Monday, January 18, 2010

Thoughts on Literacy

Language Arts has never really been my favorite subject. It’s not that I didn’t do well in the subject I just really never had an interest in it. I have been placed three times in lower elementary school and I absolutely hate it. I don’t what to spend three quarters of my day on literacy. I know that sounds horrible but I’m a science and math girl and that’s what I want to focus on in my classroom. Not that I’m saying that literacy is not important. It’s very important when it comes to science and math. I have no real interest in teaching students how to read but with this economy right now I am going to have to take any job that I can get. So my number one goal this semester is to learn different strategies for teaching students how to read. It is interesting to me as I read about literacy and think about my elementary experience I really don’t remember how I learned how to read. I have no idea right now how to even go about teaching a class how to read. I can work with a student one on one about how to sound out a word and tackle a sentence but how do you start from the very beginning?

I am in a 5th grade classroom so their literacy time that I observe is either the class reading a chapter book aloud. Or they work with the passages that are found in their literacy book. They work on comprehension and what message the author is trying to portray. To prepare for literacy instruction I am going to have to make sure that I understand all aspects of the book or the passage so that I can ask the right questions to the children. I need to come up with questions that students have to think about and use what they have read to brainstorm the answer. So many of my students are bored so I want to challenge the children in my classroom that are above average students. Hopefully, from this class I will be able to learn how to challenge the students in my classroom that are bored but at the same time incorporate the below average students that are in my classroom as well. I need to learn how to incorporate all the different level of learners that I have into one lesson.

The school that I am placed at has no parental support. My students don’t have any idea what the word respect means and they just don’t want to be at school. My teacher has to get everything done in school because the students don’t do homework. I want to learn some strategies for how to deal with a situation like this. This causes a lot of stress on the teacher because all the learning has to take place in the classroom and not at home. I know that we have learned about classroom management a lot but after this placement I have seen how important it is. So I would still like to learn more classroom management strategies.

In school I felt that literacy was something that was pushed on us. We had a reading card and we had to track how much we read each week and our parents had to sign it. To me that makes reading a job and not something that is enjoyable for the students. I want to learn how to make literacy fun and enjoyable for my students. My students will be using literacy the rest of their lives so they need to know how to do it well and enjoy it at the same time. I need to find  a happy medium of how to teach students literacy but at the same time make it something that they look forward to.


  1. I just want to comment on the portion of your post concerning parental support. After reading the required text for our class tomorrow, I really appreciated the passage in "Literacy for the 21st Century" on pages 29 - 34. Those pages discussed "Principle 8: Effective teachers become partners with parents". There were so many different activities and procedures listed for teachers to utilize when trying to connect with parents. I found that SO HELPFUL! Obviously, I dont need to apply any of those right now. But it really is too bad that your teacher doesnt have this resource. Did you read the activity about "Traveling Book Bags" for students? I thought that was awesome...that combined with the wordless picture books would be a great way to involve low-level literacy parents. Just a thought! See you tomorrow :)

  2. Unfortunately most of my students don't even live with their parents. Most of them live with their grandparents that are older and don't really know what to do when it comes to school because they are older and become tired easy. Or at least this is what my teacher says. My teacher has found that anything that she sends home never makes it back to the classroom. The book is a really great source but the parents in my classroom could care less what their students were doing. We only had 6 parents out of 33 show up for parent teacher conferences. My teacher has tried many different ways to connect but it seems to be a one way street. It makes me really sad to hear this but I know that this ture in many places and as teachers we have to learn how to deal with situations like these.

  3. That is so horrible...I mean, what are teachers even supposed to DO about that? I seems like there isn't anything you can do...ughh