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What is Literacy?

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Crystal Howes

on 26 July 2014

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Transcript of What is Literacy?

How do you define literacy?
Until the late 19th century, the term literate meant to be familiar with literature or to be well educated (The Free Dictionary).

Traditionally literacy is defined as the ability to read and write. We know that it is much more.

Our definition of literacy is the ability to read and write as well as comprehend, analyze, and think critically about the information you are reading and writing (Sensenbaugh, 1990). Literacy is about learning different comprehension strategies and using those strategies as tools throughout life. Literacy does not only refer to reading and writing, but also to technological and social aspects as well. Past experiences affect literacy and it evolves with the guidance of teachers and parents.
How literacy is incorporated into different types of classrooms
Though we all teach different grades, subjects, and children with varying needs we can all agree on particular ways to incorporate literacy into the classroom. We must realize the importance of using methods that pique our students' interests and develop a love of literacy.

Here are some examples:
Free reading time
Word Walls
Use of technology
Read alouds
Physical activity (i.e. clap, chant)
Definition of literacy
The role of literature in literacy?
Literature goes hand in hand with literacy because it shows students the function and utility of language with an intentional and purposeful way. Using literature helps expand students’ vocabulary, shows proper sentence structure, helps with phonics, and models how to put words together. Pictures in children’s books also help the child match words to the picture to figure out what is happening.
Types of literacies students will experience in today's society
Students will encounter several types of literacy in today's society. With ever changing technologies constantly emerging, the most important thing we can do as teachers is to help children learn how to learn the new technologies of literacy.

Here are some examples of today's literacies:

Online articles
Data bases for research
Online learning communities
What is Literacy?
Presented by: Crystal Howes, Veronica White, Ashish Kaur, Andrea Koenig, Kelsey Kuper, Erika Mccartin, and Megan Milne
Teachers should read aloud in order to model fluency and inflection. We must put emphasis on the importance of reading, writing, and speaking for gaining literacy. Teachers must be aware of how to choose the right materials for their students, especially for students with varying abilities. Students must be engaged and interested to take anything away from the material. We must allot time for daily reading and writing activities. Using literature is the best and most effective way to achieve literacy. Literacy is a vital life skills and will help students perform simple tasks in their everyday life such as reading instruction booklets, recipes, labels, signs, etc.
Important types of literacy
Functional literacy-basic literacy (Reading, writing, speaking, print, magazines, encyclopedias, etc)
Cultural literacy-literacy to understand cultures (Different cultures perceive certain words differently)
Technology literacy-literacy to understand technology effectively (internet articles, e-books, blogs, search engines)
Mathematical literacy- mastery of basic symbols and arithmetic (learning websites, reading a Math fiction book, completing Math homework on paper)
Literacy Web
21st Century Literacies
“Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies.”
“These literacies—from reading online newspapers to participating in virtual classrooms—are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities and social trajectories of individuals and groups. Twenty-first century readers and writers need to

• Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
• Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
• Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
• Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
• Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
• Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments” (National Council of Teachers of English, 2008).
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