Read, Discuss, and Learn: Using Literacy Groups to Student Advantage

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Contents

  1. Read, Discuss, and Learn
  2. Read, Discuss, and Learn: Using Literacy Groups to Student Advantage
  3. What you can learn in this unit
  4. Read, Discuss, and Learn: Using Literacy Groups to Student Advantage by Lisa A. Fisher

When readers have the opportunity to talk, think and read their way through a text, they build up a self-extending system. This system can then fuel itself; every time reading occurs, more learning about reading ensues. Department of Education, Victoria, ; Fountas and Pinnell, Guided reading is a practice which promotes opportunities for the development of a self-extending system Fountas and Pinnell, Teachers select texts to match the needs of the group so that the students, with specific guidance, are supported to read sections or whole texts independently.

All students work individually, reading quietly or silently. The teacher selects a text for a guided reading group by matching it to the learning needs of the small group. The learning focus is identified through the analysis of running records text accuracy, cueing systems and identified reading behaviours , individual conference notes or anecdotal records, see Running Records.

In this video, the teacher uses the practice of guided reading to support a small group of students to read independently. Part 1 consists of the before reading discussion which prepares the small group for the reading, and secondly, students individually read the text with teacher support. The students re-read the text together. Prior to this session the children have had the opportunity to read the text independently and work with the teacher individually at their point of need.

In this video, the teacher leads a guided reading lesson on point of view, with a group of Level 3 students. The learning focus is identified through:.

Read, Discuss, and Learn

The text chosen for the small group instruction will depend on the teaching purpose. For example, if the purpose is to:. It is important that the teacher reads the text before the guided reading session to identify the gist of the text, key vocabulary and text organisation. A learning focus for the guided reading session must be determined before the session.

It is recommended that teachers prepare and document their thinking in their weekly planning so that the teaching can be made explicit for their students as illustrated in the examples in the information below. Level 5. Phrasing helps the reader to understand the text through the grouping of words into meaningful chunks.

Collaborative Learning Builds Deeper Understanding

Reproduced with the permission of Cengage Learning Australia. Level 3. Why has the author used bold writing? Page 16? What do you notice? Text clues Why does Nick choose to ride up on the horse rather than the car or plane? Background information on siblings, family dynamics and stereotypes about gender choices. An example of the scaffolding required to assist early readers to answer an inferential question.

Read, Discuss, and Learn: Using Literacy Groups to Student Advantage

Quality literature is highly motivating to both students and teachers. When selecting texts for teaching purposes include: levels of text difficulty and text characteristics such as:. During the reading stage, it is helpful for the teacher to keep anecdotal records on what strategies their students are using independently or with some assistance. Comments are usually linked to the learning focus but can also include an insightful moment or learning gap.

Teacher anecdotal records template example. There are a number of points during the guided reading session where the teacher has an opportunity to provide feedback to students, individually or as a small group. To execute this successfully, teachers must be aware of the prompts and feedback they give. Independent reading promotes active problem solving and higher-order cognitive processes Krashen, It is important to note that guided reading is not round robin reading. When students are reading during the independent reading stage, all children must have a copy of the text and individually read the whole text or a meaningful segment of a text e.

Students also have an important role in guided reading as the teacher supports them to practise and further explore important reading strategies. Providing opportunities for teachers to learn about teaching practices, sharing of evidence-based methods and finding out what is working and for whom, all contribute to developing a culture that will make a difference to student outcomes Hattie, , pp.

When there has been dedicated and strategic work by a Principal and the leadership team to set learning goals and targeted focuses, teachers have clear direction about what to expect and how to go about successfully implementing core teaching and learning practices.

One way to monitor the growth of teacher capacity and whether new learning has become embedded is by setting up peer observations with colleagues.


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  • Key elements of guided reading?

It is a valuable tool to contribute to informed, whole-school approaches to teaching and learning. The focus of the peer observation must be determined before the practice takes place. This ensures all participants in the process are clear about the intention. Peer observations will only be successful if they are viewed as a collegiate activity based on trust. To improve the practice of guided reading, peer observations can be arranged across Year levels or within a Year level depending on the focus.

A framework for the observations is useful so that both parties know what it is that will be observed. It is important that the observer note down what they see and hear the teacher and the students say and do. Evidence must be tangible and not related to opinion, bias or interpretation Danielson, Noting specific examples of engagement and practice and using a reflective tool allows reviewers to provide feedback that is targeted to the evidence rather than the personality.

Finding time for face-to-face feedback is a vital stage in peer observation. It is through collaborative reflection and evaluation that teaching and learning goals and the embedding of new practice takes place Principles of Learning and Teaching [ PoLT ]: Action Research Model. Teacher Observation template example.

For in practice examples, see: Guided reading lessons. Christie, F. Language Education in the Primary Years. Department of Education, Victoria Teaching Readers in the Early Years.

Department of Education, Employment and Training, Victoria Professional Development for Teachers in Years 3 and 4: Reading. Dewitz, P. In The Reading Teacher, 56 5 , Duke, N. Farstrup Eds. Fisher, D. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. Hall, K. Taking dictation for students not yet fluent in writing allows students to see how oral language is translated into written language. Written words let students see what they say. Therefore, writing makes thoughts visible. As students make attempts to write, allowing for diverse materials pens, pencils, markers, and crayons of varying shapes and sizes, typewriters, computers, keyboards, magnetic writing boards, etc.

Adapted materials such as tactile books, manipulatives, slant boards, and pencil grips for diverse learners offers accessibility and motivation. Home-school connections are made through lending materials that ensure that students with diverse ability have literacy opportunities at home as well as at school. Parents are made aware of the materials and shown how students can use them at home. Through repeated practice with materials and activities, skills become more automatic and students with disabilities are given ample opportunities to integrate new and old information.

Combining opportunities for independent exploration and peer interaction with teacher instruction enhances and builds upon skills. The role of the teacher is to encourage all attempts at reading, writing, and speaking, allowing students of varying ability to experience the different function and use of literacy activities. Teacher interactions with students with disabilities build on students' knowledge as they develop literacy skills. Teachers use a variety of methods of communicating with students by asking questions, labeling objects and experiences with new vocabulary, and offering practice to help students remember and generalize new concepts and skills Whitehurst, There are numerous classroom materials that help build a literacy-rich environment.

By integrating phone books, menus, and other written materials into student play, children are able to see the connections between written word and spoken language, as well as to understand how written language is used in real world situations. By creating a literacy-rich environment for students with disabilities, teachers are giving students the opportunities and skills necessary for growth in literacy development.

What you can learn in this unit

Also, Lomax and McGee suggest that awareness of print is the precursor to phonemic awareness, grapheme-phoneme correspondence knowledge, and word reading Ibid. The literacy-rich environment also provides students with opportunities to engage with and see adults interact with print allowing students to build their skills in understanding the conventions, purposes, and functions of print. Furthermore, findings from a study conducted by Morrow indicate that classrooms with greater teacher facilitation enhance literacy behaviors. Therefore, teachers that provide literacy-rich activities within the classroom improve reading skills.

The physical environment of the classroom is also crucial to developing literacy growth for children. These signs and labels also referred to as environmental print, help students with disabilities to make connections between information they know and the new information given to them in the form of writing. Finally, literacy-rich environments allow students with disabilities to see the connection literacy has to the real world. Some students begin elementary school struggling with literacy experiences. Creating a literacy-rich environment in school enriches literacy experiences of students who may have limited exposure to literacy due to delays or disorders in their development.


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Making literacy a part of the environment and ensuring that all children have access to the general education curriculum e. Teachers assess the abilities and challenges of students, then problem solve to determine what opportunities will best meet the needs of these students. Specific recommendations for alterations in the environment are best made on an individual basis and with consultation of special educators and related service providers.

As teachers design their learning environment, it is essential that they consider the diverse needs and skills of the students they teach. As they integrate the skills and background of their diverse students, teachers should ensure that each student is represented in their classroom design and instruction. They can individualize the environment to meet the needs of students with disabilities and ensure appropriate opportunities to participate in literacy activities are consistently available. Structuring the classroom in a planned manner that immerses students with disabilities in accessible literacy activities provides them with opportunities to create connections between oral and written language, thereby gaining access to the general education curriculum.

The research indicates the importance of culture in understanding students' home literacy environments as well as the influence cultural values have on literacy development. They cite several cultures and indicate how the purpose of literacy influences students' access to development of skills. Therefore, when considering the design of a literacy rich environment for students from diverse cultures or assessing their interactions with the environment, teachers must consider the different frameworks and backgrounds regarding literacy in the culture of these children.

Students who have not been exposed to specific vocabulary or literature will need additional support with learning concepts from new material. Teachers can discuss the literacy goals for each student with parents in order to gain support at home. Many students come to school without understanding and speaking English. Therefore, a classroom that incorporates the elements of literacy-rich environments can help ELL access the general education curriculum Reading is Fundamental. The literacy-rich classroom serves as a means to build the basic skills necessary for literacy development by demonstrating to students with disabilities the function and utility of language in an intentional, purposeful, and intensive way.

While many students come to school with exposure to literacy in their everyday lives, students who may not have access or exposure benefit from the instruction and intensity provided by teachers and staff in this setting. Given the support of this environment, students are better prepared to work on other literacy skills including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The following references provide information for implementation and training regarding literacy-rich environments.

All organizations mentioned in this section provide research-based information supported by studies in the field. Dorrell, A.


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  4. Classroom labeling as part of a print-rich environment. Ehri, L. Fingerpoint-reading of memorized text: What enables beginners to process the print? Reading Research Quarterly, 24, Goodman, K. The whole language catalog. Gunn, B. Emergent literacy: A synthesis of the research. Head Start Bureau Module 4: Setting the stage for literacy explorations. Available at: www. Higgins, K.

    Learning to read and write: Developmentally appropriate practices for young children. Mason, J. A review of emergent literacy with implications for Research and practice in reading. Review of Research in Education, 13, Morrow, L. Preparing the classroom environment to promote literacy during play. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 5, Emergent and early literacy workshop: Current status and research directions. National Reading Panel. Teaching Children to Read.

    Read, Discuss, and Learn: Using Literacy Groups to Student Advantage by Lisa A. Fisher

    Neuman, S. Literacy knowledge in practice: Contexts of participation for young writers and readers. Reading Research Quarterly,32, Reading is Fundamental. Supporting Second-language Learners. Snow, C. Language and literacy environments in preschool. Sulzby, E. Emergent literacy. Barr, M. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, and P. Pearson Eds. New York: Longman. Vukelich, C. Effects of play interventions on young children's reading of environmental print.

    Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 9, Whitehurst, G. Classroom literacy environment checklist. The Access Center, Literacy-Rich Environments. What is the best type of location in a public school for a classroom for students with learning disabilities--typically with students pulled out at various times during the school day for academic instruction? There would be the special education teacher and an aide.

    Author Interviews Meet your favorite authors and illustrators in our video interviews. Book Finder Create your own booklists from our library of 5, books! Themed Booklists Dozens of carefully selected booklists, for kids years old. Nonfiction for Kids Tips on finding great books, reading nonfiction and more. Skip to main content. You are here Home. By: The Access Center. Related Literacy Centers. Creating a Classroom Library. An Example of the 90 Minute Reading Block. Introduction Reading is a fundamental skill that defines the academic successor failure of students. Strategy Description A Snapshot of a Literacy-Rich Environment Imagine walking into an early elementary school classroom and seeing all students immersed in literacy experiences.

    The Purpose of Literacy-Rich Environments From the atmosphere and decor of the room to interactions with peers and teachers, every element of the classroom is designed to allow students with disabilities explore the elements of literacy. Literacy-Rich Environments with a Theme Ms. In her literacy-rich classroom you can find students: Reading books on weather Exploring labels around the classroom identifying weather vocabulary Learning content on raindrops and clouds Drawing pictures of the different types of clouds Singing songs about the weather Writing in their weather journals about the conditions each day Graphing the daily temperature.

    Adapted Materials Tactile Books — textured print or pictures within books for students to touch and sniff Manipulatives — hands-on skill building materials such as pattern blocks, color tiles, and reading rods Slant boards — boards propped up on an angled book stands to assist students with their writing Pencil grips — a pre-shaped grip that is placed over a pencil to assist students with proper grip and letter formation.

    Evidence of Effectiveness This section provides research evidence on the following areas: The classroom materials. The classroom design and layout. The role of the teacher. Evidence on Classroom Materials There are numerous classroom materials that help build a literacy-rich environment.