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Philosophy of Literacy

The teaching of literacy should be a fun and rewarding experience for both
the students and the teachers involved. Rote memorization and spelling tests are
not a way in which to teach literacy to young children. There are many more fun
activities that can engage students and teach literacy. This class outlines 8
Elements of Effective Literacy Instruction. In my classroom I will use these 8
elements to come up with exciting ways to teach literacy to my students.
The first element is Provide huge amounts of balanced comprehensive
instruction. This is important for a teacher to incorporate into his/her teaching.
Having a balanced curriculum makes sure that a teacher is not focusing too much
on one specific skill and providing instruction for all types of learners. The second
element is Children do a lot of reading and writing. There are many different ways
in which a teacher can incorporate reading and writing into his/her curriculum. One
of my favorite methods is through a conversation journal. This could either be
between a teacher and the student or between two students. After a child is
finished reading a book (or a chapter of a book for more advanced readers), the
student will write about what they read. Then, either the teacher or other student
will respond in the journal and create a conversation between the two parties. This
is a great way to promote writing in a fun way and collaborative work between
students. It also gives students an opportunity to reflect on what he/she read. The
third element is Science and social studies are taught and integrated with reading
and writing. A great way to do this is to have students keep a science/lab journal.
Students can write about experiments that they did, draw and label pictures of
things that they observe, and formulate hypothesis through writing. Incorporating
reading and writing into science and social studies gives students an opportunity to

practice literacy throughout the school day, and not just during the reading and
writing times. The fourth element is Meaning is central and teachers emphasize
higher-level thinking skills. This can be done by asking guided questions such as
what did the author mean by saying that? what is the purpose of this
article/story? and can this story remind you of anything that has happened in your
life?. These questions promote comprehension of a text. The fifth element is
skills are explicitly taught and children are coached to use them while reading and
writing. These skills include decoding strategies to figure out how to pronounce a
word, and using context clues to formulate understanding of a text. These skills can
be taught through a guided reading group in which the teacher listens to students
read and provides help in decoding words and understanding. The sixth element is
Teachers use a variety of formats to provide instruction. These can be through
read a-louds, shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, modeled
writing, interactive writing, guided writing and independent writing to name a few.
The seventh element is A wide variety of materials are used. These can be
storytelling materials, like puppets. The last element is Classrooms are well
managed and have high levels of engagement. It is important for a teacher to
have a good behavior management plan in place for his/her classroom. A teacher
must also monitor the conversations that are going on between students if there is
a student-to-students conversation about a text. It is also important for a teacher to
involve all students in classroom discussion about text.
These eight elements of effective literacy instruction are vital to my
philosophy of literacy. I plan on using all of these elements and the examples
provided to promote literacy in my classroom.