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RED 4724

Literacy Portfolio

Melanie Petrillo

Component 1: Read Alouds & Independent Reading My goal as a teacher is to expose students to as much literature as possible on a daily basis. More exposure to literature increases background knowledge and fosters connections to big ideas. I recently attended training on the Readers Workshop by Nicole Libby, Pizzo Elementarys Reading Coach. I will use research and information I learned and notes from my training to discuss literacy in my future classroom. In this component I will critically address instructional strategies, modifications to support diverse learners, and assessment options as they apply to read alouds and independent reading. For read alouds, instructional strategies include first choosing books students cannot yet read on their own or may never choose (my notes, page 3). Poetry is emphasized as an excellent resource for read alouds. As a teacher I will model proficient language and pronunciation. Another strategy I will practice is think-alouds. Think alouds walk the students through the teachers thought process, and encourage them to mimic similar reading skills. Varied sentence structure and attention to grammar can be successful tools for maintaining student interest throughout the text, as long as I deliver my voice with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Because I support inclusion, I also support differentiated instruction when it comes to literacy in my classroom. Modifications for my English Language Learners (ELLs) during read alouds include making an anchor chart with pictures and words for vocabulary we come across during the text. Another instructional modification that supports ELLs during read alouds is to use the Turn and Talk strategy, where I have the students turn to the person next to them and discuss inferences and responses to comprehension questions. This not only supports ELLs but also supports student engagement within the classroom.

RED 4724 Good assessment is the foundation for effective teaching. (Fountas, Pinnell, 275). One assessment I found to be successful is asking students comprehension questions during the read aloud. As a teacher I can practice Leveled Questions which pair explicit questions with implicit questions, making sure to ask questions that can be differentiated for my enriched readers, my ELLs, and others on a variety of different reading levels. I have also observed my collaborating teacher use the Thumbs-up/Thumbs down assessment technique, which facilitates student engagement and allows the teacher to gain a sense of student understanding of the text and material. My observations of independent reading have only occurred in Kindergarten. Instructional strategies my collaborating teacher has used include letting the children choose their own books to read. She does not limit them to choosing a book on their lexile level, but allows them to freely choose books within her classroom library. Independent reading in Kindergarten is unique. Students are encouraged to look at the illustrations within the book, and try to identify any sight words they know. At this age, kindergarteners like to read out loud to themselves. They also like to read to a buddy, which is typically a doll or a stuffed animal. Another strategy I have observed is to allow students to sit wherever they would like to while independently reading. Freedom of choice about where to sit within the classroom enhances student motivation and supports a student-centered learning environment. I also support creating a classroom library that is comfortable, with a rug, pillows, and even a couch. Making the library comfy and approachable will also increase student motivation to go into the library to read. Modifications for ELLs when it comes to independent reading include a strategy I found in the textbook Classrooms that Work, They Can All Read and Write. On page 34 Cunnigham/Allington states: You may want to capitalize on an anchored vocabulary activitypick important words from the books you read aloudfind a picture to go with each

RED 4724 wordput these words together in a book with each page having one picture and the word that goes with it This strategy helps emergent readers and pre-production ELLs build their vocabulary skills. Another option if the student is above an emergent reading level is to provide a translation of any given text in the students native language, paired next to the English version. This gives students a reference during independent reading. During my training on the Readers Workshop series, Nicole Libby gave a series of assessment options to use within the classroom. Libby suggests using a student interest survey, such as The Emergent/Early Reading Interest Survey (adapted from Tony Steads Good Choice!, Supporting Independent Reading and Response K-6) for primary grades, and/or the Reading Interest-A-Lyzer (based on the Interest-A-Lyzer by Joseph S. Renzulli) for more established readers. Administering interest surveys will allow me as a teacher to know what kind of books my students are interested in so I can provide them with access to materials and books I know they will enjoy reading. Fuentes and Pinnell from The Reading Teacher say: Engage the student in conversation to assess comprehension on different levels, (276). In addition to this idea, a great assessment tool to use in the classroom is to hold independent reading conferences. These can be used to not only collect data on comprehension skills, but also print awareness, vocabulary skills, reading accuracy, inference skills, and reading stamina across grade levels. To put it briefly, effective teachers adapt a plethora of strategies, modifications, and assessments to best support students needs. The ones I outlined are only a few ideas to use for read alouds and independent reading. There are many more to explore, research, and observe. For now I can confidently say the following: by the research I have read, the observations I have made, and the training I have been through, I support an inclusive, student-centered literacy environment that encourages literature exposure and fosters a love for reading.

RED 4724 Works Cited Cunningham, P. M., & Allington, R. L. (1999). Classrooms That Work: They Can All Read and Write (2nd ed.). New York: Longman. Fuentas, I., & Pinnell, G. (2013). Guided Reading: The Romance and the Reality . The Reading Teacher, 66(4), 268-284. Libby, N. (2014). The Readers Workshop. Pre-Service Teacher Training. Tampa, Florida.