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By Tegan Zimmerman Henry Comic Illustrations Courtesy of: makebeliefscomix.com
This is my cognate presentation to demonstrate my current understanding of research-based best practices for teaching reading and language arts by extracting common themes from my blog: Literacy Roots: http://literacyroots.blogspot.com/
A critical piece of literacy development involves encouraging students to transform identities they may have constructed as "struggling" or "reluctant" into new identities as more capable readers and learners. "As students explore and experiment with possible selves, teachers can encourage them to try on new reader identities, expanding their visions of who they are, and who they can become" (Greenleaf and Hinchman, 2009).
Reading is a flexible tool that is changing and dynamic, and rich with tradition and culture. This frame refers to the Burke Reading Interview. To plan students' reading instruction, we need to be aware of their beliefs, about reading, and consider how their reading proficiency is influenced by past and current reading instruction. What students believe about reading and reading instruction affect the decisions they make about their reading strategies (Burke, Goodman & Watson, 2005).
We know that the young learn language all the time whether or not teachers are involved. On the other hand, teachers have significant opportunities to help students make explicit their intuitive knowledge about language, to reflect on what they know about language, and to see if what they know fits what others know about language use (Goodman, 2003).
Reader's responses to text provides insights into the depth and breadth of their comprehension. Additionally, responding to text by retelling, illustrating, dramatizing, setting the story to music or dance or discussing it with others provides opportunities for readers to relive, rehearse, modify and integrate their interpretations of text, giving them a chance to enhance the construction of meaning ((Burke, Goodman & Watson, 2005).
Richard Allington argues that an independent-level or "good-fit" book for children is one they can read with 99% accuracy (Allington 2006). Based on research-based best practices for classroom literacy instruction, I believe it is essential to spend focused classroom time teaching readers to choose books that are a good fit for them, books they enjoy and that, as Routman says in her book Reading Essentials, "seem custom-made for the child" (2005). Simply put, it is essential to teach children that one of the most important things to do to become a better reader is to read a good-fit book. Matching text and strategies to readers (and writers) that they connect to and make meaning from is the most important component of any literacy program.
Teaching students a variety of reading comprehension strategies provides a foundation for readers to independently construct meaning from longer and more complicated texts as they spend more time practicing (Harvey and Goudvis (2000). Reader/ text transaction emphasizes the dynamic nature of reading, implying that the reader is as active and creative in the process of reading as the writer was in the process of writing. When a reader and an author transact, changes take place (Rosenblatt, 1994).
Writing is for stories to be read, books to be published, poems to be recited, plays to be acted, songs to be sung, newspapers to be shared, letters to be mailed, jokes to be told, notes to be passed, recipes to be cooked, messages to be exchanged, memos to be circulated, announcements to be posted, bills to be collected, posters to be displayed and diaries to be concealed. Writing is for ideas, action, reflection, and experience. It is not for having your ignorance exposed, your sensitivity destroyed, or your ability assessed (Smith, 1994).
Work Cited Goodman, Y. (2003). Valuing Language Study: Inquiry into Language for Elementary and Middle Schools. Illinois: National Council of Teachers of English. Goodman, Y., Burke, C. and Watson, D. (2005). Reading Miscue Inventory 2nd edition. Richard C. Owen Publishers: Katonah, NY. Goudvis, A. and Harvey, S. (2000). Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding. Stenhouse Publishers: Yorke, ME. Greenleaf, C. & Hinchman, K. (2009). Reimagining Our Inexperienced Adolescent Readers: From Struggling, Striving, Marginalized, and Reluctant to Thriving. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 53(1). pp. 4‐13. Rosenblatt, L. (1994). The Reader, the Text, the Poem: The Transactional Theory of the literary Work. Southern Illinois University Press: Carbondale, IL. Smith, F. (1994). Writing and the Writer. 2nd edition. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers: Hillsdale, New Jersey.