Readers and Writers in the Primary Grades: A Balanced and Integrated Approach (2nd Edition)

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9780130931504: Readers and Writers in the Primary Grades: A Balanced and Integrated Approach (2nd Edition)

For reading, writing, and literacy in elementary school courses. Readers and Writers in Primary Grades is organized around strategies that benefit teachers in their efforts to be responsive to the developmental literacy needs of young children. Integrating theory and practice, these strategies offer a balanced look at appropriate literacy activities for K-3 classrooms.

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Readers and Writers in Primary Grades is organized around strategies that benefit teachers in their efforts to be responsive to the developmental literacy needs of young children. Integrating theory and practice, these strategies offer a balanced look at appropriate literacy activities for K-3 classrooms.

Features new to the second edition include:

  • Looking Into Classrooms: Each chapter opens with a vignette from a real classroom
  • Practice: Classroom dialogues, expanded illustrations, assessment, and other features link theory to practice
  • Coverage of assessment and diversity is integrated into each chapter
  • A Handbook of Children's Literature (Appendix A) supports planning for the use of children's literature, particularly in read-alouds and literature study

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Every child has the right to know firsthand the power and possibility that come from being a literate individual! For over thirty years, I have been a teacher of children and adults, and during that time I have learned that effective teachers have at least two things in common—a commitment that all children can learn and a commitment to providing the assistance necessary for every child to become literate. There is much that we must know about children, language, and literacy if we are to support all children as learners. This book is a beginning!

Imagine that we are helping a young child learn to ride a bike. At first we provide a great deal of support, patiently demonstrating the parts of bike riding that the child needs to know and seems ready to learn. Teaching this child to ride requires repetition, redirection, and careful observation of his or her responses. Slowly, as the child demonstrates new levels of skill, we adjust the amount and types of support we provide, until the child is riding without our support. There may be spills along the way, even regressions, but we intervene only as the child demonstrates need because we want the child to become independent.

The story about riding a bike could just as easily be a story about helping a child learn to read and write. Young children who learn to read and write early usually do so with the support of a responsive adult—an adult who listens to them, talks with them, reads with them, and writes with them. This is what we want for every child, to be that responsive adult who supports their acquisition of literacy skills and strategies, because our goal for children is independence! To this end, this book is organized around teaching strategies that can help each of us be responsive to the literacy needs of young children.

LITERACY FRAMEWORK

This second edition of Readers and Writers in Primary Grades focuses on a balanced and integrated approach to literacy, meshing theory and practice in every chapter. The illustration on page vi clearly identifies the components of our literacy framework. Each chapter focuses on one or more components, providing the theory base for the component and illustrations of effective classroom practices with the component.

PART I: LITERACY METHODS FOR K-3 CLASSROOMS

  • Chapter 1 provides an overview of a balanced and integrated approach to literacy, children's growth as readers and writers in the primary grades, and an examination of our role as responsive adults in the literacy process.
  • Chapter 2 introduces the foundation of a balanced literacy framework—reading aloud to children. This component is a powerful tool that is often overlooked for its instructional value. In this chapter we explore ways of engaging children in read-aloud to enhance language development and knowledge of what print has to offer.
  • Chapters 3 and 4 provide an in-depth examination of shared reading and writing experiences. Shared experiences provide excellent opportunities to model reading and writing processes for and with children. When we share the pen, and children write with our support, we provide a truly interactive writing experience in which children model and demonstrate their understandings of print.
  • Chapters 5 and 6 provide an in-depth examination of guided and independent reading and writing. It is through these components that we are able to assess the effectiveness of our instruction. Guided reading and writing provide an intermediate step on the way to independence, with assistance as needed to extend children's learning that began in read-aloud and shared reading and writing.
  • Chapter 7 provides background needed to organize activities that extend children's interactions with quality literature through wholeclass, smallgroup, and independent study of books. Literature study is a complement to other forms of reading experiences provided in a balanced framework.
  • Chapters 8, 9, and 10 build background for the scope of word knowledge development that takes place during the primary grades. We begin with phonological awareness, which is the basis for success in reading and writing. Then we develop an understanding of both phonics and the structure of words to enable us to read and write multisyllable words.

PART II: MAKING CONNECTIONS: LINKING CHILDREN'S LEARNING EXPERIENCES WITH A BALANCED LITERACY PROGRAM

An Integrated Unit Study: Learning about Amphibians in Two Second Grade Classrooms, serves as a culminating illustration of how a group of second-grade teachers link instruction in literacy through their use of all the components in our framework. Reading this classroom illustration along with Chapter 1 provides a more comprehensive overview of our literacy framework. Rereading this section throughout the text provides continued clarification of the possibilities for components.

TEXT FEATURES

This is an all-new edition of Readers and Writers in Primary Grades. A number of features in the text are provided to support learning:

  • Literacy framework illustration—Each chapter opens with the illustration showing the focus components) for the chapter. Throughout the text, the logo serves as a reminder of our framework for literacy instruction.
  • In this chapter. . .—Identifies the major concepts, issues, and ideas on which the chapter will focus. This feature provides an opportunity to think ahead about familiar ideas that might appear in the chapter.
  • Focus Literature—Identifies on the opening pages of each chapter what literature will be highlighted. Familiarity with the literature enhances understanding of chapter activities.
  • Looking into Classrooms. . . —Each chapter opens with a classroom vignette that provides a practical connection to a real classroom in which the focus component is being practiced. Often, the teacher featured in the vignette will reappear later in the chapter as we focus in more depth on classroom practices.
  • Building a Theory Base. . .—Following Looking into Classrooms. . . , we turn our attention to the particular background knowledge needed to implement the focus components) for each chapter. To be able to expand upon the ideas of others we must understand the theories upon which the ideas are based.
  • Take a Moment to Reflect. . .—At the close of Building a Theory Base . . . , we take a moment to consider the major ideas presented in the section. This is a good opportunity to check comprehension of main ideas before considering the application of theory to practice. This section also appears at the end of each chapter to help summarize the final portions of the chapter.
  • Putting Theory into Practice. . .—The remainder of each chapter provides extensive applications of theory to classroom practices. Classroom dialogues, expanded illustrations, and assessment features appear in each chapter.
  • Your Turn . . .—Suggests practice activities that apply to ideas presented in each chapter. To retain new ideas we must re-collect and reconstruct our ideas to make them our own. The activities suggested in the Your Turn . . . section are best if completed with someone else. Sharing ideas and teaching each other help us refine and solidify our thinking.
  • Issues of Assessment and Respecting Diversity are integrated into each chapter, as they apply to the focus component. Discussions are easy to find, as they are the final two sections of each chapter.
  • A Handbook for Children's Literature, Appendix A, provides an overview of genre and literary elements to support planning for the use of children's literature, particularly in read-alouds and literature study.
  • Sample pictures and word lists for word study activities are provided in Appendix B and Appendix C.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

First, and foremost, to my husband, Randy, who is the most patient, understanding, and loving husband—Thank you for everything. Thanks to the teachers at Roger Corbett Elementary, who are a constant source of inspiration, especially Jeana Milligan, Marcie Humes, Nikki Perkins, and Mary Ballinger, who inspired the Making Connections section, and to Coral Poore, an amazing teacher and colleague. A special thank you to their principal and friend, Pat Casarez, for making me feel like I am one of the faculty. Many thanks to everyone at Merrill/Prentice Hall who work their magic to make books come to life—especially Linda Montgomery, Jeff Johnston, Lori Jones and Mary Irvin. My thanks also to each of the reviewers who provided helpful ideas and constructive criticism for this second edition—Carol J. Fuhler, Iowa State University; Larry Andrews, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Karen Robinson, Otterbein College; Joan Simmons, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; and Helen Abadiano, Central Connecticut University. And finally, thank you to the readers, who breathe life into the ideas on these pages, and hopefully draw upon them to touch the lives of children. Thank you.

Martha Combs

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