This week’s Flint reading focused on various literacy programs in schools and their approaches to reading. I always enjoy the personal stories from teachers at the beginning of each chapter, and this one really hit home for me. I have definitely seen evidence of student disinterest in my own classroom during sustained silent reading time. Although the students in my class are only in 2nd grade, they still struggle with the same issues as Ms. Binn’s 6th graders. Simply because a book is “just right” in terms of eading level, doesn’t mean my students will become engaged in reading it. My CT and I have been working to help students find books that appeal to them, whether by topic or genre or other characteristic.
Through this reading, I also realized just how influential prescriptive reading programs are in how teachers promote literacy in their classrooms. In my placement classroom, we use centers much like those described on p. 125. One group is always meeting with the teacher for guided reading while the other groups participate in centers which help their vocabulary, phonics, reading comprehension, listening, and writing skills. My CT also creates supplementary centers depending on the activities planned for the unit. Students read leveled and whole-class texts. Students are all engaged in literacy-promoting activities, but they are not simply reading silently. We do, however, complete a 10 to 15 minute independent reading time each day after centers, as we are working toward the NCSCoS goal of reading silently and independently for 20 minutes.
It was interesting to learn about the 4 major shifts in literacy structures. I discovered so many different and effective strategies for promoting literacy in the classroom. I think deciding on a course of action depends on the specific students in your individual class. There is no way all of the strategies can be implemented at once, but they can definitely be utilized in parts or with students who have specific needs.