Portraits of Literacy Development: Instruction and Assessment in a Well-Balanced Literacy Program, K-3

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9780130943149: Portraits of Literacy Development: Instruction and Assessment in a Well-Balanced Literacy Program, K-3

With an emphasis on the many uses of assessment data, this book offers prospective teachers a unique new approach to using various assessments to inform their literacy instruction at every level. Through examples and discussion, readers are shown how to scaffold literacy instruction for emergent, early, and fluent readers, based on information they have gathered about pupils' learning. A solid research base and strong treatment of underlying theory support dozens of practical, accessible strategies that are clearly aligned with performance-based assessments. The alignment of performance-based assessments and corresponding instructional strategies with national standards facilitates prospective teachers' understanding of the “Leave No Child Behind” initiative and its implications—prepares them for the expectations of colleagues, parents, and school boards. Includes coverage of technology as it relates to literacy teaching and learning. The authors' clear, pragmatic style makes the material easily understandable to undergraduates, graduates and classroom teachers of literacy in Early Childhood and Elementary Schools.

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How Do Early Childhood Teachers Ensure That "No Child Is Let Behind"?

Across the country, teachers and administrators are struggling to respond to the federal legislation mandate that every child receive a quality literacy education. One of the key components of the No Child Left Behind Act is research-based literacy instruction. The key to successful literacy instruction, however, is a reflective teacher with a rich knowledge base of child development and pedagogy.

Our purpose in writing this textbook is to help early childhood teachers acquire an understanding of assessment for learning. This process studies the child's literacy performance and bases instruction on the needs of the individual child. The teacher "follows the child," which is critical to early childhood instruction. We model how to implement scaffolded literacy instruction using developmental benchmarks in a clear, pragmatic style. It is now mandated in the No Child Left Behind Act that teachers gather evidence of student learning. This text provides performance-based literacy assessment to help teachers gather data on student progress. Throughout the text we illustrate how to scaffold literacy instruction for the child reading at the emergent, early, and fluent levels.

What Makes Portraits of Literacy Development Different From Other Literacy Textbooks?

  • Portraits of Literacy Development illustrates the importance of oral language to literacy instruction and demonstrates how to improve academic discourse.
  • Teachers are shown how to scaffold literacy instruction for emergent, early, and fluent readers throughout the entire literacy cycle.
  • Assessment instruments are provided which are linked to instruction. The appendix contains master copies of key assessment instruments that teachers can reproduce and use with their students.
  • The diverse classroom of today is addressed and teachers are shown how to differentiate instruction and assessment for the 21st-century classroom.

What Is the Purpose of This Textbook?

As we interact with preservice and professional teachers, we are constantly asked how to integrate literacy instruction and assessment. Early childhood teachers are aware that using assessment data to improve literacy performance is critical, yet very few have been shown how to actually do it.

We have used our decades of experience teaching literacy in early childhood to create a practitioner-friendly text. The real classroom with its many challenges is the springboard to present developmental benchmarks for literacy at the emergent, early, and fluent levels. The literacy benchmarks are based on national standards issued by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English and are therefore applicable across all 50 states. Supporting our instructional and assessment strategies is a framework for developmentally appropriate learning as outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Our goal is to illustrate how developmental benchmarks for literacy may be used to anchor instruction and assessment. As the teacher becomes immersed in the benchmarks, the instructional focus shifts to following the child while the teacher develops a well-trained "literacy lens." As the 21st-century classroom becomes more diverse and challenging, the early childhood teacher will need to draw on this knowledge to ensure that no child is left behind.

How Is This Textbook Organized?

This book is organized into four parts. Part I presents the foundations of literacy instruction and the research findings that support the instructional strategies presented in the text. It also explains the constructivist theory supporting the scaffolded literacy instruction that is presented throughout the text.

Part II explores the importance of oral language development to literacy development. The chapters describe how to support the development of academic discourse for emergent, early, and fluent readers. Teachers are also shown how to connect oral language with writing development across the literacy continuum. Instructional strategies as well as assessment instruments for oral language development are included in the chapters.

The third part focuses on literacy instruction for emergent, early, and fluent readers. Each chapter presents the developmental benchmarks for literacy at the emergent, early, and fluent levels. Chapter 6 demonstrates how to assess and develop phonemic awareness as well as the alphabetic principle. Chapter 7 describes the literacy needs of the child at the early literacy stage, and Chapter 8 focuses on the fluency level and building comprehension across the curriculum. Chapter 9 discusses the importance of phonics instruction across all three literacy levels and also provides assessment instruments for phonological processing.

Part IV describes how to "put it all together." Chapter 10 illustrates how to differentiate instruction and assessment for all children, especially the English language learner as well as the child with special learning needs. The section concludes with Chapter 11, which deals with pragmatic issues regarding portfolio assessment such as scheduling and preparing for parent conferences.

What Are the Special Features of This Textbook?

The special features of this textbook include the following:

  • Portraits of Literacy scenarios drawn from the authors' own classroom experiences are integrated throughout the text.
  • Each chapter has links to technology, meeting the needs of diversity and involving parents.
  • Each chapter has additional professional and children's literature references.
  • Assessment instruments linked to instructional strategies are included in every chapter to gather evidence of student learning.
  • The appendix presents key assessment instruments for emergent, early, and fluent readers which can be reproduced to create a literacy portfolio.
  • Developmental benchmarks for oral language as well as literacy are presented for emergent, early, and fluent readers.
  • Chapter 9 presents a complete compendium of strategies and assessment instruments for phonological processing across literacy levels.
  • Chapter 10 illustrates how to differentiate instruction and assessment to meet the challenges of today's diverse classroom.
  • Every chapter presents instructional strategies and assessment tools for scaffolding oral language and literacy instruction across the literacy continuum.

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