Over the last seven weeks of this course, I have activated prior knowledge, learned new information, shared concerns, and strategies with my colleagues. This class affirmed knowledge gained both from my undergraduate studies as well as additional research I have independently completed on literacy.
The first week of this class required me to think about how I define literacy. I believe that know that I have completed this course, I am better able to summarize and identify my definition of literacy. Like Tompkins (2010), I define literacy as the ability to read and write inside and outside of the classroom. Comprehension is a large piece of reading. Many students can recite words on a page, but some lack the ability to apply phonics skills to new words and some lack in the comprehension department. Tompkins (2010) defines comprehension as the readers’ ability to gain meaning from a text as well as the reader's ability to activate background knowledge while reading.
One of the questions I had from the start of the class was ways to get parents involved in their child’s journey to become life-long learners and readers. Through this class I have learned the importance of parental involvement in the successfulness of students’. Home environment places a crucial role in the development of the mind’s of students. This class has encouraged me to reach out to each of my parents to ensure that my students have access to quality literature in their home. For Christmas, I purchased each of my students a book based on their elementary reading attitude survey (ERAS) as well as their reading interest inventory.
Another area that I had several questions about was technology. As a teacher I know the importance of technology in the lives of my students. However, knowing the importance does not put current technology in my classroom. I am currently in a district that has a SmartBoard in every classroom; however, in my school we do not have the computers that are equipped to handle such new technology. Most teachers are working with computers that are over seven years old. Literacy deixis is the rapid changes in literacy, which impact our students drastically. I feel that often times by the time teachers and students become accustomed to a certain aspect of literacy and technology, sudden changes then require both parties to reevaluate the way they teach and learn. Brown, Bryan, and Brown (2005) point out that as the technology in literacy changes teachers must adjust their instruction to accommodate the changes.
Assessments is another area that I learned a tremendous amount of information about in this course. Assessments serve many purposes in the classroom. For example, assessments can be used as a diagnostic tool to identify a student’s weaknesses and strengths. Assessments can be used to enrich instruction such as the ERAS, used to assess a student’s motivation in reading. One of the most interesting things I learned during this course was that...