By Beth Newingham Grades 3—5 Richard Allington believes that effective elementary literacy instruction incorporates six common features. He labels them as the Six Ts. They are time, texts, teaching, talk, tasks, and testing. Reading Workshop Video Take a peek into our classroom on a typical day during reading workshop.
Introduce multi-genre writing in the context of community service. When Michael rode his bike without training wheels for the first time, this occasion provided a worthwhile topic to write about. We became a community. Establish an email dialogue between students from different schools who are reading the same book.
When high school teacher Karen Murar and college instructor Elaine Ware, teacher-consultants with the Western Pennsylvania Writing Projectdiscovered students were scheduled to read the August Wilson play Fences at the same time, they set up email communication between students to allow some "teacherless talk" about the text.
Rather than typical teacher-led discussion, the project fostered independent conversation between students. Formal classroom discussion of the play did not occur until students had completed all email correspondence.
Though teachers were not involved in student online dialogues, the conversations evidenced the same reading strategies promoted in teacher-led discussion, including predication, clarification, interpretation, and others.
Back to top 3. Use writing to improve relations among students. Diane Waff, co-director of the Philadelphia Writing Projecttaught in an urban school where boys outnumbered girls four to one in her classroom.
The situation left girls feeling overwhelmed, according to Waff, and their "voices faded into the background, overpowered by more aggressive male voices. She then introduced literature that considered relationships between the sexes, focusing on themes of romance, love, and marriage. In the beginning there was a great dissonance between male and female responses.
According to Waff, "Girls focused on feelings; boys focused on sex, money, and the fleeting nature of romantic attachment. Help student writers draw rich chunks of writing from endless sprawl.
Jan Matsuoka, a teacher-consultant with the Bay Area Writing Project Californiadescribes a revision conference she held with a third grade English language learner named Sandee, who had written about a recent trip to Los Angeles.
I made a small frame out of a piece of paper and placed it down on one of her drawings — a sketch she had made of a visit with her grandmother.
Back to top 5. For each letter of the alphabet, the students find an appropriately descriptive word for themselves. Students elaborate on the word by writing sentences and creating an illustration. In the process, they make extensive use of the dictionary and thesaurus.
One student describes her personality as sometimes "caustic," illustrating the word with a photograph of a burning car in a war zone. Her caption explains that she understands the hurt her "burning" sarcastic remarks can generate.
Back to top 6. Help students analyze text by asking them to imagine dialogue between authors. John Levine, a teacher-consultant with the Bay Area Writing Project Californiahelps his college freshmen integrate the ideas of several writers into a single analytical essay by asking them to create a dialogue among those writers.
He tells his students, for instance, "imagine you are the moderator of a panel discussion on the topic these writers are discussing. The essay follows from this preparation.
Back to top 7. Spotlight language and use group brainstorming to help students create poetry. The following is a group poem created by second grade students of Michelle Fleer, a teacher-consultant with the Dakota Writing Project South Dakota.
Underwater Crabs crawl patiently along the ocean floor searching for prey. Fish soundlessly weave their way through slippery seaweed Whales whisper to others as they slide through the salty water.
And silent waves wash into a dark cave where an octopus is sleeping. Fleer helped her students get started by finding a familiar topic. In this case her students had been studying sea life.
She asked them to brainstorm language related to the sea, allowing them time to list appropriate nouns, verbs, and adjectives. The students then used these words to create phrases and used the phrases to produce the poem itself.
Back to top 8.
Ask students to reflect on and write about their writing. Douglas James Joyce, a teacher-consultant with the Denver Writing Projectmakes use of what he calls "metawriting" in his college writing classes. He sees metawriting writing about writing as a way to help students reduce errors in their academic prose.
Joyce explains one metawriting strategy:Doing activities with your children allows you to promote their reading and writing skills while having fun at the same time. These activities for pre-readers, beginning readers, and older readers includes what you need and what to do for each one.
Irene C. Fountas, a professor in the School of Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been a classroom teacher, language arts specialist, and consultant in school districts across the nation and abroad. teachers who work to prevent literacy learning difficulties know implicitly that there can be a big practical payoff in talking, writing, and reading if we understand how to strengthen children’s control over the structures of the language they use.
But that is not as simple as it sounds.
(). Reading framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. The Standards aim to align instruction with this framework so that many more students than at present can meet the requirements of college and career readiness.
As a former middle school special education teacher and current tutor of middle and high school students, I often work with older children who struggle immensely with reading and writing tasks. So rather than call my lecture “Speaking, Writing, Reading, Listening,” I have substituted “Talking” for “Speaking.” Talk seems to denote a more conversational, almost social mode of speech, less formal, more spontaneous, more participatory.