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Getting to Know Literacy Learners P-3

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Mary Boland

on 20 October 2013

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Transcript of Getting to Know Literacy Learners P-3

Literate Environment
Selecting Texts
Selecting the right text is the first step in motivating a student. As Tompkins (2009) explained, motivation plays a huge role in the success of students.

Dr. Douglas Hartmen (Laureate Education Inc., 2012b) described the text selection process by using a matrix. He explained that a given text is generally linguistic or semiotic and narrative or informational. It is imperative to have a balance of texts in any literate environment.

Literacy Lesson: Interactive Perspective
The interactive perspective deals with teaching students to read and write fluently. Interactive perspective also entails that students comprehend the information that they are reading.
Many strategies can be used to ensure comprehension of a text:
activating prior knowledge- KWL charts, anticipation charts
connecting- readers relate what they are reading to their own background
drawing inferences- readers use clues to "read between the lines"
questioning- readers ask themselves questions pertaining tot he text
summarizing- readers paraphrase the main events
visualizing- readers mentally picture events in a text
Literacy Lesson: Critical and Response Perspective
Janice Almasi defined the critical perspective as the ability to think cognitively about a given text. The critical perspective requires a student to think examine the text and think critically about the author (Laureate Education Inc., 2013c).
Robert Vacca described the response perspective as the opportunity to see what students know, think they know or do not know, and allowing students to construct knowledge (Laureate Education Inc., 2013d).
Now I need your feedback:
What insights did you gain about literacy and literacy instruction from viewing this presentation?
How might the information presented change your literacy practices and/or your literacy interactions with students?
In what ways can I support you in the literacy development of your students or children? How might you support me in my work with students or your children?
What questions do you have?
Getting to Know Literacy Learners P-3
Assessments allow educators to gather meaningful information regarding individual students (Tompkins, 2010).
Assessments pertain to cognitive and non-cognitive learning.
To create a literate learning environment, the Georgia RESA Assessment of Student Progress was used (Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA), 2013). This cognitive assessment was used to test students' fluency and comprehension skills.
Attitude surveys, reading self concept scale, interest surveys, and so on serve to assess the non-cognitive aspect of a student. These assessments are all used to identify with a student as an individual.
A self concept scale was used to create a literate learning environment.
Cognitive Assessments:
Reading inventories gather information pertaining to an individual student's independent, instructional, and frustration reading level (Afflerbach, 2012).
GRASP tests gather information pertaining to comprehension and fluency (Regional Educational Service Agency, 2013).
STAR testing gathers information regarding reading levels, lexile levels, progress, and so on (Renaissance Learning, 2013).
Non-Cognitive Assessments
Interest inventories serve to guide the educator to plan reading units that pertain to students' interests (Afflerbach, 2012). Using students' interests to plan a unit can positively influence student reading (Afflerbach, 2012).
Reading attitude surveys allow an educator to determine self concept of the reader or how the reader perceives themselves in the area of literacy. These surveys are beneficial when determining the next steps for struggling readers.
Dr. Hartmen (Laureate Education Inc., 2013b) Literacy Matrix

Literate Environment
"Judith Irwin defines comprehension as a reader's process of using prior experience and the author's text to construct meaning that's useful to that reader for a specific purpose" (Tompkins, 2009, p.258).
Three factors determine whether or not a student is going to adequately comprehend a text: background knowledge, familiarity of words in the text, and fluency
A reader must have a foundation in which to build the new information being presented in a text.
(Tompkins, 2009)
"Literacy is a process that begins in infancy and continues into adulthood, if not throughout life" (Tompkins, 2009, p. 111).
Dr. Jancie Almasi (Laureate Education Inc., 2013a) described three distinct perspectives dealing with literacy instruction, interactive, critical, and response.
A well balanced literacy education includes all three perspectives.
"Fluency is the ability to recognize hundreds and hundreds of words automatically and have the tools to identify unfamiliar words when reading" (Tompkins, 2009, p. 125).
-Fluent readers and writers can:
read with expression
use decoding and comprehension strategies
use the writing process to draft and refine their writing
spell high frequency and other one-syllable words correctly
Critical Perspective
Response Perspective

Afflerbach, P. (2012). Understanding and using reading assessment, K–12 (2nd ed). Newark, DE: International Reading.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2013a). Perspectives on literacy learning. [webcast]. Baltimore: author.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2013b). Analyzing and selecting texts [webcast]. Baltimore: author.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2013c). Critical perspective. [webcast]. Baltimore: author.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2013d). Response Perspective: reading-writing connection. [webcast]. Baltimore: author.
Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA). (2013). Georgia RESA assessment of student progress. Retrieved from
Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed). Boston: Allyn & Bacon

Ask questions such as:
who created the text?
what was the author's purpose?
what is the author's perpsective?
discuss demographics of author to establish perspective

The student was able to build connections to the text through the exploration of the author.
Allow students opportunities to respond to text both orally and silently.

- Methods for incorporating the response perspective:
journaling (both prompted and unprompted)
dramatic response
artistic interpretation
quiet time response

The student was able to build understanding by participating in oral discussions via small group and one on one. The student was also able to complete response journals both prompted and unprompted.
Choosing the Right Text
For this student study, three texts ("The Story of Ruby Bridges" by Robert Coles, "Thank You Mr. Falker" by Patricia Polacco, "Soupy Saturdays with Pain & the Great One" by Judy Blume) were chosen to fit the student's interest, background knowledge, and reading levels.
It was proven that the deeper the connections the student was able to make, the better her level of comprehension appeared to be. The student was able to discuss personal and emotional struggles that related to the texts being read.
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