upload notes on routman - literacy at the crossroads - ch. 5

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ROUTMAN – Literacy at the Crossroads – CHAPTER 5 – BACK TO BASICS - WHAT DOES IT MEAN? - “One thing’s for sure: whenever test scores are used as the main measure of how our kids are reading and writing, there is a call for ‘back to basics’”(77). THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS - used made-for-teaching-reading materials instead of real, interesting books o vocabulary-controlled, commercial texts - spent time on practice exercises instead of reading - multiple choice comprehension exercises for dull stories o “skill, drill, and kill” – red pencil error searches - Damaging to self esteem of kids who were struggling with reading - Many African American, many low socioeconomic backgrounds o Problem lies within the teaching, not within the student - Needed to find rewarding joy of reading to fix self esteem rather than more phoics drills - Late 70s and through the 80s – some teachers started teaching reading more authentically – real books with illustrations, interesting, poems, etc. o Want to make kids desire to read and write for pleasure, in and out of school, to learn and share information, rewarding and self esteem building experience “Spurred by a belief that kids deserved better and grounded in the knowledge of what made reading pleasurable at home with our own kids, some of us took risks and broke new ground… It’s a story of transformation of teachers and kids, of what happens when phonics and “the basics” are put in a literacy context of wonderful books, stories, and poems; when teachers truly believe that all kids can and must learn – and so they do – when they read, read, read all day long, for the joy of it and to make sense of the world; when kids write every day on topics they’re interested in and publish texts that all their friends and family value and can’t wait to read; and when the test scores of struggling readers soar – for the first time ever – and lots of people take notice and realize, We’re on to something here . It’s the best school story of all, kids becoming readers and writers for their own purposes – choosing to read and write for pleasure and information in their free time and all the time, in and out of school, because they want to”(78). USING REAL BOOKS AND PAPER AND PENCIL - Learning in the classroom should model learning at home - Environmental factors common to almost all early readers: o Reading to children (often same book repeatedly)
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o Seeing a reading model (such as parent, teacher, sibling reading) o Availability and utilization of a wide variety of reading materials (esp storybooks) o Involvement with writing (scribbling, copying, printing, writing w/ paper and pencil) o Positive, interactive responses with the child in the reading-writing
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