The Importance of Literature in the Classroom
ED 911 Advanced Foundations of Reading
ED 970 Author's Institute
ED 971 Balanced Literacy in the 21st Century
Competency 1: Knowledge of significant theories, practices, and programs for developing reading skills and reading comprehension
Educators must be familiar with the appropriate theories that are associated with the various reading difficulties. Along with those theories, it is important that teachers look into the research-based practices and programs that other have used and have proven useful for students. This knowledge for the teacher will better support the student's learning, as well as help develop necessary skills. We cannot take for granted that many skills that make up a reader and we must develop and nurture their learning to support their literacy skills.
Literacy skills are unique to each individual learner- what works for one student may not work for another. By educators acquiring knowledge about literacy, the process of reading and writing, and how learners learn, they are better able to assess the best way to help students succeed. They can find tools to model and implement within their classroom and foster and environment that promotes literacy success. Each student deserves the right to learn in the manner in which they can be successful.
Competency 5: Selection & use of appropriate programs, materials, and technology for reading instruction
There were a number of great materials presented, such as the website story starters. This website was great for students to explore different genres of writing, getting their creative juices flowing. They could create a story based off of the prompt that was presented to them. Another great website that I have utilized is Reading A to Z. This website is great for whole class instruction, small group instruction, or for individual practice. I love to use this for whole class instruction by projecting the book onto the SmartBoard and allowing all students to see the text. I can model how to look back to answer questions, highlight important information, use text features for comprehension purposes, and so much more. There is the option of reading fiction books as well as nonfiction books, and selecting which level to read certain books at. If a child is reading at a different level than his or her peers, they can reading books within the program that suit their reading level without frustrating them.
Competency 6: Knowledge of, and selection criteria for literature, and informational books for children and adolescents
The best part of the Author's Institute was all of the ideas that we were asked to create at the end of each day and how we could use them in our classroom. Creating such an educational list, I was able to plan some great lessons to implement within my literacy blocks. I was able to use Jalepeno Bagels which was written by Natasha Wing but illustrated by Robert Casilla within my immigration unit, showing how each individual has unique cultural qualities from their families. I was able to use the Everest book series written by Gordon Korman to connect our nonfiction Everest unit to a great read aloud and comprehension questions. Being able to find great reading materials and learning about the process behind each one is a fantastic opportunity.
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