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This joint position statement of the International Reading Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children outlines what constitutes developmentally appropriate practices in early literacy during the period from birth to age eight. This statement is grounded in a thorough review of literature and concluded with recommendations for teaching practices and policies.
A critical examination of the research that formed the basis for No Child Left Behind Legislation highlights the complexity of implementing this federal mandate. Teachers are provided with additional research-based suggestions for effectively promoting the literacy development of all children.
What role do libraries and librarians play in literacy development? Should librarians be expected to form partnerships with schools? While such a shift in responsibilities will certainly redefine the role of librarians around the globe, evidence suggests that students achieve more when there is collaboration between librarians and school personnel.
This scholarly article provides empirical evidence of how public librarians can assist families and child care providers with offering quality literacy experiences for young children.
This article discusses how a public library formed a partnership by taking library materials for the whole family into the schools. Benefits for parents, libraries, and schools as well as challenges of this partnership are elucidated.
This review of literature substantiates how formal reading skills are built on emergent reading skills that can be acquired during the preschool years. Critical emergent literacy skills include, but are not limited to, phonological awareness, print awareness, and oral language skills, and can be supported by specific strategies which are also outlined.
The results of a meta-analysis demonstrated the positive effects parental involvement has on children's reading acquisition. Training parents in how to appropriately teach their children reading with specific exercises resulted in greater gains than having parents listen to their children read. The implications of this finding are discussed.
This research extends previous studies by examining other salient aspects of home environments that might impact early oral language skills and literacy development. The manner in which the parents interacted with their children, or the learning climate of the home, was associated with language and literacy outcomes.
With research supporting a strong correlation between home environment and children's school literacy achievement, it is time for schools to come to the forefront and incorporate family literacy into their curriculum and practices. Family literacy initiatives are presented which encourage the richness of each family's culture rather than their “deficits and dilemmas.”
What should teachers consider when selecting literature for children? According to Johnson, “the magic of literature for children is necessarily bound with the nature of their development.” Implications for social interactions between adults and children when using the listed literature are included.
The authors' study of 69 first grade classrooms was designed to identify factors in schools that promote literacy. Their findings reveal that the amount of writing children did in class correlated with their achievement. Students with higher reading scores were in classes where they engaged in narrative and informational writing, as well as content area writing.
The use of word walls in elementary classrooms has become quite a familiar phenomenon, which empowers students to become more independent readers and writers. The authors share how word walls can help students construct meaning at their own levels of development.
In this article, the author stresses the importance of phonemic awareness as a necessary skill for literacy. In her Montessori preschool she uses phonological testing to identify the phonemic skills needed by a struggling student. Learning to manipulate individual sounds in words allowed this student to blend sounds and develop beginning reading skills.
Author, Stephen Krashen, disputes the findings of the 2000 National Reading Panel's report on reading and reading instruction. He challenges educators to examine the effectiveness of phonemic awareness training and reports that say it is superior to whole language instruction. The author suggests misinterpretation of the National Reading Panel's report has led legislators and educators astray in determining education policy and federal funding.
In this article, the authors discuss the guided reading portion of their balanced literacy program. Wanting to select the correct books for children and frustrated by the variety of leveling systems used by publishing companies, this Canandian school district created their own book leveling system to support emergent literacy. It offers additional support for teachers by identifying key strategies necessary for the reader to be successful at each reading level.
Villaume and Bradham's article examines the purposes behind guided reading and its use to create independent, strategic readers. They show how teachers can use a variety of texts, various grouping techniques, and different instructional strategies to meet the needs of individual students, yet allow students to have the leading role in their reading.
This is a very explicit article detailing the foundation of early literacy instruction and how it fits into the growing research. It provides details and excerpts from actual classrooms that model the integration of reading, writing, and oral language. This article provides a framework on which a literacy program could be based.
This on-line article examines six formats to be used in balanced literacy instruction in the primary grades: Shared Reading, Read-Aloud, Guided Reading, Reader's Theatre, Silent Sustained Reading, and Literature Circles. Great care was taken to help teachers make critical decisions on how to group students, create a focus, and organize materials appropriately.
This article delves into ten comprehension strategies for elementary instruction ranging in degrees from literal to inferential. Each strategy is then dissected using narratives and examples of classroom initiated products. The reader is provided a palette from which a comprehension curriculum can be created.
This article offers a concrete, comprehension checklist for students' self-monitoring use. As children have these comprehension strategies modeled for them, the teacher can then add them to their individualized checklists.
To help emergent readers become fluent in making inferences, the authors provide a “How Do You Know?” technique. Teachers must find literature appropriate for inference making (guidelines are provided), then present it to children stopping at the point of inference making. Teachers then use metacognition to assist children's thinking. A variety of scaffolds are provided along with multiple literacy experiences for children to practice.
This article presents three possible classroom organizational structures for providing learning while the teacher is engaged in guided reading, then elaborates on an old standard—learning centers. Specific considerations for maximizing all students' learning during centers are provided as well as how-to for a variety of stations outside the one in which the teacher is engaged.
Teachers of Writing are given a step-by-step guideline for a book-authoring project that encompasses a full range of literacy activities with built-in, intrinsically motivated learning for children. A purpose is set for teachers and students to embark on a journey through time that is meaningful, therefore providing the necessary groundwork for each facet of the reading and writing continuum.
This article informs educators on how to use trade book retellings to define expository text structures. Teachers are encouraged to model retellings after introducing a particular text structure. This will then allow for student participation.
It is well known that literature can enhance instruction in mathematics. In this article we find that not all publishers use quality as a gauge in recommending mathematical literature books. Hunsader challenges teachers to use an assessment scale in determining the value of these books.
This article highlights the interrelationship between music, language, and reading. There is a brief discussion on Garner's eight intelligences as a backdrop for all later learning, as music is the earliest developing intelligence. The article is teeming with specifics to integrate music into a primary or music classroom.
Rebecca New explores the Reggio Emilia approach. She suggests that not only is this “working-together” approach appealing to parents and students, but to educators across the country as well.
Providing opportunities for exploring, manipulating, and creating with open-ended materials promotes the growth of language skills, and when coupled with paper and writing utensils will bring emergent literacy skills. The active role of the teacher in facilitating the social construction of knowledge is addressed.
This article describes how a wood project promoted language development, including building vocabulary for talking about the art-making process and answering open-ended questions.
This article is a position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children concerning appropriate instructional practices to respond to linguistic and cultural diversity in the classroom and school setting.
This article challenges administrators and classroom teachers to examine the grouping practices in their schools for issues of discrimination and racism. It reports the positive impact of heterogeneous grouping on reading scores and behavior of children identified with special needs. The reform in grouping students helped to counter the negative stereotype of children in self-contained special education classes.
This article contributes to sociocultural literacy theory. Educators are encouraged to view cultural diversity as a resource for literacy development. Examples from classroom practice are provided.
Standardized testing, accountability, and No Child Left Behind have forced classroom teachers and administrators to collect and interpret data as part of the instructional decision making process. This article identifies predictor variables and the direction of relationship with four outcome variables; language arts scale score, passing rates, rate of referral for special education assessment, and rate of grade retention. The study has limitations because data was based on principals' perceptions, but the article is valuable in calling for culturally responsive leadership among educators (teachers and administrators). Educators are challenged to take a critically and scholarly approach to instructional practice.
This article is an example of critical educational leadership. The authors address the continuing disparity between achievement among African American students and their European American counterparts. One only needs to look at the achievement scores across the nation to realize that standardized testing has not leveled the playing field but simply brought it to the forefront. This article challenges African American children's teachers to use authentic African American children's literature to support literacy development as a critical way to intervene for social justice and democracy in education.
In response to the poor success rate of the Effective Schools Movement in the 1970s and 1980s, which did not result in improved classroom practice, this article puts the ball in the classroom teachers' lap. This article poses classroom teachers and administrators as researchers and change agents, and suggests that educators working with children must collect ongoing literacy development data for instructional decision-making. Educators must become scholarly practitioners in the context of classroom and school practice.