6/14/14

Building Literacy

Supporting early literacy evolves.  The year begins with a foundation.  Assess students and prioritize needs.  Add to that, get to know children (& teachers), make connections with individuals that will form the foundation for a respectful learning and or teaching relationship throughout the year.  Within the classroom setting, supporting and collaborating with teachers and children to establish routines, procedures, and a safe community, a place where children struggling to learn literacy skills and good learner skills, social and executive skills, can feel safe to learn & take risks that allow learning.  I believe in Resp Classroom practices and “the power of our words” as educators to either open minds or close them to learning, trust and connection. 

The first floor is laid with planning.  I am a planner.  I plan for individual, group, and whole class instruction.  I keep in a handy place a plan for my day, week, month, and year.  I think of a plan as a place to begin.  It keeps me on track so I don’t forget any pieces yet also is flexible enough to stretch or change as formative and summative assessments inform my teaching.  I have experience planning independently and in groups.  I will continue to play an active role in whole staff, & grade level planning.

Framing walls & windows is about supporting learning at all levels.  As language develops, from listening, to speaking and reading and writing, I listen, I watch, I model and I provide opportunities for children to practice language (speaking, reading, writing).  I teach explicitly when children don’t notice.  I use Read Aloud, RR, Guided Reading, and Interactive Reading and Writing to support new readers and writers from K- 3rd grade.  Learning is a multisensory experience and can be tailored to the needs of students to maximize learning and engagement.

Nails, screws, nuts and bolts are skills that are necessary to become proficient at a task.  The details of letter sound correspondence and familiar chunks, roots, prefixes, suffixes along with sight word recognition, letter formation, and concepts of print, decoding and encoding, build the mechanics of reading and writing.  I support children in learning these skills by providing many opportunities to practice with real books and using hands on activities, games, and songs that focus practice within an engaging format.


Wallboards and Windows are the understandings and comprehension along with connections to the world outside.  Our wall is taking shape, gaining color, we can see how it defines a space in time and we can see through it to the real world.  I build comprehension with literature.  I provide opportunities for children to read and listen to books and explore stories in ways that encourage a deeper understanding.  One year my class explored versions of The Little Red Hen, then the children participated in interactive writing to create their own class version of the story.  We also reenacted The Little Red Hen for a buddy class.  Children prepared by practicing reading their parts aloud in small groups or with partners, creating the setting with paint, and establishing distinct characters with simple costumes.  Each child had an active, if not speaking, role in the production.  Students learned about chickens and eggs through hands on and live science activities and by reading non fiction books on the subject.    I am more than willing to work with teachers on a wide array of activities and modalities that support children’s literacy and comprehension skills.

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