Early Literacy Instruction: A Comprehensive Framework for Teaching Reading and Writing, K-3

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9780130989604: Early Literacy Instruction: A Comprehensive Framework for Teaching Reading and Writing, K-3

For courses in Literacy and Early Childhood and Emergent Literacy, PreK-3 Replete with authentic, first-person classroom descriptions, this introduction to emergent and early childhood literacy is built upon a five-part literacy instruction framework that is both comprehensive and practical. Each of the five components of the framework--teacher read-alouds, word study instruction, independent reading practice, guided reading instruction and writing workshop--is thoroughly developed in separate chapter discussions to prepare pre-service teachers for effective literacy instruction. Different from many other texts on the market, Smith and Read provide rudimentary and specific aspects of early literacy assessment and develop meaningful strategies for catching struggling young readers before they fall through the cracks.

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From the Back Cover:

This introductory K-3 literacy instruction text details authentic classroom practice by authors who have recently taught in primary and elementary classrooms. Organized around a comprehensive reading and writing instructional framework, the text balances the authors' rich classroom experiences with a theoretical perspective. The authors also share a wealth of practical teaching strategies, authentic student artifacts, and real teaching examples. The chapter-opening vignettes demonstrate real-world classroom encounters, the phonics and assessment chapters provide especially useful classroom guidance, and the effective strategies offered to help English Language Learners and Struggling Readers in Chapter 11—and in text features throughout the book—make this new text a valuable choice for teacher education.

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

Teachers have a huge responsibility to know and use research-proven methods. When they graduate and get their first jobs, teachers often find themselves doing the things their own elementary teachers did or what the teacher across the hall is doing, or simply following the teacher's manual of the basal textbooks that their district has adopted and provided for their use.

This book was written with these new teachers in mind. Both new and experienced teachers need a practical plan to follow that gives them the flexibility to use the effective practices learned in preservice programs and ongoing professional development programs. They also need substantive, evidence-based support so they can use their basal teachers' editions judiciously, and, most of all, ensure that all their students are becoming literate.

We provide new teachers a framework for a comprehensive literacy program that includes all of the main elements of the National Reading Panel's report Teaching Children to Read. This framework also includes important elements that the report did not specifically address, such as writing, reading aloud, independent reading, and assessment. Within this flexible framework, we describe a variety of strategies, models, research-based practices, and well-established best practices for teaching reading and writing to young children.

NOW THIS BOOK IS ORGANIZED

Early Literacy Instruction: A Comprehensive Framework for Teaching Reading and Writing, K-3 draws heavily on our experience as both classroom teachers and teacher educators, which has given us the background we need to help preservice teachers understand theory and research in the context of real classroom practice. The book ties narrative descriptions directly to established theory and proven practices, making them understandable and immediately useful. The content covers the most important aspects of early literacy K-3.

Chapter 1, "Reading and Writing Instruction Frameworks," begins by explaining the difference between a flexible reading instruction framework and a reading program. The chapter provides descriptions of three nationally known literacy instruction frameworks and shows how essential elements of literacy instruction are common to all three frameworks. Finally, in this chapter we present an overview of our own five-part—comprehensive and practical—literacy instruction framework.

Chapter 2, "What Is Reading?", describes reading as a process of constructing meaning by using both the reader's background knowledge and information from the text. Common word identification processes, such as using sight vocabulary, structural analysis, phonics, context, and syntax, are discussed. The chapter also describes aspects of reading comprehension, including the importance of background knowledge and meaning vocabulary and understanding texts at the literal, inferential, and critical reading levels. All of these components of the reading process are then put into perspective through a discussion of their interactive relationships. The chapter concludes with a few thoughts on the importance of attitude and the teacher's role in teaching students not just how to read but also to want to read.

Chapter 3, "Foundations of Literacy," describes how some children come to our kindergarten classrooms well prepared for learning as a result of being read to, sung to, taught the alphabet, and included in stimulating conversations by family members for literally thousands of hours (Adams, 1990a). Unfortunately, increasing numbers of children are arriving in our kindergartens unprepared for learning, with virtually none of these family-based literacy experiences. Chapter 3 describes four important foundations for literacy learning: developing oral language, knowing the alphabet letter names and sounds, understanding how speech sounds and printed letters blend together to form spoken and written words, and familiarity with the conventions of print (i.e., left-to-right, top-to-bottom, punctuation).

Chapter 4, "Reading Aloud," provides a multifaceted argument for the importance of reading aloud and has read-aloud strategies embedded throughout. It shows how reading aloud is a valuable context in which to teach comprehension strategies and explicitly model fluency. It also provides a brief overview of the world of children's literature.

Chapter 5, "Word Study," provides an overview of phonics—the common spelling patterns and word parts that comprise most of the words we encounter in print. We are convinced that you must understand the basics of phonics yourself to be effective in teaching them to children. This chapter provides descriptions of effective instructional activities for helping students recognize and apply spelling patterns in their reading. Many of these activities focus on spelling patterns in isolation, as word families. Others teach phonics in context so students will come to understand that phonics is an important contributor to meaningful reading.

Chapter 6, "Independent Reading," explains the importance of independent reading and how to implement a teacher-monitored, independent reading program in the classroom. Year after year, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the Nation's Report Card, shows that students who read the most, read best. Just as in skiing, playing the piano, or speaking a new language, it takes practice to improve. Independent reading provides students with a critically important opportunity to practice applying their reading skills in the context of real reading.

Chapter 7, "Guiding and Supporting Student Reading," describes five lesson formats and plans for guiding and supporting students as they read. Language experience, shared reading, guided reading, literature circles, and group lessons are important instructional opportunities for reinforcing word study, building reading fluency, and teaching reading comprehension strategies. Chapter 7 concludes with a description of Reading Workshop, a popular approach to orchestrating reading instruction and independent reading.

Chapter 8, "Writing Instruction," explains Writing Workshop and writing as a process and clearly emphasizes the importance of having students write every day, teaching mini-lessons, conferring with students, and asking students to share their writing with the class. It provides a balanced view of writing as both a skill and a meaning-making process.

Chapter 9, "Nonfiction Reading and Writing," discusses the need for and the importance of reading and writing across the curriculum. It explains expository text structures and how to integrate instruction in expository text structures within Writing Workshop.

Chapter 10, "Reading Assessment," begins with an overview of factors commonly associated with reading problems. It includes descriptions of the types, purposes, and uses of formal and informal testing as well as many commonly used classroom assessments. Other assessment topics include locating reading assessments, developing an annual assessment plan, and analyzing and communicating assessment data.

Chapter 11, "Interventions for Struggling Readers," describes classroom-based reading interventions, including increased instructional time, focused small-group instruction, and one-on-one tutoring. Overviews of resource programs, including Title I, special education, speech and language programs, and Reading Recovery, are also provided. Finally, the chapter describes school-level interventions such as before- and after-school programs and r e a,ding incentive programs.

Chapter 12, "Putting It All Together," gives an overview of a typical day in both a first-grade and a second-grade classroom. These longer vignettes synthesize and summarize the best practices described in this book by showing them in action in the authors' former classrooms.

SPECIAL FEATURES

This book includes a number of features readers will find especially helpful:

  • Vignettes that describe authentic classroom practices, many of them our own
  • Instructional procedures with directions for engaging children in specific literacy activities
  • A framework that allows you to customize a literacy program and differentiate instruction based on the needs of your students and the resources you have on hand
  • Struggling Readers and English Language Learner boxes that provide concrete, specific directives for working with these children
  • Connections to the IRA Standards for Reading Professionals
  • A developmental time line for monitoring children's growth in reading and writing
  • Application activities that fall at the end of each chapter

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