Literacy teachers of young children often find themselves struggling to match their personal philosophpy with the mandates of their state, district, or school. Tests like ISTEP and IREAD have strict skill based requirements that children must be able to meet by the middle of the third grade. Up until this point, teachers are required to give assessments based on skills and conventions that will lead the students to do well on these tests.
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.