into a classroom are many: one of these ways is through choral reading. A teacher can give an example of how a poem can be read aloud and then spur conversation on how this poem can be read as a class, emphasizing word volume, speed, and pauses that are important to the meaning of the poem. Students can then break into groups and decide in their groups how they will perform a poem of their choice. Once again, confidence in feeling proud of themselves will come from this activity, and it will promote the ability to work as a team and include each students' input in the final product.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Passionate, intentional teachers have the desire to fulfill their students' literacy lives by implementing developmentally appropriate activities into the curriculum. They want actiives that will inspire children to use the resources that they have around them to attmept the usage of challenging words and invent spelling and conventions as they progress on their journey to correct conventional writing.
The harsh pressure to reach certain skills by certain times may actually be hindering the stduents abilities to reach those goals becasue teachers feel pressure to reach these goals by taking a path that they do not believe in. The question is, where to go when there are two (often times more) different angles coming towards you about how to promote literacy. Teachers and administration need to work together to form a combination of discources that fit their school environment and individual students.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
As many of us know and something I have previously mentioned in this blog is that it is oh so common to instruct children to "sound it out." What this phrase actually means can be dissected into various strategies like chunking and using the first letter of a word to figure out what the word is. When a word like "this" or "know" come into a reading, without previous memorization a child will not be able to simply "sound it out." This is when a child can turn to the strategy of filling in the blanks with a word that makes sense.
Using context clues can often be the most powerful method for students to use when learning more complicated words. This strategy also encourages reading comprehension, which is the true reason for achieving fluency and accuracy, right?
Encourage children to become investigators and detectives as they discover unknown words! Through practice, this strategy will become natural and students will be able to much more accurately identify unknown words and reach higher levels of comprehension.
Monday, February 20, 2012
This "out" that I am referring to is called leveling. Leveling is when texts are matched to readers based on the level that the student has tested into through generic assessments. Some of the leveling programs take many factors into account in these assessments, but many are based strictly on oral reading accuracy. How many of you think that reading level is based only on a child's ability to accurately and fluently read out loud?
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
This is a question that a cultural model has left us to not ask. We have grown up being told this and this is the same instruction that we are continuing to give to out students, even though it is not the most effective. Studies have shown that the strategy of sounding it out by using individual letters or chunks of recognizable sounds are not truly the strategies that children naturally use. As teachers fostering the minds of these young children, we want to keep them from making as many mistakes as possible in their journey to reading. Common struggles that readers fall into when instructed to "sound it out" are the following:
-Recognizing the first letter of a word and replacing it with a different word that starts with that same letter
-Taking the context of a story and replacing a word with a word that has similar meaning
-Using the incorrect structure of a word
-Replacing a word with one that looks similar but may have a few different letters
-Asking for help to solve an unknown word
-Using individual letter sounds to come up with a word's whole sound
-Using chunks of words to come up with a word's whole sound
These are struggles that we need to identify in chidren and can word to steer away from by coming up with new, more beneficial strategies to help them. We need to be innnovative and rethink, rephrase, and reconsider the methods we are using.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Health and Beauty
Head (of lettuce)
These and other terms can expand a child's creative thinking and allow them opportunity to develop more complex thoughts and participate in more mature conversations. Including our children in talk while we shop at a market will open their minds to vocabulary that may seem simple and obvious to us, but is wonderfully new to them.
Many of the conversations that were happen on visits to supermarkets are filled with questions and answers. Questions about the locations of items, questions about what one or another person wants for dinner, and commonly asked by children, requests for specific items on the shelves.
These requests come from a child's understanding of environmental print. Children have been previously exposed to labels and logos and through commercials and advertisements, they have developed a desire for, but more importantly an understanding of what those labels and logos are symbolizing. In their requests for items that are special to them, they are showing how they have created meaning in their environment, and through more exposure to and discussion of the activities and items surrounding them, they will have the knowledge to create even more meaning.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Is the written and spoken language that Tan's main character is literate of the only literacy that he has though? Could the meaning that he is making of the world around him be a form of literacy?
This is a question that we can use in a classroom to build up our value of the different forms of literacy that children could possess. Different classrooms are likely to have children with a variety of first languages, and the literacies that can be universal through the classroom, like picture understanding, can be utilized to create a connectedness in understanding by every student. Being able to appreciate literacy that focuses on meaning making is a broader way to view what literacy is and what different forms of it have the capacity to do by creating mutual understanding.