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To: Interview Team From: Stephanie Wilmore Topic: My Comprehensive Instructional Literacy Plan for Kindergarten.

We shouldnt teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. B. F. Skinner

Literacy development is first taught in the Kindergarten classroom. Here is where teachers lay a foundation of strategies for students to use in order to become good readers and writers. It is in the Kindergarten classroom where children begin their love or hate for reading and writing depending on the experiences they have in the classroom. This alone makes it vital to have a Kindergarten teacher that has her own beliefs about literacy learning and implements these beliefs in their classroom. In order to fulfill my beliefs in my own classroom, I have expanded my own thoughts with the knowledge of theorists. Lev Vygotskys Sociolinguists Theory supports my beliefs of children using language and social interaction to become engaged in the classroom. Throughout my literacy plan you are able to see how scaffolding is essential for students to learn. You will see that reading and writing are critical in supporting students overall knowledge. Through my belief statements and my knowledge of how children grow and develop, you will obtain an understanding of how important literacy development truly is.

Task 1: Written Plan Part A: Philosophy/beliefs about literacy learning.

Reading and writing are complex processeschildren do not learn how to do either over night! In no specific order, I believe literacy is learned best when:

1. 2.

Students are involved in a balanced literacy program of reading and writing, Students use the cueing systems (Phonological System, Syntactic System, Semantic System, and Pragmatic System) as they read, write, listen, and talk, and


Students are frequently assessed and given meaningful feedback to guide them to the next stage of their reading and writing development.

Lev Vygotskys Sociolinguistic Theory catches my attention because it is simple to follow and effective in the classroom. His theory focuses on the social interaction that takes place, the importance of language in learning, student Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), and the use of scaffolding. His teacher-student/student-student approach creates a learning environment that allows students to always interact. Because the teacher is there to provide some level of support, students are creating their own knowledge and work at their own pace. Vygotskys theory for literacy includes a simple I do-you watch, I do-you help, you do-I help, you do-I watch format. Through this scaffolding technique, students are able to gradually accept more and more responsibility for their learning. Having students go from the unknown to the known is a processthrough Vygotskys theory, students are able learn literacy with confidence which is appropriate for every learner.

When children are learning to read and write, they need to hear and visually see what strategies good readers and writers use. This fits into Vygotskys scaffolding theory of I do-you watch. Here students receive the highest level of support because what they are learning is unknown. Teachers scaffold these new reading and writing strategies by demonstrating her thought process. Since she is doing the work and the students are watching, they are able to clearly see and hear what good readers and writers do to fully understand what they are learning. Once students reach the seen before and worked with part of their learning, they have entered into the Zone of Proximal Development. Vygotsky suggest, and I agree, that students learn little when they perform task that they can already do ion their own, which is where the Zone of Proximal Development is so essential. Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) are the range of tasks between students concrete developmental level and their prospective development. At this stage of literacy learning scaffolding takes place at two different levels. The first level is where students still need much support with the I do-you help approach. Students then become more independent and the teacher/student role is flipped. I help-you do becomes where students really practice the strategies they have learned. Once students reach their Zone of Proximal Development and have time to practice what they have learned, the students reach Vygotskys I watch-you do concept. Here the teacher still scaffolds students learning but it is minimal because the student is doing the work independently. Students are in control of their learning and implement the strategies they learned to become independent learners. At this time students are able to take the strategies you have demonstrated to them and have applied them to their own thinking.

Vygotskys theory, however, is not a one time and then you are done and know everything approaches. This form of teaching is a continuous cycle for students to gain lasting knowledge and become confident in strategies they can use to become effective readers and writers.

1. Children learn literacy best when they are involved in a balanced literacy program of reading and writing.

A balanced literacy program involves both reading and writing. Balanced literacy through reading involves reading aloud (interactive read-aloud), shared reading, guided reading and independent reading, while balanced writing includes modeled writing, shared writing, guided writing and independent writing. I believe students learn literacy best when they are involved in a balanced literacy program of reading and writing because when balanced correctly and given the support needed through scaffolding, students will be able to move from dependent readers and writers to independent readers and writers while gaining confidence in their work.

2. Students use the cueing systems (Phonological System, Syntactic System, Semantic System, and Pragmatic System) as they read, write, listen, and talk.

Students learn literacy best when they use the cueing systems because these systems make communication possibly and are also simultaneously used as students read, write, listen, and talk. The Phonological System is the sound system. The Syntactic System is the structural system of English that governs how words are combined into sentences. The Semantic System is the meaning of the words, and the Pragmatic System is the social and cultural uses of the English

language. In relation to Vygotsky, these cueing systems are developed through the use of language. The students are able to develop language and get the grasp of how the English language is used through the teacher modeling and emerging the students in these cueing systems through authentic practice. These cueing systems are vital for beginning readers and writers. When taught well students are able to construct their own knowledge and make connections. The students are able to ask themselves these questions 1) Does it sound right? 2) Does it look right? 3) Does it make sense? I believe these are essential because these skills will benefit them in becoming strong readers and writers throughout their whole life.

3. Students are frequently assessed and given meaningful feedback to guide them to the next stage of their reading and writing development.

Students learn literacy best when they are frequently assessed and given feedback that helps them grow and develop to the next stage in their literacy development. Assessments may be looked at as test, but in the kindergarten classroom, informal assessments are used as a tool to help teachers guide their future lessons. Through these daily self assessments teachers are able to see where students are and where to teach next. Teachers are able to evaluate their teaching of the different balanced literacy lessons and the students understanding of the cueing systems. Related with Vygotsky, employing these assessments on the students and giving them meaningful feedback is a form of scaffolding that keeps students continuously growing and making sense of what they are learning.

Part B: Range of Reading and Writing behaviors.

A kindergarten teacher has the responsibility to understand the ranges of readers and writers in her class. However, before this she should be conscious of the learner as a whole. Not all students learn the same, but students as a whole work and learn in stages. Coming into kindergarten, students have a wide range of what they know, what they dont know, what they have seen, and what they have done. It seems like an overwhelming task to teach to this wide variety of learners but once the teacher knows the behaviors of the students she is able to create an environment where all students are encouraged to read, write, and develop at their own levels. Through Vygotskys scaffolding and teaching to the students Zone of Proximal Development, the student is able to feel comfortable and confident in their learning pace.

Reading Development

Pre-Reading: When a student is in their pre-reading stage, you can expect to see the students able to identify a few upper and lower case letters. Student may or may not be able to produce a few letter sounds and are not consistently able to identify rhyming words or produce rhyming words on their own. Students at this stage of development also may be able to identify the beginning sounds in a word and will have a very basic understanding of print concepts (Greendale School District, n.d.).

Emergent Readers: When a student is in the emergent reader stage, they know the names of most letters in the alphabet and the sounds that are produced by some of those letters too.

Students are able to make on-to-one correlation between words on the page and spoken words in reading in one to two lines of text. Student recognize a few high frequency words, beginning sounds in words, and spaces as breaks between words, and words that rhyme. The student will know words that rhyme and may be able to produce rhyming words on their own. The student also understands some print concepts such as reading from top to bottom and left to right (Greendale School District, n.d.).

Early Readers: When a student is in the Early Readers Stage, they are able to read longer books that include high frequency words and also have illustrations that support their understanding of what is being read. Here, the student is able to recognize all uppercase and lowercase letters and know the sounds most of the letters generate. The student is able to identify rhyming words and also produce rhyming words on their own. At this stage the students has a greater understanding of print concepts (Greendale School District, n.d.).

Transitional Readers: When a student is at the Transitional Reader Stage, the student knows many high frequency words and is able to read with appropriate phrasing and fluency. This reader has a full understanding of the print concepts and is able to read texts that include many lines (chapter books and/or advanced picture books). At this point, the student understands different genres of books and uses many reading strategies to make sense of unknown words. Here, the student does not rely on the pictures in the book as a main resource to decode what is happening (Greendale School District, n.d.).

Writing Development

Pre Writer: When a student is at this stage, their writing consists of made up lines, scribbles, and/or beginning letter-like symbols. The student is able to read their own writing right after they write it but overtime they are unsure of what it says. Writing is done randomly all over the paper and letters may appear to be strung together. At this stage, the student may begin showing some understanding of sound/symbol relationships (Wauwatosa School District, n.d.).

Emergent Writers: When a student is in the Emergent Writing Stage, they show understanding of the concepts of letters and words. They may or may not include spacing between words, and may include some high frequency words in their writing. A student in this stage will also show an understanding of a wider range of sounds/symbol relationships in influencing their spelling (Wauwatosa School District, n.d.).

The range of reading and writing behaviors that can be seen in the Kindergarten classroom are very spread out. Even though all students will not be on the same level as far as their reading and writing skills, they are still able to learn together in one classroom. Keep in mind Vygotskys theory of Zone of Proximal Development. Once the teacher is aware of the behaviors she will be able to work with each child in their own Zone of Proximal Development.

Part C: The Role of the Teacher

As a teacher in kindergarten, meeting the needs of all the learners in your classroom is your main objective. Developing an effective literacy learning environment and planning the most effective instructional experiences is the best start a teacher can have in reaching the diverse needs of the students. While using daily assessments, teaching literacy concepts, skills and strategies that are appropriate to the developmental level of the students, instructing these concepts/strategies through balanced literacy and employed Vygotskys scaffolding and Zone of Proximal Development theory the teacher is able to meet every student learning needs. As mentioned in one of my beliefs, I believe students learn literacy best when they are frequently assessed and given feedback that helps them grow and develop to the next stage in their literacy development. The role of the teacher is to have and use a variety of assessment tools which will help guide future lessons and ensure students are making progress in reading and writing. There are multiple informal assessment tools that I would use in my classroom to help support instruction. I would use observation of students as they participate in instructional activities such as an Interactive Read-Aloud, Shared Reading, Modeled Writing, and Shared Writing. Running records of students oral reading to analyze their ability to solve reading problems would be used while students are in Guided Reading/Writing and Independent Reading/Writing. Checklists to monitor students learning and rubrics to assess students writing would be used while students participate in Guided Reading/Writing, Independent Reading/Writing, and Word Study (cueing systems). As a teacher, a big portion of my assessing will be assessing students work that they do independently by using the range of reading and writing behaviors that I listed towards the


beginning of this paper. Those ranges will guide me to see where the students are at and what to teach or scaffold them next. Lastly, I would have conferences to talk with students about their reading and writing (Tompkins, P. 29). There are many purposes for these classroom assessments. Determining the students reading levels as a whole classroom allows the teacher to determine appropriate plan instruction. It also allows teachers to monitor students progress in reading and writing, and see how much they are growing and if they are not they are able to evaluate their teaching strategies to get the students back on track. These assessments also allow the teacher to examine students progress in literacy components. These components include the ones mentioned in my second belief statement. Lastly, assessment is important because the teacher is allowed to collect the students work throughout the school year and is able to physically show the students accomplishments. Through these daily self assessments teachers are able to see where students are and where to teach next. Teachers are able to evaluate their teaching of the different balanced literacy lessons and the students understanding of the cueing systems. Related with Vygotsky, employing these assessments on the students and giving them meaningful feedback is a form of scaffolding that keeps students continuously growing and making sense of what they are learning. In the kindergarten classroom students will be learning a variety of literacy concepts, skills, and strategies that will give them a foundation for being productive readers and writers for the rest of their life. Since the students are coming into my classroom with a variety of backgrounds and what they have seen, done, or never seen or done, it is critical to assess them at the beginning of the year. Once I am able to see where my students are in the classroom I will be able to dig into teaching them the concepts and strategies of effective readers and writers. Based


on my understanding of where most kindergarten students are in their literacy development, (PreReaders/Writers, Emergent Readers/Writers, Early Readers, Transitional Readers) I know what concepts must be taught throughout the year. Specific examples of literacy concepts that would be taught in my classroom will be listed throughout the next paragraphs. Students in the kindergarten classroom will be working on oral language and vocabulary development, Phonological awareness, concepts about print, and the forms and functions of text to enhance their reading and writing skills. Oral language and vocabulary development are developed in four separate yet interactive components: function, content, and form, which are also related to the cueing systems that I talked about in my belief statement (Rog, P. 111). Phonological awareness is also included in the cueing systems. Although individual goals will vary for each student, these concepts and strategies, taught through a balanced literacy program, will lay the foundation for success in learning to read and write. The first component (function) is defined as how language differs according to the circumstances, audience, and its purpose, also known as the Pragmatic System. As a teacher we need to clearly model the different functions in language. It is not clear to children that we our language changes depending on where we are or who we are with. Different language functions can be taught through books and real life experiences in the classroom and through balanced literacy lessons in interactive reading, shared reading and writing, and modeled writing. As a teacher, I introduce children in kindergarten to the idea that how we talk at home, school, and through books can and will be different. Content (Semantic System) and Form (Syntactic System) are both concepts that must be taught through kindergarten. These concepts will be taught throughout the balanced literacy program. The Semantic Cue System allows the student to ask the question does it make sense


(in this passage). Semantic, or meaning, is used during an interactive read-aloud. In Kindergarten students build their vocabulary by hearing the word and constructing meaning through prior knowledge, story sense, text and illustrations. The teacher scaffolds by demonstrating thinking through a word that is new which gives students a better understanding of what to do when they are not sure of a new word when they are reading independently. The Syntactic Cue System allows the student to ask the question does it sound right (in English). Syntactic refers to the structure of the English language. Kindergarten students use this system as they combine different words to form sentences. This is new to them so scaffolding is a must. Through reading books out-loud they are able to hear grammatical patterns and language structures without even realizing it. They also apply it while working on combing words to form compound words, adding prefixes and suffixes to root words, using capitalization/punctuation to indicate beginnings and ends of sentences, writing simple, compound, and complex sentences, and adding inflectional endings to words (Tompkins, Pg. 13). Content refers to the meaning of the words. Although students come into the classroom knowing a bank of words, they will begin to learn relationships between words and that one word can have multiple meanings. Form refers to the conventions of our language and how words go together which can also be called grammar and sentence structure. An example of this could be students saying, I brang it or I goes there. The more students are able to see and hear the correct way to talk, through balanced literacy instruction and talking with one another through different centers set up in the room, the students will learn how to talk and create structures to learn more language. As a teacher, I will be assessing a students oral language skills by noting their behaviors, vocabulary, language structure, and speech sounds. Behaviors can be assessed by the students use of appropriate volume and tone of voice, knowing how to take turns when speaking, staying


on topic, asking questions, and paying attention when another person is talking. Vocabulary can be assessed by the students naming colors, numbers, and names of familiar objects, their use of vocabulary that is appropriate for purpose and audience, being able to retell parts or all of a story read aloud, understanding and using prepositions such as under, over, in, and beside, and understanding directions. Language structures can be assessed by how the student can use connectors such as and, so, because, and if, if they often speak in complete sentences, and if they generally speak with grammatical correctness. Lastly, speech sounds can be assessed on if the student articulates speech sounds correctly and speaks clearly and fluently (Rog, P. 17). Phonological awareness, part of the cueing system, is an oral skill that deals with the ability to hear and manipulate sounds in words. Once students learn that words are made up of sounds, the students are able to segment and blend sounds in spoken words. There are multiple concepts that go into teaching phonological awareness. Terms such as Phoneme (the smallest unit of sound), Grapheme (the written representation of phoneme using one or more letters), Phoneme, onset-rime, syllable levels, phonemic awareness (the ability to orally manipulate phonemes in words), and Phonics (instruction about phoneme-grapheme correspondence and spelling rules) will be included while teaching the students phonological awareness (Tompkins P. 13). Objectives I will have to teach students phonological awareness will include counting words and syllables, having rhyme recognition and rhyme generation, and knowing the beginning sounds. Phonemic awareness objectives would include knowing the ending and middle sounds in words, sound segmentation, sounds blending, and sound manipulation. Going more in depth, at the end of the school year I will want my kindergarteners to be able to listen for and count the number of words there are in a phrase or a sentence and count the number of syllables in a word. The students will be able to listen for and recognize rhyming


pairs of words, and also be able to generate words that rhyme. Lastly, the students will be able to listen for and identify words that begin with the same initial sounds as the prompt words. The students will be able to listen for and identify words that end with the same ending sounds as the given words, and listen for and identify words that have the same middle sounds as the given words. The students will be able to say the given words slowly to segment them into their individual phonemes. They will also be able to blend the individual phonemes of the given words of two and three phonemes to form the whole real words, and will be able to delete the beginning sounds of the given words. Concepts about print will also be addressed in the kindergarten classroom throughout the different lessons in balanced literacy. Here, the students start out by experimenting with letters and words and realize that print actually carries a message. The Graphophonic Cue System allows the student to ask the question, does it look right. Grapho refers to the letters and is visual. Here students begin to work on their phonological awareness which was talked about above. Print conventions are covered through scaffolding where the teacher explains letters, words/spaces, punctuation, italics and bold print are. Students also learn concepts about print such as print is read from left to right, oral language can be written down and then read aloud, the alphabet letters have names and they also represent sounds, words are separated by spaces and that English text is read from top to bottom and left to right. Lastly, students at this age learn the forms and functions of text. Students will begin by focusing on the function of text through that informs, invites, and labeling. In forms and function of text students are also shown that text comes in a variety of formats (genres). They will leave kindergarten with the understanding the differences between fairy tales, poems, picture


books, and informational texts. They will also be able to understanding the different elements that stories include such as plot structure, characterization, and language patterns. In the kindergarten classroom students will be learning these literacy concepts, skills, and strategies which will give them a foundation for being productive readers and writers for the rest of their life. The question is however, how will you teach all of these in the classroom in order to address the needs of all learners? This is where my belief of a balanced literacy program and scaffolding come together to teach the students all of the concepts they should know by the time the move on to first grade. I will explain the role of the teacher, the role of the student, and the role of the environment, and how Vygotskys theory all connect while teaching balanced literacy in a kindergarten class. The highest form of scaffolding a teacher can give her students is during an interactive read-aloud and modeled writing. Through an interactive read-aloud the teachers role is to help students build vocabulary, develop an understanding of story structure, help make the connections between letters and sounds, reinforce concepts about print, encourage higher level thinking, teach reading process in a meaningful context, model fluent expressive reading, and motivate an interest in reading (Rog, P. 49) Through a modeled writing lesson, the teachers role is to demonstrate the processes involved in putting ideas down on paper and thinking out-loud while writing. The teacher thinks aloud how to decide what to write about, what type of writing to write (a letter, poem, report, and so on), focusing on the beginning and end of the sentence, stretching out words to hear all of the sounds, using punctuation, choosing the best words, and editing/making changes. Through both of these forms of balanced literacy it is the students job to be observers. Usually at this time they are learning something that is completely new to them which is why it is the highest form of scaffolding also thought as I do (teacher)-you watch


(student) because the teacher is the one reading and writing the text. Since the level of support is so high the role of the environment gives the students the chance to take risks. They are also shown a variety of stories while sitting and listening in a quiet comfortable place with few distractions. Students are able to develop an understanding of what good readers and writers do because the teacher describes her thinking process out-loud. This will eventually allow the student to gradually take over the task and become the expert (Tompkins, P. 8). Once students are introduced to a new topic in an interactive read-aloud or modeled writing lesson, the next lesson that would be taught on the same topic would be through a shared reading and writing activity. This is the next highest form of scaffolding a student receives. Since they know some things about the topic they are able to do Vygotskys I do (teacher), you help (student) method which gives a student a chance to participate more in the lesson. Materials that are usually used are big books so students are able to see the text, word charts, and big pieces of paper that the teacher can write the students thoughts on. The role of the teacher in a shared reading is to show her think-aloud process as she reads so students are aware of how good readers read. This process includes decoding, questioning, and self correcting. The teacher also gets into graphophonics. The teacher also reinforces the idea that words are separate entities with spaces around them and students how they can recognize text, identify text, match text, and sort text. The role of the teacher through shared writing is to be the scribe and talk through the process of writing while students tell her what to write. Again students are shown the process good writers use while they are writing. The student has more responsibilities through these two balanced literacy lessons. They must participate in sharing ideas and observe what the teacher is doing. They work on matching oral language to print, ask questions, make inferences and predictions, and develop self-confidence in what they are reading and writing. The role of the


environment is for the students to take risks. The lessons taught are faced paced to keep students engaged and they are also given more time to practice what they have been taught. Since scaffolding is so high the students are able to make mistakes but can also ask questions to clarify if they are unsure of something. Here students are also in an environment that is clean and neat and free of distractions. Guided reading and interactive writing are the next form of lessons the student will receive and is the next highest form of scaffolding. This is where students are really in their Zone of Proximal Development. The students have had a chance to practice concepts that were taught in a read-aloud, modeled writing, and shared reading and writing. Now it is time for the students to have more responsibility of employing concepts they have been taught. I do (student), you help (teacher) is the scaffolding approached used so students are able to be assessed on what they know and how much more scaffolding teachers need to apply before students can do the work independently. In guided reading the role of the teacher is to place the students in groups of 4-6 students that are reading books at the instructional level with 90-94% accuracy (Tompkins P. 76). Here the teacher also picks out the books that students will be reading to her and points out sections to focus on by placing sticky notes on the pages she wants to go over. The role of the teacher through interactive writing is to guide students writing because she and the students are sharing the pen to write part of the message. When a student comes up to help her write she highly scaffolds what they are doing and models out loud to the other students what he/she is doing. Through these forms of balanced literacy the students have much more responsibility. During guided reading the students are in charge of reading. If they are not reading they are encourage to mumble the words as the teacher is reading out loud and follow along with their finger. The student is also responsible to read silently while the teacher


is reading and to read to themselves. While in interactive writing the student is responsible to help the teacher create the message. They must think about ideas to write about and will have the chance to write a simple letter, sight words, or letter patterns. Once the lesson is over the students have time to work on their own to practice strategies that were taught. You will see the students creating books which they will have the chance to revise and edit. The role of the environment is for language and literacy to come together. Also, as beginning writers the students are to help generate ideas and participate in the process of conveying these ideas in the correct writing form of letters, words, and sentences. Around the room you will find materials such as books the teacher has read and can practice reading those books. You will also find paper where students are able to write independently. To have a complete balanced literacy program the students will be able to take what they have learned and practice through interactive, shared, and guided reading and modeled, shared and interactive writing to the last and final stage of independent reading and writing. Students have gone from learning something completely new (unknown) with the teacher high scaffolding, to working with and practicing concepts with the teachers help in their Zone of Proximal Development to having little help in what they are reading and writing. Here the student is at the scaffolding level of you watch (teacher)-I do (students). The role of the teacher is to determine the students reading level and to assess where they are reading and how to lead them to the next level of their development. The students role is at the highest. The student is able to read a book comfortably on their own and recognize most of the words. They are able to comprehend what is taking place in the book and they are enjoying reading! The role of the environment then is to have materials such as books placed all around the classroom. These books should represent a variety of genres such as poetry, informational books, picture


books, biographies, magazines, student-made books and so on. The students are also given time to do independent writing which will showcase what the students know and will be assessed by the teacher. Again the teacher will take and assess what the students are doing from independent reading and writing to lead them to the next stages of their literacy learning. By using Vygotskys scaffolding method, I am able to gradually release my involvement and students are able to move from depended learners to independent learners and stay fully engaged. They are given the amount of support that is needed throughout the different literacy components. They will take the concepts, skills, and strategies that are taught through these lessons and practice, practice, practice while the teacher assesses the students work daily to see where scaffolding needs to take place. I believe through this balanced literacy structure, students are able to realize how exciting reading and writing are and will be on their way to becoming lifelong readers and writers.

Task II: Classroom Design

Careful attention to how the classroom is set up can contribute to success in play-oriented literacy development. Kindergarten students learn a lot through playing with one another. Not only do they learn how to cooperate and collaborate with one another, they also learn how to talk, listen, take turns, solve problems, and express themselves which links back to Vygotsky theory of social interaction. As you see in my classroom design there are many different areas set up in the room. The biggest space that is offered to the children is where lessons will take place. The carpet area allows the students to sit and interactive with one another while lessons of read-aloud, write aloud, shared reading and writing, and interactive writing take place. In the


classroom there are also tables that are students desk. At these tables they work independently on their reading and writing once a lesson has been taught. I have sectioned my room off by placing low and high bookshelves around the room. Not only does this give me more storage and organization, it allows students to have small enclosed spaces that encourage conversation with one another. In my classroom I will have a dramatic play area, discovery area, a reading corner, writing spot, rug area where lessons will be taught, desks where they can work independently and a spot where students can work independently with the teacher and have guided reading sessions. The dramatic play area can include centers that are themed as grocery stores and a kitchen. Items such as shopping baskets, food packages, play money, grocery bags, measuring cups, spoons, toy appliances, a telephone, dolls, and so on can be placed in these centers for students to explore and create (Rog, P. 44). Through these dramatic play areas students are able to enhance their literacy development in many ways. They are able to practice their writing in an authentic way and even more so see a variety of writing through objects that are placed it the center. Some examples students would be able to see of writing could be through forms of coupons, checkbooks and make signs and ads themselves at a grocery store center. Through a kitchen

center students could see writing in form of a recipe book, catalogs, telephone books and even refrigerator magnets. They could practice authentic writing by making a list of what to buy at the store or putting up a to-do list. In with the dramatic play area, which could also be noted as the discovery and explore center, would include bins full of materials such as pens, crayons, paper with no lines, scissors, stamps and books . The reason these materials would be right next to the dramatic play area is so the students are able to take materials as needed to enhance their play experience. If there is paper


next to the dramatic play station students are able to take the paper and practice authentic writing such as making a sign or making a list. Having books right next to these centers also give students the chance to look through the books and gain ideas. These centers will increase their desire to read and write because they are doing it for fun while practicing concepts and skills that have been taught through balanced literacy lessons. Right next to the dramatic play, discover and explore center will be a table that will be used for guided reading and a place for students to write and also their own group tables. Since the bins of materials is right next to this area, the students are able to pick up materials and begin writing and drawing. This will give students to write down ideas they have or even write notes. Nonetheless, students will take what they have been learning and use these concepts and skills to free write. This will increase their desire to write because the students are able to construct their own ideas and place them on the paper as they choose. This table will also function as a guided reading area where the teacher can meet with groups to work on their reading and also to work independently with students while other students are working independently. In my floor plan you also see a reading corner. This area of the room is very comfortable including pillows, stuffed animals, and multiple books. This variety of books will include writing such as picture books, poetry, magazines and even books that the students have made as a whole class. This area will also need to include book that have already been read to the class so students are able to reread the books. All of these books should be in reach and changed every so often so students do not get bored. This will without a doubt become one of the students favorite places in the room while also increasing their desire to read for fun. The biggest space that is offered to the children is where lessons will take place. The carpet area allows the students to sit and interactive with one another while lessons of read-aloud, write


aloud, shared reading and writing, interactive writing, and word study (phonics, spelling, and vocabulary development) take place. whole class. This is the biggest area because lessons are given to the

Dramatic Play, Discover & Explore, Writing Center

Writing Spot/ Guided Reading

Reading Corner



Teachers Desk & Storage Area

Students Desk

Carpet Area where lessons take place

Smart Board

This layout will change throughout the school year to fit the needs of the students, but the ideas in each area will stay the same. Every aspect of the room will give students the outlet to practice and develop their reading and writing skills that they have been modeled and taught through the different literacy components. Planning and implementation of routines will be worked into the lessons taught also.


Task III: Self Reflection and Goal Setting

Based on my plan and classroom design I understand that I have a good awareness of what students need in order to be good readers and writers. I understand that in the kindergarten classroom it is up to me to lay the foundation of effective reading and writing strategies that will stick with these children throughout their lives. I am also aware of areas where I would like to further my development and my understanding of how to be an effective literacy teacher. I could develop myself as a teacher further in the following areas:

1. I will further develop my assessment strategies to effectively evaluate all areas of students work.

I want to further develop my assessment strategies because the better I can assess my students work the better I am able to scaffold them to move towards their next steps of literacy development. This is important in a kindergarten classroom because students needs are so diverse and it is critical for them to have a deep understanding of strategies needed to be good readers and writers. I will further develop my assessing strategies by learning different assessment formats and implementing assessment every time I teach.

2. I will work towards gaining a deeper understanding of the cueing systems and how they link together in the different balanced literacy components.


The cueing system involves several components. As a teacher of kindergarten, I must have a deeper understanding of what all the components are, the role of the teacher/student/environment, and how to integrate them throughout balanced literacy lessons. Understanding the cueing systems and implementing them in the balanced literacy components will help guide my instruction of balanced literacy. To accomplish this I plan on reading more about the cueing systems. I also plan on breaking down each system to figure out the role of the teacher, the role of the student, and the role of the environment, and where these systems fit in the balanced literacy. The deeper understanding I have of these cueing systems the better I am able to teach the strategies they offer and assess the students.

3. I will further develop my understanding of classroom design and how an effective classroom environment can influence authentic literacy development.

Classroom design plays such a critical role in building a successful learning environment. In the classroom it is my job to create a learning environment that flows and gives students a chance to take risks and have authentic reading and writing experiences. I will communicate with other teachers to develop an understanding of what they have found valuable in the classroom. I will also assess how the students move in the room and how effective the design is. If something is not working I will be sure to change it up so it becomes an area for students to further develop and practice literacy skills.


References Gleason, R., (2011, Fall) Phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, phonics. ED 225: Milwaukee, WI: Alverno College. Rog, L.J., (2005). Early literacy instruction in kindergarten. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. Thompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century. (5 ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Wauwatosa School District. (n.d.). K-5 development writing scale. Wauwatosa, WI.