Responsive Literacy: A Comprehensive Framework Part 1

Jul 9, 2018

 This summer Maria and I were offered the opportunity to read Responsive Literacy: A Comprehensive Framework edited by Patricia L. Scharer.  The book is written by professionals that work within the Literacy Collaborative at The Ohio State University.  A few years back, I attended a training in this framework.  It is built around strong literacy practices and this book digs deep into that instruction.  While reading, I was reminded of the learnings that I took away from the training but also literacy practices that I could improve upon this upcoming year.

A look at a professional text to support the teaching of all things ELA.

 Let Them Talk...

a look at the importance of oral language in readingChapter 1 starts this book off strong because it is all about Oral Language!  Yes!!  This has been a HUGE game changer for us over the past several years.  We have included more and more intentional oral language into our literacy instruction. Because, as the author reinforces, although students come to school with language experience, they are rapidly continuing to develop this skill.  And so, we need to be intentional about the opportunities we provide during interactive read aloud, shared reading, guided reading, writer's workshop, and word study.  Gay Su Pinnell offers a buffet of ideas for each of these.  This chapter reminded me that children need to be given time to interact.  They need to talk.  We need to listen.

Literacy is Emotional

students must have the will to learn to have the skillAfter some great descriptions on a literacy framework, Carol A. Lyons takes a deeper look at the role emotion plays on memory and comprehension.  She explains that there is an inseparable connection between emotion and cognition.  This is important to note because we are supporting the learning of little humans.  And humans are emotional!  One thing that I found fascinating is that memories are stronger when emotions are connected to them.  What does this mean for our literacy instruction?  What emotions are we bringing out in our students?  And what emotions are they connecting to their learning of language, writing, and reading skills?
Wendy Sheets continues this discussion by examining how we foster literate identities.  The actions we take within our classroom tells stories to our students.  One point that she is makes during this chapter is that students are not a reading level. What stories and emotions are we bringing to the table when we limit them to a book level?   I don't believe positive ones (but that could be another post).  Wendy says, "The literate identities that our students take on affect their progress over time."

Get Organized

The second section of this book dives into how to organize for independent readers.  Our ultimate goal as teachers, right!  We work so hard to help students to think, read, and write independently.  I love the way that it is broken down into sections about independent work, the second grade transition, and independent readers in grades 2-6 because we know that reading and writing look different throughout our lower grade levels.  One part that I really loved discussed how to make independent work more powerful.  As the year went on, I know that it could be easy for me to get into an independent work slump.  The authors suggest analyzing the following when organizing work that challenges each student:
  • create just right challenges
  • provide authentic problem solving activities
  • provide open activities for choice and inquiry
My brain immediately clung to the word "inquiry."  Fostering curiosity and the wonderment of children is something I do not believe I am tapping into enough.  It is definitely  a goal for this upcoming year.

Let's Read

Section three dissects all things reading!  Interactive read alouds, shared reading, guided reading, fluency, comp, and the use of data are all explored in great detail.  Whether a new teacher, an experienced teacher, or a teacher looking for a refresher...this book hits it all.
Over the years I have found that there are certain ways that I do things.  But when reading and growing throughout the summer, I am reminded that I am not stuck to these routines.  Lisa Pinkerton reminded me, in this section, that interactive read alouds do  not need a lengthy introduction.  It can even be as quick as, "I found a new book for you this weekend!  I am so excited to share it with you!" Yes!  What a great reminder.
But Mary D Fried goes on to examine how we are scaffolding the introductions of guided reading books.  When I first looked at this chapter, I was ready to skip it because this is what I do  But then I saw this:
traditional framework to introducing a book
Uh.Oh.  I may have some new things to learn!  The chapter really looks carefully at the differences between an emergent, early, and transitional reader.  The introduction is not going to be a "one size fits all" because these readers need different scaffolds based on where they are in their learning.  As facilitators of this learning we have to be very deliberate in the teaching decisions that we make.  The author does provide a guide for scaffolding a book introduction for emergent, early, and transitional readers.

Another point that I really took to heart was concerning data and the analysis of a reading record.  Since we began using LLI (Leveled Literacy Instruction) two years ago, my reading record analysis has been much stronger.  But Sherry Kinzel shared a chart that really opened my eyes to how I could strengthen what I am learning about the reader.  The chart is separated into three columns:
  • reading behaviors the reader uses successfully
  • reading behaviors the read can "almost do" or can use with support
  • reading behaviors the readers shows no evidence of using
This is just a different way for me to note what the student is doing and I think it would really help me to better plan for future instruction.

Check back as Maria dives deeper into sections about writing, language and a learning community!  Plus...we have some books to giveaway!

1 comment:

  1. I think reading this book (especially the differences between an emergent reader, early or transitional reader) could really help my instruction. Thanks!



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