Chapter 14: Family Structure and Maternal Employment: What’s the impact?

Submitted by: Karen Stowe

From Chapter 14 The Child in Context: Family Structure, Child Care, and Media

concept map chapter 14

What constitutes a family has evolved from the nuclear family of a married mother and father and their children to many different family structures.  However, the most common is still the nuclear family with two-thirds of all children residing in this family situation (Bergin & Bergin, 2012).  Other family structures can contribute to negative child outcomes if protective factors are not available.

In non-nuclear family structures there is greater potential for problems to arise with children.  Issues such as externalizing, medical, attachment, internalizing, and academic problems are common for children in divorced, single-parent, teen mother, cohabiting, and stepfamilies.  Problems in divorced or single-parent families can be due to inadequate resources including time to spend with children and money (Scott, DeRose, Lippman, and Cook, 2013).  Some of these problems can be compounded by other mediating circumstances associated with the family structure, such as conflict, poverty, instability and family dynamics (Kim, 2008) Instability in particular has been shown to negatively affect a child’s well-being in the short and long term (Nauert, 2010).  Despite the negative outcomes that are associated with these family structures children are more likely to have positive outcomes if nonresident fathers continue to be involved and parenting quality is high (Bergin & Bergin, 2012).

While family structure absolutely affects child outcomes, parenting quality has a greater impact.  Children who live with parents who use authoritative parenting are more likely to avoid negative outcomes even if their family structure is atypical.  While parenting quality is more important than family structure in determining child outcomes, it is often influenced by family structure (Bergin & Bergin, 2012).

Teachers cannot influence family structure , but they can provide protective factors for children.  In order to help children, teachers can provide the following supports:

  • Be an alternate attachment figure.
  • Teach students social and emotional skills.
  • Helps students experience success in the classroom by developing academic skills.
  • Use authoritative classroom management.
  • Involve parents in education, particularly at the school level.

As family structures have changed so has the role of the mother within the family.  With more two income families and more single parent households more mothers work at least part time.  Maternal employment has an impact on child outcomes.   The effect on the child depends on many factors involving the mother and her job.  Children are more likely to have positive outcomes associated with their mother working if the family is able to leave welfare, the mother is single, the mother believes it is good for her children, and she spends more nonwork hours with her children.  Certain situations can lead to negative outcomes such as the mother being middle class, working long hours, working before her children reach age 3, finding work unrewarding, or having a low quality job (Bergin & Bergin, 2012).

It is important to recognize the impact of family structure and maternal employment on a child in your classroom.  Non-nuclear families and certain maternal employment situations can increase risk factors for children involved, which can increase problems for those children.  Providing those children with the appropriate protective factors will help lead them to favorable outcomes.

References:

Bergin, C. A., & Bergin, D. A. (2012). Cognitive Ability: Intelligence, Talent and Achievement. Child and Adolescent Development In Your Classroom. Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

Kim, K. (2008). Academic Success Begins at Home: How Children Can Succeed in School. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved from: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/09/academic-success-begins-at-home-how-children-can-succeed-in-school

Nauert, R. (2010). Loss of Traditional Family Structure Affects Kids’ Wellbeing. Psychcentral. Retrieved from: http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/09/30/loss-of-traditional-family-structure-affects-kids-wellbeing/18963.html

Scott, M., DeRose, L., Lippman, L., and Cook, E. (2013). Two, One, or No Parents? Mapping Family Change and Child Well-being Outcomes. Child Trends

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some strategies that you have used to get parents involved in their child’s education?
  2. How has your own family structure impacted yourself or your children?
  3. What are some strategies you have used to work with children who are struggling with their family structure?
  4. Do you know of children who based on their family structure could have problems, but are doing well? Why do you believe they are doing well?
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Media’s Impact of Today’s Classroom

The Impact of Media on Today’s ClassroomImage

Chapter 14: The Child in Context: Family Structure, Child Care, and Media

Submitted by Katie Williams

It’s no secret that media is a large influencer of students, now more than ever before. It is imperative that we, as parents and teachers, find ways to embrace media and use it to our advantage, working also to lower risk factors in the children within our realm of influence.

The Impact of Media on Multicultural Education

Media has the power to teach students about people from all over the world. Programs such as Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street incorporate other cultures into their television episodes. Sesame Street also reaches out to multicultural audiences through the Sesame Street Workshop foundation by being broadcast in 30 languages throughout the globe (Wartella & Knell). These episodes address cultural needs such as prosocial behavior, mutual respect and acceptance of those who are different (i.e. Kami, an HIV positive Muppet in South Africa’s airings) (Wartella & Knell). These interventions strive to address social issues around the world and help educate students about adult issues that they may hear their parents discussing. So what about bringing multicultural education to American students? Teachers and students can continue to discuss global issues they see in media. Work to promote mutual respect and break down barriers of racial stereotypes students may get from antisocial television shows. Introduce students to prosocial media such as educational shows like Sesame Street that will engage students and invite them to learn about other countries.

The Impact of iPads in the Classroom

Many schools are combating media usage by embracing it and bringing it into the classroom. Many BYOD school districts are emerging and many others are purchasing iPads for school use. Social collaboration is one advantage to using iPads in the classroom as it facilitates engagement among students (Henderson & Yeow). Students are held accountable and take control of their own learning when iPads are use effectively. In some cases, learning is becoming digital and taking the place of the educator lecturing at the front of the classroom. Learning is also becoming more mobile and immediate since learning is at the students’ fingertips. The portability of iPads allows teachers and students to use the devices in and out of the classroom. For example, students can take the devices along on field trips or practice skills at home. The biggest critique of using this technology in the classroom is that teachers MUST manage the use of these devices (apps and software updates) and monitor student use so it doesn’t contribute to the negative effects media already has on students. As with computer use in the classroom, teachers should attend professional development to effectively use this piece of technology in the classroom (Bergin & Bergin).

Impact of Social Media on Education

Social media is becoming a part of the lives of our educators and students alike at exponential rates. A national research report from Grunwald Associates, LLC found that one third of teachers alone belong to a social media group and that number is increasing (Rivero). So why not embrace social media as an educational tool within the classroom setting? Sites such as Edmodo allow students to collaborate with each other, take online assessments, and read material posted for learning purposes. Sites such as glogster, smore, edublog, and kidblog take blogging to a new level where students take control of their learning to write posts or create e-posters of their learning. Professional learning networks such a PD360 is designed to help teachers improve in their practice along their journey as educators.

Reducing Negative Effects of Media in the Classroom

Embracing media is one way to continue to ensure that students are engaged in our classrooms. However, we should always make sure we are working to reduce those negative effects that media has on our students. Make sure you talk to your students about making positive media choices and modeling what this looks like (Bergin & Bergin). Also, educate parents about positive media outlets such as educational and prosocial television and internet sites. Above all, make sure to discuss digital citizenship with students encourage students to make informed decisions about media even at a young age.

References

Bergin, C. A., & Bergin, D. A. (2012). Cognitive Ability: Intelligence, Talent and Achievement. Child and Adolescent Development In Your Classroom (pp. 185-191). Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

Henderson, S.; Yeow, J., “iPad in Education: A Case Study of iPad Adoption and Use in a Primary School,” System Science (HICSS), 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on , vol., no., pp.78,87, 4-7 Jan. 2012. URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.proxy.mul.missouri.edu/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6148617&isnumber=6148595

Rivero, V. (2011). “We’re talking social media in education.” Internet@Schools, 18(3), 12-15,4. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/865910640?accountid=14576

Wartella, Ellen and Gary E. Knell (Nov, 2004). “Raising a World-Wise Child and the Power of Media: The Impact of Television on Children’s Intercultural Knowledge.” The Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 86, No 3, pp.222-224.

 

Discussion Questions

1)      What are some additional impacts do you see of media on education?

2)      What are you doing to promote digital citizenship in your school district? In your classroom?

3)      What additional ways can you think of to reduce negative effects of media on our students?

4)       How can you effectively use media in your classroom instruction?

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Chapter 13: Motivation- Self-Efficacy

 

 

 

Submitted by: Leslie Culpepper

self efficacy 2

Self-Efficacy

When talking about motivation, self-efficacy is a very important factor. Self-efficacy is the belief in yourself to meet a goal or attain a certain outcome. Self-efficacy affects how we feel, think and act. Some people have high self-efficacy and others have low. Let’s pretend that you are about to jump out of an airplane. What is the voice inside your head telling you? The voice is a reflection of your self-efficacy. If the voice inside your head is telling you that you can do it, more than likely you will. If you are uncertain that you can do it, you probably can’t.

People high in self-efficacy take better care of themselves, see tasks as something to be mastered, and they feel more empowered. (LeVan, 2010) They learn from failure and use it to create success. They have a greater sense of motivation and persistence. These students with high self-efficacy know how to improve their own performances. They are more engaged, have better achievement and have greater task persistence. (Barkley, 2006)

Students with poor self-efficacy have low aspirations which may result in substandard academic performances. They look at challenges as threats that should be avoided. They fall victim easily to depression and stress. Children with low self-efficacy have low commitment to goals and give up when faced with difficulties. It has been linked to helplessness, anxiety and depression. (LeVan, 2010) Learned helplessness is the perception developed through experience that no matter what you do, you will not be competent in a domain. (Bergin & Bergin, 2012) These students believe that they cannot do something no matter how hard they try.

How can students gain self-efficacy?

– Mastery experiences: successful experiences enhance self-efficacy

– Vicarious experiences: watching others succeed strengthens own beliefs

– Verbal persuasion: boosting and motivating others to do their best

– Emotional state: being positive and happy can boost self-efficacy

Efficacy beliefs are powerful predictors of performance, not only for students but also for teachers. (Barkley, 2006) Teachers with low efficacy beliefs find it complicated to teach to the individual needs of their students. Teachers who are found to be highly efficacious in their teaching beliefs and strategies typically find it easier to both confront and correct educational pitfalls in the classroom. (Barkley, 2006) Current research does show that teacher efficacy is linked to student efficacy and student motivation. (Barkley, 2006) Students need teachers who will promote day-to-day activities resulting in activities designed to maintain high but accurate self-efficacy beliefs. (Barkley, 2006) They also need challenging tasks with positive feedback and the understanding that ability is a controllable aspect of learning. It is crucial that students have a positive role model to help them be successful.

There are a few things to avoid as educators. Try to avoid instruction that does not allow student input. Let students take control of their learning so it can be tailored to individual performance. Avoid goal driven instruction. It can put too much pressure on students and emphasize extrinsic outcomes. (Kirk, 2012) Also try to avoid comparing student performances to each other. This can really lower the self-efficacy of many students.

References:

Barkley, J. (2006) Reading Education: Is Self-Efficacy Important? Reading Improvement, 43. Retrieved from: http://finditatmu.library.missouri.edu/0034-0510v43n4

Bergin, C. C., & Bergin, D. A. (2012). Child and adolescent development in your classroom. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

Kirk, Karin (2012). Self Efficacy: Do you Believe you can be Successful?, 32 Degrees: The Journal of Professional Snowsports Instruction, Winter 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.32degreesmagazine.org/lookinside32degrees/winter2012?pg=80#pg75

LeVan, A. (2010). If You Think You Can’t…Think Again: The Sway of Self-Efficacy. Retrieved from: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/flourish/201002/if-you-think-you-can-t-think-again-the-sway-self-efficacy

Discussion Questions:

1. Have you had a student with low self-efficacy? How did you help them?

2. What are some ways that you could give students control over their learning?

3. What do you do to increase self-efficacy with your students on a daily basis?

4. Do you know a teacher with low self-efficacy? Have you seen the effects it can have on students?

5. Have you ever had a student with learned helplessness?

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Self-Esteem and the Self-System

Self-Esteem

Amanda Morris

Chapter 13

Ch13

 

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

Gautama Buddha

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/self-esteem

What predicts views of self? There are three basic areas that predict the view on self: attachment, other people’s views, and competence. (Bergin)

There are signs to watch for in children that may have low self- esteem.  If a student gives up easily, avoids task and challenges without effort, or has a loss of interest in usual activities; these could be warning signs for low self-esteem.  Other signs to watch for are a negative sense of self, or always putting oneself down; difficulty accepting praise, and becoming strongly affected by negative influences surrounding him/her.

Research shows you can higher student’s self-esteem by following these guidelines:

Improve students’ competence in athletics, academics, or social skills.  Improve students’ relationships with others and yourself. Recognize that self-concept is multifaceted.  Be honest about academic achievement of your students. (Bergin)

While there are a variety of factors that influence and affect students’ self-esteem, one of the most altering influences are the parents and the home environment.  The following is a simple list that can be elaborated and put into play in a variety of ways.

How parents can help self-esteem:

*be a positive role model.

*be careful what you say

*identify and redirect inaccurate beliefs

*be spontaneous and affectionate

*give positive, accurate feedback

*create a safe, loving home environment

*help kids become involved in constructive experiences

(Kids Health)

While this information primarily focused on self-esteem, it is of the upmost importance that influencing adults do not mistake overall self-esteem for specific self-concepts.  The following is a great article showing an example of this misconception and how it can affect adults and peers. I suggest checking it out:

http://www.nasponline.org/families/selfconcept.pdf

Bergin, C.C. & Bergin, D.A. (2012).  Child and Adolescent Development in Your Classroom.  Belmont, CA:  Wadsworth/Cengage Learning

Elmore, Tim. “What Really Cultivates Self Esteem in Children.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 19 09 2013. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/artificial-maturity/201309/what-really-cultivates-self-esteem-in-students>.

New, Michelle. “Developing Your Child’s Self-Esteem.” Kid’s Health. The Nemours Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 Nov 2013. <http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/self_esteem.html>.

“Signs of Low Self-Esteem.” Healthy Children. 29 08 2013. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/Pages/Signs-of-Low-Self-Esteem.asp&xgt;.

1. Can you think of a student that has high self-esteem, but maybe has a low self-concept for a particular area (reading, math, public speaking)?  Describe the actions related to this particular area.

2.  What characteristics of low self-esteem do you see in your students? Do you notice it affecting certain aspects of their life?

3.  What characteristics of high self-esteem do you see in your students? Are these characteristics a positive addition to your classroom environment? Why or why not?

4. What areas of self-esteem would you like to work on within your classroom environment?  How do you think you could address these areas?

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Social Identity

Submitted by Andrea Cox

Chapter 13:  The Self-System and Motivation

 

Image

Social Identity

Social identity is when a person develops a sense of self based on belonging to a particular group.  Henri Tajfel’s proposed that the groups a person has attached themselves to are an important source of pride and self-esteem (McLeod, 2008).  Because people have a tendency to group things together, Tajfel believed that stereotyping is based on a normal cognitive process.  Tajfels’ social identity theory begins with categorization, moves into social identification and then into social comparison (McLeod, 2008).

Gender & Ethnic Identity

Two aspect of social identity are gender and ethnicity.  Gender identity is being able to distinguish between the male and female gender in one-self and others (Bergin & Bergin, 2012).  Ethnic identity is when ones self-concept has been developed by a sense of belonging to an ethnic group.  Infants a few months old are able to label faces by gender and distinguish faces from their own race (Bergin & Bergin, 2012).  As children develop they then can gain an understanding that some groups may be stigmatized.  There are at least three factors that depend on whether children perceive discrimination:  1.) social cognitive ability, 2.) obviousness of discrimination and 3.) personal vigilance toward discrimination (Bergin & Bergin, 2012)

Promoting positive self-identity is important so that students do not feel alienated or devalued.  The following is a list of ways to promote positive self-identity (Bergin & Bergin, 2012): 

  1. Use multicultural curriculum.
  2. Help each student fell valued in the classroom.
  3. Hold all students to high, but reasonable standards.
  4. Be self-reflective.

Incorporating writing, interactive, recreational and community service activities lessons can promote the development of self-identity (Renata, 2011).  One way these activities can be implemented is by students working cooperative groups.  Cooperative learning groups can increase student achievement and self-concept (Zisk, 1998).

Self-concept and social identity can play a major role in student’s success in the classroom.  Self-concepts can affect how students perform in the classroom and are directly linked to motivation.  Teachers need to provide opportunities for students to develop a more positive self-concept in order to increase the likelihood of student success.

 

References:

Bergin, C. A., & Bergin, D. A. (2012). Information Processing, Memory and Problem Solving. Child and

             adolescent development in your classroom (pp. 127 – 148). Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning. 

McLeod, S. (2008). Social Identity Theory. – Simply Psychology. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from           

            http://www.simplypsychology.org/social-identity-theory.html 

Renata, R. (2011, March 6). Identity Development Activities | eHow. eHow. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from

            http://www.ehow.com/info_8025600_identity-development-activities.html 

 Zisk, J. (1998). The Effects Of Cooperative Learning On Academic Self-Concept And Achievement Of Secondary Chemistry

            Students. The Effects Of Cooperative Learning On Academic Self-Concept And Achievement Of Secondary Chemistry

            Students. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from http://sciteched.org/research/Dis.htm

 

 Discussion Questions:

 1.  Have you ever found yourself calling on one gender more often?  How do you prevent yourself from calling on all boys or girls during a class discussion?

 2. Discuss a time how you handled a situation with a student(s) that was the result of cultural differences.

 3. Discuss at least two activities that you use with students to promote positive self-identity.

 4. Discuss at least two strategies that you use to communicate with students that you value them as individuals.

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Chapter XII Language and Literacy

Bilingual Education

Submitted by: Autumn Brown

Chapter XII

Language and Literacy

Image

“A nation’s language, so we are often told, reflects its culture, psyche, and modes of thought…The Babylonians would have been hard-pressed to understand Crime and Punishment, because their language used one and the same word to describe both of these concepts. The craggy fjords are audible in the precipitous intonation of Norwegian, and you can hear the dark l’s of Russian in Tchaikovsky’s lugubrious tunes…English is adaptable even promiscuous, and Italian-ah, Italian!”

– Guy Deutscher

Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages

Contemporary experts aver that learning two or more languages represents a tremendous cognitive investment for children, which is further complicated by age, schooling, and proficiency in one’s native tongue (Wolf, 2007). With the continuous rise of immigrant populations throughout our communities, some schools have sought out bilingual education programs in an effort to ensure the success of their students. In the past, it was thought that teaching children two (or more) languages could result in a panoply of detrimental neurological effects (UNAM, 2004). However, current research largely confutes this claim by extolling the manifold cognitive benefits of multilingualism, including greater memory, higher IQ scores, and an increased ability to conceptualize abstract ideas (Lara, 2002).  Seeking to capitalize on these esteemed assets, some enterprising school districts have attempted to cultivate bilingualism within their student body, an endeavor which often consists of injecting large sums of capital into the development of said programs.  However, it is worth noting that bilingual education models vary in both scope and effectiveness. It is, therefore, fundamental that each program be carefully scrutinized prior to adoption.

The submersion model (sometimes erroneously referred to as the immersion model), mainstreams non-native English speakers into regular English-speaking classrooms. This particular paradigm has the expressed purpose of assimilating the student within the realms of both language and attitudes, as they relate to the dominant culture. As it is atypical for the first language to be supported throughout this process, researchers consider this model subtractive. Despite not being exactly the same, ELL pullout models closely parallel this approach. Experts argue that by failing to buttress the student’s native language prior to introducing the new language, students are at risk of developing profound cognitive deficits, which may prove to be irrevocable (Roberts, 1995). Although this model is not technically a legal option in the U.S., it is nonetheless utilized due to lax enforcement (particularly in schools with a low population of language minority students).  Additionally, for various reasons of circumstance, parents or guardians of these children are generally loath to demand services for which their children are entitled (Roberts, 1995).

In lieu of the aforementioned programs, some schools have shown a propensity for favoring transitional bilingual approaches, which –in contrast to other models- are more additive in nature. The hallmark of this educational design is that students are afforded the opportunity to receive content area support in their native language while English is being taught.  Concurrent teaching (or team teaching with bilingual staff) is one method of achieving this goal; however, there are some notable disadvantages, including lack of true balance (English tends to dominate) and redundancy.   Enrichment bilingual programs would also fall within the purview of this framework, though they are often prohibitively expensive (Roberts, 1995).

For some, the merits of bilingual education have been heralded as a welcome shift in what had become an antiquated pedagogical paradigm. For these individuals, the addition of dual languages adds much needed texture to the diverse tapestry of individuals who comprise our nation. For others, it simply adds more confusion to an already intricate mosaic, encroaching on the sacred foundation of educational tradition. However, independent of these views, lays the incontrovertible reality that our society is rapidly changing, and we must be prepared to adapt with it, both in theory and in practice.

Citations

Deutscher, G. (2010). Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages. New York, NY: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company.

Lara, A. (2002). Bilinguisme, Comment le Cerveau Filtre-t-il? Retrieved on November 5, 2013 from http://www.e-sante.fr/bilinguisme-comment-cerveau-filtre-t-il/actualite/422

Roberts, Cheryl A. (1995). Bilingual Education Program Models: A Framework For Understanding. The Bilingual Research Journal. 19 (e.g. 2), pp.369-378

UNAM. (2004). El Cerebro Bilingüe. Retrieved on November 5, 2013 from http://www.ifc.unam.mx/pdfs/investigacion_cerebro/011.pdf

Wolf, M. (2007). Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

 

Discussion Questions

1. Are you an individual who spoke (or speaks) another language at home? If so, to what degree has this experience shaped your identity?

2. Should schools be compelled to allocate resources aimed at preserving a student’s native language (L1)? If so, to what extent?

3.  Does your school promote bilingual education? If so, which model do they support? Do you think that it is effective?

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Developing Literacy

Submitted by:  Jimmie Jo Fitzwater

From Chapter 12:  Language and Literacy

Literacyflowchart

 

Our text defines literacy as “the ability to communicate in printed language through reading and writing, particularly in school settings” (Bergin and Bergin, 2012).  Literacy is communication in all forms.  It includes listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  Literacy is always evolving.  It begins at birth with the interactions with others and the environment in which a child lives.  As we read in our text, the process of developing literacy begins even before a child enters school.  A child’s experiences early in life set the stage for development.  Learning to read and write is important to a child’s success in school and later in life.  It is the foundation for almost all areas of a child’s development.  Reading and writing skills develop concurrently.

Why do some children become more literate than others?  One factor is verbal ability.  “Children with good verbal ability learn to read more easily than their peers.  Good verbal ability includes a large vocabulary, ability to retell a story coherently, and both phonological and morphological awareness” (Bergin and Bergin, 2012).  A second factor is brain development.  Children may inherit their ability to read and write.  The experiences a child has also helps his/her brain to develop.  A third reason is cognitive development.  “Reading requires general cognitive abilities, like working memory, knowledge, reasoning, and cognitive abilities” (Bergin and Bergin, 2012).  A fourth factor includes a positive emotional attachment.  Secure children develop better literacy skills and attitudes towards reading.  Finally, developing literacy has many social factors.  Parents who read and talk to children about books are helping their child to develop literacy.  Playing can also help to develop literacy.  Parents who play and use complex words with their children can greatly increase their child’s vocabulary development.

A child’s home environment greatly impacts his/her ability to develop fluent communication skills.  So the question remains:  What can I do as a classroom teacher to help to increase and improve literacy skills in the classroom?  As I researched this question I began to see the similarities between researchers of literacy instruction for elementary students, secondary students, adolescents, and boys.  I compiled the information to the following suggestions:

  • Make the Time:  In his article, Richard Allington wrote about reading and writing vs. all of the other “stuff.”  He warned that elementary teachers should be spending a large amount of time allowing children to practice reading.  Less time should be spent on activities that do not significantly increase a child’s reading abilities (such as worksheets).  Allington wrote, “Extensive practice provides the opportunity for students to consolidate the skills and strategies teachers often work so hard to develop” (2002).
  • Classroom Resources:  Teachers should have a well-stocked classroom.  Books should be fiction and nonfiction representing varied formats and genres.  Books that are easy to read build fluency and provide enjoyment.  Success in reading is closely associated with engagement and the motivation to read.
  • Teach with a Purpose:  Teachers need to provide direct and explicit instruction of comprehension strategies.  According to the What Works Clearinghouse, “Direct and explicit teaching involves a teacher modeling and providing explanations of the specific strategies students are learning, giving guided practice and feedback on the use of the strategies, and promoting independent practice to apply the strategies” (2008).
  • Encourage Talk:  Teachers should encourage and support purposeful talk throughout the day.  Students should be allowed to discuss with one another and with the teacher as well.  Talking appears to be especially important for boys.  “Some boys need to talk through their ideas before they are sure they understand what they have read and before they can commit their ideas to paper effectively” (Ontario Education, 2004).
  • Authentic Reading Tasks:  Complex tasks that increase student motivation and engagement should be planned rather than low level worksheets.  Teachers should plan real world, authentic tasks that provide students with some choices.  “Students will learn to process text more deeply if their reading is relevant to their lives and they are pursuing meaningful learning goals in an atmosphere that supports their initiative and personal choice” (Center on Instruction, 2007).  Teachers should have high expectations for these tasks.

References:

Allington, Richard. (2002). “The Six Ts of Effective Elementary Literacy Instruction.” Reading Rockets. Retrieved November, 2013 from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/96/.

Bergin, C. C., & Bergin, D. A. (2012). Child and Adolescent Development in your Classroom. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

“Improving Adolescent Literacy:  Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices.” U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, What Works Clearinghouse. Retrieved November, 2013 from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/PracticeGuide.aspx?sid=8

“Me Read?  No Way!” (2004) Ontario Education.  Retrieved November, 2013 from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/brochure/meread/meread.pdf

Torgensen, Houston, Rissman. (2007) “Improving Literacy Instruction in Middle and High Schools:  A Guide for Principals.”  Florida Center for Reading Research.  Retrieved November, 2013 from http://www.fcrr.org/interventions/pdf/principals%20guide-secondary.pdf.

Discussion Questions:

  1.  What activity do you do in your classroom that you feel helps to increase your student’s motivation to read?
  2.  Do you follow a Reader’s Workshop approach or does your district use a basal series?  What are the benefits and negative aspects of the program that you use?
  3. How has implementing the Common Core Standards changed the development of literacy in your classroom?
  4. What is a writing activity that your students seem to enjoy doing year after year?

 

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