Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Favorite Media Characters to Children

           Children love to show and present what their favorite media character is to their friends and people around them. So they often bring stuff that is related to the character in their class. However, should teachers allow them to share their favorite characters in class?
           Having favorite media characters and presenting things are important to children for improving children’s cultural literacy knowledge and concepts. As children have their own favorite cultural characters, they can use it for many things. Children can do sociodramatic play or puppet shows in class. Because children also can share their cultural resources with peer, other children can learn different cultures and can have opportunities for comparing similarities and differences with their own cultures.
           After I read the article, Reclaiming Play, I have an idea for my future classroom. I will have “My favorite media character Week” in my class. At that time, children will share their favorite characters with peers and we will discuss about it. Children will enjoy that time.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Classroom Video: Choral Reading

           Choral reading is reading aloud with a whole class or group of students. Choral reading is important to children because they can build reading fluency. As they practice same sentence several time, children’s fluency will develop a lot. Choral reading is helpful for children to have self-confidence. Especially a child who feels self-conscious or nervous about reading aloud in front of classmates can get self-esteem from presentation. As children practice choral reading, children also can improve with vocabulary knowledge in fun ways. Then it is automatically related to enjoyment of literature.  Lastly, children can have good collaboration with peers during practice and presentation time. During choral reading, children should have same beats and say sentence together at the same time, children will have good harmony.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Classroom Video: Literacy Choice Time

           The video, Literacy Choice Time, has several good ways to communicate with children. I see that the teacher respects children’s thoughts and choices and the children also try to have good interaction with the teachers. After I watch the video, I learn several things.
           I firstly learn how the teacher leads children to think, explain, and connect to their reading as they teacher asks questions. Each child has their own thoughts on their reading and interacts with their reading differently. Because of that, teachers need to interact with children differently. As the video shows, children can have different answers even thought the teacher asks the same question.
           Next, I learn how the teacher makes children develop problem solving skills. The teacher asks children that how they know and why they think that way. As children find reasons for their answers, children can improve their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Also the teacher uses blanks when she asks questions.
           Lastly, the teacher always agrees with children’s thoughts. This is very important because children should feel that they are respected by other people. As teachers provide this learning environment, children can have more confidence about their ideas and willing to express their thoughts.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Maturation Discourse

Maturation discourse can be defined how much children have “readiness” for reading. However, teachers often tend to focus on standard and apply that to children. Because each child’s reading levels are different and their learning styles are also different, teachers should not teach them with same book or instructions for every student.
Teachers can assess children for readiness with using fine motor skills and letter naming/recognition. As children are assessed with those methods, they can have better instructions that are matched with their level. As teachers identify each child’s maturation discourse level, children can catch up their peers during kindergarten.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Why adjectives are important?

           Children have a lot of chances to read books and write journals in their lives. For reading and writing, children learn to think deeply and they learn what sentences make good meanings. When we write sentences the most important facts are nouns and verbs. We have to use them when we write sentences. However, if we want to write better sentences, we use adjectives and it is quite important.
           The reason adjectives are important is that adjectives describe nouns and make sentence more meaningful. For example, there is a sentence without adjective.
She has a bird.
This sentence is grammatically perfect but it sounds really unfriendly and too formal. However, if we write, “She has a colorful bird,” or “She has a beautiful bird,” listeners or readers feel more comfortable.
           As children learn more about writing, they start to use adjectives and teachers should teach them how to use it in good ways. Because adjectives often tell and relate with story, it should have appropriate meaning for the story. If the story is very sad, children should use some words that relate to the flow of the story.
           Like our reading article, making prediction would be a good practice for learning adjectives. As children think about words, they will learn more new words and meanings. Also, teaching some words that have same meaning but have different spelling might be good strategy for children.

Monday, February 20, 2012

How children interact with their reading?

There are a lot of great children’s books and as children read the books, they have opportunities for interacting with the reading. Then, how teachers should address children have authentic interaction with reading? Reading plenty of books does not mean that it give meaningful messages and experiences to children. When children really interact with texts, they authentically understand what they read.
- Lead children to think out aloud and then to read aloud
: In this part, children will think inside children’s head and mind and then connect to mental images. As children use their imagination, they will develop prediction and imagination skills.
- Use each child’s previous background and knowledge
: As teachers do this, children will easily connect with their reading. Because children are still young, they sometimes have hard time to understand about stories or texts, however, as they think or remind their experience or knowledge, it will give children to well interact to their reading
- Teach Text-to-Self Connection
: It’s important because children can focus on books as they build connections with themselves. For example, in the book, there is a girl who lost her favorite teddy bear and she is very sad. If a child read the book and s/he remembers when she lost something that belonged to the child, s/he will understand what it the feeling like.  
 - Lead children to think through the text together
: Children will share what they think about books that they read with peers and teachers. In this part, teachers can survey about each child’s thought or connections about the book and make chart. Then, discuss about which child’s information is useful to them. They will learn other’s different and new thoughts from this activity.
- Teach Text-to-Text connection
: As children and teachers connect from one book to another book, children can be enhanced making new stories or making prediction. In this part, children will also learn “Stop and Go.” Instead of reading whole book at a time, teachers lead children to stop during reading and discuss about what they have read and what it is going to happen next page.

Monday, February 6, 2012

“Sounding Out” for children's literacy

           To promote young children’s reading ability, teachers, parents, and children use “sounding out” strategy. Because “The cultural model of “sounding out” involves the meanings of texts and the structures of language (p. 442),” it is very good and important instruction for children who just start to read. According to Compton, children can use sounding out words as two different ways. First of all, children isolate sounds letter by letter and then combine together. Secondly, children can use it as putting word parts together.
           Once children learn “sounding out,” they will be a good reader. However, children should practice it a lot with teachers, parents, and themselves. In this case, family’s support is really important because family is one of the most influence things in children’s lives. According to Compton, when parents daily practice “sounding out” with their children, children become better and more fluent. When children are familiar with “sounding out,” they can be a good readers and have confidence of reading.

Compton, C. (2005). "sounding out". A pervasive cultural model of reading, 82(6), 441-451.