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Theoretical Foundations of Literacy and Learning

Theoretical Foundations of Literacy and Learning

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Theoretical Foundations of Literacy and Learning

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  1. Theoretical Foundations of Literacy and Learning SESSION 7

  2. SESSION 7 OBJECTIVES In Session 7, you will: • Review Session 6 Content • Participate in Literacy Warm-up • Analyze writing theory and its connection to gender, students with disabilities, and literacy learners • Examine the role of grammar and spelling within writing instruction • Discuss the inclusion of the context for writing, intentional writing instruction, and writing assessment in best practice writing programs • Participate in Group C’s Best Practice Briefcase Workshop …by discussing the slides and completing all activities and assessments presented in Session 7 PPT. Benedictine University

  3. SESSION 6 REVIEW EDUC 622 SESSION 7 Benedictine University



  6. THREADED DISCUSSION #1 DEBRIEF • Social Linguistic Theory is grounded in the belief that oral language is the foundation upon which children’s reading and writing achievement is built • Shirley Brice Heath’s study in the field of reading discussed three communities that differed in their daily oral and written literacy practices • As a result, she provided pseudonyms for these communities of: Maintown, Roadville, and Trackton • Based on the findings of Health’s study, how did you react to the questions posed in Threaded Discussion #1: • As an individual, in which type of home and community did you grow up? Relate your experience as a member of one of the categories of professional, working class, or welfare homes. How has your experience impacted your personal vocabulary level? • As an educator, do you believe that you have seen such vocabulary discrepancies and literacy influence in your own classroom? Which community does your classroom most closely resemble? If so, how have these differences impacted your instruction? Benedictine University

  7. THREADED DISCUSSION #2 DEBRIEF Chapter 6suggests that social interactions, influences, and communities affect a student’s learning process and literacy acquisition in various way • How did you respond to the questions posed in this discussion: • Analyze your current literacy environment in terms of Critical Literacy Theory • Do you believe that your school(s) “reproduce the unequal distribution of wealth and power that is the hallmark of capitalist societies, and in doing so contribute to the maintenance of the status quo?” • Is your answer “yes”, “no”, or more nuanced? Why? • Provide at least 2 specific examples of the ideals within Critical Literacy Theory that play a role in your school’s mission. • If you accept some or all of the basic premises of Critical Literacy Theory: • How do you plan to apply the relevant underlying ideals of Critical Literacy in your current and future literacy environments? • Should a particular political ideology be part of that plan? Justify your response. Benedictine University

  8. SHORT ANSWER DEBRIEF • How does the social community in which students live affect their literacy learning? • How does the social community within the classroom affect students’ literacy learning? • How does parent-child language interaction affect student literacy learning? • How do students’ interactions with each other affect their literacy learning? • How do teachers’ interactions with students affect their literacy learning? Benedictine University

  9. LITERACYWARM-UP Benedictine University

  10. Warm-Up Quote "If you were to ask me for a formula for writing, I can simply say, write every day of your life. Write at least a thousand words every day.Write a short story a week. To write every day is to know yourself better and to write better and to relax more, and, in relaxation, become ten times more creative."  --Ray Bradbury Benedictine University


  12. A SILENT CONVERSATIONTHE RULES • For the following activity, you will read 3 quotes about education on the following slides and then you will walk over to the “Big Paper” at the front of the room • You will write down a response to each quote (that is written on the “Big Paper”) and then sit down • After everyone has written a response to each of the statements, you will go back to the “Big Paper” and begin a (written) conversation regarding the original (written) statements by your classmates Benedictine University

  13. A SILENT CONVERSATIONTHE RULES • It will take a couple of visits to the “Big Paper” to have adequate conversations about each topic • Feel free to scratch out words or start over • The point is to get used to writing your comments • Make sure that you respondto the comment in writingas you would respond to the comment in conversation • The only difference is this activity is WRITTEN instead of said aloud! Benedictine University

  14. OKAY….LET’S SEE THOSE QUOTES! Benedictine University

  15. Quote #1:“I cannot teach anybody anything,I can only make them think." - Socrates As an educator, do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Benedictine University

  16. Quote #2:"I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built up on the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think." -Anne Sullivan As an educator, do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Benedictine University

  17. Quote #3:True education makes for inequality; the inequality of individuality, the inequality of success, the glorious inequality of talent, of genius. - Felix E. Schelling (1858-1945) American educator As an educator, do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Benedictine University

  18. NOW,GO TO THE BIG PAPER & START “TALKING”! Benedictine University

  19. WARM-UP DEBRIEF As you take your seat, please reflect on the conversations concerning the quotes: • Did controversies arise? • Are you more or less anxious about your response in writing as compared with your response verbally? • Did you state details, opinions, or feelings in writing that you would not be so readily able to share verbally? • If so, what is the difference between your emotional expression in writing and when verbally expressed? Benedictine University

  20. WARM-UP DEBRIEF • What is the value of an activity like this in your literacy environment? • What are the risks involved? Benedictine University

  21. KNOWLEDGE NOW!Best Practices in Teaching Writing Ch. 12-Bromley Gambrell, L. B., & Morrow, L. M. (2011). Best Practices in Literacy Instruction, Fourth Edition. New York, N.Y.: The Guilford Press. All material in the following section is directly quoted from Best Practices in Literacy Instruction unless otherwise noted Benedictine University

  22. BEST PRACTICES IN TEACHING WRITING Gambrell, L. B., & Morrow, L. M. (2011). Best Practices in Literacy Instruction, Fourth Edition. New York, N.Y.: The Guilford Press. All material in the following section is directly quoted from Best Practices in Literacy Instruction unless otherwise noted Benedictine University

  23. What Is Writing? • Writing is a complex interaction of cognitive and physical factors: • Writing can be a personal process done solely for oneself or a social process done for and with others Benedictine University

  24. Writing Theory • It is important to possess a framework for understanding writing (Cambourne’smodel of learning literacy, 1988) • Cambourne suggests that authentic engagementaccompanied by immersionand demonstrationresult in learning • Students learn to write when they are: • Surrounded with examples and models • Given expectations • Allowed to make decisions and mistakes • Provided feedback • Allowed time to practice in realistic ways Benedictine University

  25. Writing Theory • Engagement and relevance are basic to Graves’ (1983,1994) model of the writingprocess that is based on the repetitive steps of: • Planning, drafting, revising,editing, and publishing for a real audience • This process approach to writing is part of a writing workshopformat (Fletcher &Portaluppi, 2001) in which the teacher sets up the structure and allows students plenty of choice about what they write • Atwell’s (1998, 2002) work with middle school students also supports the use of writing process in a writing workshop format Benedictine University

  26. Oral Language-Vygotsky • Oral language is an important contributor to writing because both oral language and writing depend on the same cognitive abilities • Vygotsky(1978) theorized that children’s early speech is a precursor to inner speech: • Which in turn results in the ability to think in words • This self-talk is like an inner commentator that develops into a mature writer’s voice Benedictine University

  27. Writing: It’s A Social Act! • Vygotsky believed thought and knowledge emerge from oral language that is embedded in social interaction • This co-construction of meaning leads to learning • Thus, when writing is a social act… • It is often stronger because of interactions that occur as students talk and create new meanings together Benedictine University

  28. Writing: It’s A Social Act! • Social interaction that occurs around a shared experience is the foundation of the language experience approach • When students talk about an experience and that talk is transcribed, they can then read the written story or report • Young children learn how to write and how to read as a result of the social interaction that is part of the language experience approach Benedictine University

  29. Writing: It’s A Social Act! • Middle school students participating in similar substantive discussions or “curricular conversations” that are focused on content • Can strengthen their writing as well as their reading, speaking, and thinking abilities (Angelis, 2003) • This kind of demonstrationand immersionin talking, writing, and reading as students create meaning together is the engagementthat Cambourne(1988) puts at the Heartof all learning! Demonstration + Immersion Benedictine University

  30. LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION • How do you encourage collaboration during the writing process? • What opportunities do you provide for engagement with writing? • How have you demonstrated writing and/or what good writing looks like? Demonstration + Immersion + Engagement Benedictine University

  31. GRAMMAR INSTRUCTIONIT COULD PRODUCE HARMFUL EFFECTS! • Research shows grammar instruction to have littlepositiveeffect on writing • Studies over time indicate that teaching formal grammar to students has a “negligible or even harmful effect on improving students’ writing” (Routman, 1996, p.119) • In fact, “…a heavy emphasis on mechanics and usage results in significant losses in overall quality” • Thus, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) published a resolution urgingteachers to discard traditional school grammar instruction (Brozo, 2003) (Hillocks, 1987, p.74) Benedictine University

  32. GRAMMAR INSTRUCTIONWhat about Standardized Testing? • However, in a climate of standards-based mandated tests that often requires students to correct errors… • Teachers may need to focus student attention on identifying and correcting errors (Smith, Cheville, &Hillocks, 2006) • Alerting students to the pattern of errors they commit within and across their own writing assignments is one way to focus students’ attention • Using strategies for examining and correcting errors gives teachers and students another window into learning about standard grammar and conventions in writing Benedictine University

  33. The Impact Of Spelling on Writing • Research suggests a strong relationship between spelling and writing (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2010) • Good writing depends on the automatic use of spelling skills • When students struggle with spelling, they use up valuable cognitive resources that they might otherwise use for other aspects of writing (Singer & Bashir, 2004) • Students who try to use standard spelling, but do not possess this skill, may labor over every word and use words that they can readily spell rather than words that are more difficult • Thus, accurate and automatic spelling can improve fluency (McCutcheon, 2006), and the quality and length of a written piece is affected, as well as a writer’s confidence Benedictine University

  34. WAIT…AND RELATE • Students who try to use standard spelling, but do not possess this skill, may labor over every word and use words that they can readily spell rather than words that are more difficult • How is spelling then related to vocabulary usage? Benedictine University

  35. Writing Conventions • Moats (2005-2006) calls for automatic knowledge of spelling and other conventions. Her position is: • “Even more than reading, writing is a mental juggling act that depends on automatic deployment of basic skills such as handwriting, spelling, grammar, and punctuation so that the writer can keep track of such concerns as topic, organization, word choice, and audience needs” • While grammar checkers may find grammatical problems and spell checkers may correct misspellings of commonly used words • These devices do not catch all errors, and students still must know standard grammar and spelling • Knowledge of conventions is important whether students write with pencil and paper or use a computer and word processor Benedictine University

  36. Good News About the Computer! • Berninger and Winn (2006) report that students can become metacognitively aware of their own thinking and may produce better writing when they use a word processor • Due to the computer’s ability to change some spelling and correct some grammar for the student • Baker (2000) found that word processors eased the difficulties many young children have with fine motor control and helped them better understand revision • Baker also found that, through student interaction with the Internet and the digital world, their writing abilities improved • Students found support for their writing efforts, increased their awareness of audience, and gained useful feedback Benedictine University

  37. WRITING: Boys vs. Girls • Research on gender differences in the writing of elementary and middle school students is striking • On standardized writing tests, girls in the fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades consistently outperformed boys in narrative, persuasive, and informative writing (National Center for Education Statistics, 2002; Benedictine University

  38. WRITING: Boys vs. Girls BOYS GIRLS Writing is action filled Writing is competitive Writing is assertive Write in 1st Person Write shorter pieces Writing is nurturing Writing focuses on domestic topics Write in 3rd Person Write longer pieces with more adjectives More Confident Viewed as better writers by both boys and girls Benedictine University

  39. Learning Disabilities • Students with learning disabilities possess more limited metacognitive awareness of the knowledge, skills, and strategies necessary to be good writers (Troia, 2006) • Writing instruction that incorporates self-monitoring, goal setting, and self-evaluation is important for these students • These students often: • Skip the planning stage • Have problems generating and transcribing ideas • Do not revise their work • These students with learning disabilities need: • More time for writing • Intensive, individualized and explicit instruction in self-regulation skills and writing strategies (Troia, 2006) Benedictine University

  40. A Process vs. Skills-Product Approach • Mandated assessments, higher standards, and accountability issues cause some teachers to: • Reduce time for writing • Teach writing artificially • Fragment the curriculum (Strickland et al.,2001) • In some classrooms, the focus is away from the writing process and towardwriting skills and the writtenproduct • Proponents of a process approach to writing instruction are criticized for overlooking direct instruction, conventions, and legibility • Askills-product approach is criticized for its teacher centeredness and tendency to overlook student motivation, purpose, and voice • Good writers need simultaneous opportunities to engage in the processand to learn the skills of writing Benedictine University

  41. Structure & Freedom • A 10-year study of students from third grade to high school graduation was conducted by Casey and Hemenway(2001) • They found that a balance between structure and freedom results in “more dynamic writers excited about their abilities” (p.68) • Their study suggests that instruction that is intentional, socially interactive and authentic builds a bridge between structure and freedom that supports good writing Benedictine University

  42. BEST PRACTICES IN WRITING Three areas should be included in a best practices writing program: • Context for Writing • Intentional Writing Instruction • Writing Assessment Benedictine University

  43. CONTEXT FOR WRITING EDUC 622 CH. 12-BROMLEY Benedictine University

  44. CONTEXT FOR WRITING • A contextor environmentfor writing that includes individual, physical, and social aspects that affect instruction is critical to best-practices instruction • The individual teacher’s attitude and commitment are critical! • For example, when teachers identify and commit to improving student writing as a school-wide goal, the focus of professional development efforts can be on writing • Teachers can… • Study writing • Have conversations about students’ writing • Analyze writing tests and test results to see what students do and don’t do • Develop writing curricula • Create a vision of exemplary student performance and specify criteria for it Benedictine University

  45. CONTEXT FOR WRITING • A starting point for teaching writing well is to examine present practices with questions like these: • What choices do my students have in their writing? • How much and what kind of writing do they do daily? • Who do my students write for besides me? What other audiences do they have? • Who gives students feedback on their writing? • Are they writing in a variety of formats in all content areas? • How do I use the writing process? What kind of direct instruction do I provide? • What opportunities do I provide students to use word processors and e-mail? Benedictine University

  46. SELF-EVALUATION • Self-evaluation is important because it encourages students to take responsibility for their own writing progress • Periodic self-evaluation with questions like these also helps students reflect and set goals for themselves: • What do I do well as a writer? • What is one thing I have learned most recently as a writer? • What do I need to learn to be a better writer? Benedictine University

  47. WRITING WORKSHOP • Writing workshops should include: • Mini-lessons • Work time for writing • Peer conferring and/or response groups • Share sessions • Publication celebrations (Calkins, 1994) • Spend an hour a day in writing workshops that include a brief lesson on a demonstrated need of a group of students (Atwell, 1998, 2002 and Fletcher and Portaluppi, 2001) Benedictine University

  48. LITERATURE IN WRITING • Spend time sharing and discussing a well-written piece of literature to help students improve their writing and learn to respond to a piece of work • Integrate writing with content-area learning so students are writing to learn as they are learning to write Benedictine University

  49. What About ELLs? • Encourage buddy reading, discussion, and collaborative writing • This is particularly helpful for students who may have ideas to contribute but who may not yet have the language skills, motivation, or confidence to write without this stimulation • Working in pairswith students who possess strong skills supports and encourages students who are learning English and those who struggle to develop their abilities Benedictine University

  50. A WRITING COMMUNITY • Establishing a writing community in the classroom and school builds a social context and improves student writing • Calling students “authors” and “writers” can have a positive effect on how students view themselves, and on whether and how they write • Posting the writing of every student in the class validates (and motivates) them as writers as well • Inviting authors and illustrators of children’s books to share their work with students can nudge even the most reluctant writer to write • The entire school can study the work of an author before a visit so students know the author’s style and content and can interact in substantive ways with him or her Benedictine University