The members of Ontario College of Teachers understand that teaching practice is enhanced by many forms of knowledge,
ways of knowing and ways to access that knowledge.
During this course I had an opportunity to explore and share some of the resources that I would use in my balanced literacy
program in the classroom. This assignment helped me and everyone to know the ways of knowing and ways to access that knowledge
as we all shared resources on Literacy and Math Manipulatives.
Here are some resources I shared with my classmates.
Building Literacy Through Classroom: Research-Based
Strategies for Developing Critical Readers and Thoughtful Writers in Middle School
Author: Mary Alder and Eija Rougle
This book provides research based strategies that can be used in the classroom to develop critical
readers and thoughtful writers. This book talks about having students voice their ideas through discussion. To set the ground
of discussion is given priority. During discussion the students reflect and troubleshoot. The book has helpful troubleshooting
tips as a literary device to help readers visualize the concepts being introduced. Authors also talk about giving students
the language for responding to each other during a discussion. For example- (1) I agree with... (2) At first I thought that...
The authors emphasize on the fact that discussion centred classroom is a student centred classroom. The book also talks about
paired reading, journals and poetry as strategies to get students talking and reflecting about texts they’ve read. The
book gives strategies for the students to be active listeners. For example-students could write about a discussion and reflect
in a written form. The book addresses the issues of whether discussion is appropriate for struggling readers and provides
some solutions. The book talks about using discussion to further develop students’ literacy achievement. It gives ways
to help students to reason, challenge a view point, consider an issue from multiple perspectives. It is a very good book and
I would recommend this book to every elementary grade teacher to use it in their balanced literacy program.
The Writing Road to Reading- The Spalding Method
for Teaching speech, spelling, writing, and reading.
By- Romalda Bishop Spalding and Mary E. North
Publishers: Harper Collins Publishers
The Spalding Method website states that Spalding Method is a total Language Arts approach
because it provides explicit, sequential, multi sensory instruction in spelling (including phonics and handwriting), writing,
and listening/reading comprehension. When I read this book I liked the approach. This method is child centred, has high expectations
and the book provides many activities which are purposeful and meaningful and gets the children thinking. It helps the students
build the ability to reason and it motivates them. The book stresses on active participation, multi sensory instruction, diagnostic
teaching, and integration of language with other subjects. This book also has a children's literature recommendation which
includes different grade levels. This book has a list of phonograms and rules of pronunciation, syllables etc. The authors
also look at the examples of primary and intermediate spelling/vocabulary notebook. This book has valuable instructional tips
for teaching spelling words.
This book has a chapter on planning integrated language Arts lessons. Spalding method concentrates
on each student's physical and mental well being. Physical well being means that student can learn without experiencing discomfort.
Mental well being involves feeling accepted and successful. The book talks about how to create a successful lesson plan. It
says that the teacher must select instructional objective at the correct level of difficulty, select instructional delivery
levels for each objective, align information, responses and activities to each objective prepare the introduction and conclusion.
This is another effective book which must be in the teachers' resource cupboard.
Literacy Techniques- For Building Successful Readers and
By- David Booth and Larry Swartz
This book is a useful resource for elementary teachers who want to explore the best techniques
for reading and writing. It offers many procedures and activities. It includes reading comprehension strategies along with
writing process. It contains practical ideas to meet the particular needs of every student. Each strategy includes a brief
discussion of the issues and then focuses on ready-to-use ideas for any classroom. It talks about organizing a literacy classroom
(from timetabling and involving the library to essential classroom resources in all genres.); joining the literacy club (from
conditions for literacy learning and gender issues to supporting literacy growth and using parents as partners), structures
for literacy learning (from creating a print environment and guided reading to independent reading and tutoring struggling
students); reading strategies (from tapping into background knowledge and monitoring comprehension to encouraging oral, written,
and visual response); writing strategies (from using notebooks and tricks of the trade to writing in genre and applying the
conventions of language). This book has a list of reproducible checklists and guidelines for classroom use. This is a very
good resource for teachers to help them create a literacy environment in their classrooms. It covers all the basic requirements
of a balanced literacy program.
Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding
By-Stephanie Harvey and Anne GoudvisPublishers: Stenhouse Publishing
This book is a 336 page book which offers a variety of strategies including many activities
and ideas for a literacy program in a classroom. The publishers commnets on the books are "A child may be a great decoder,
but that's only one step toward becoming a fluent reader. Reading implies thinking and understanding, and teachers can help
children develop strategies for comprehension. Children need to know how to make connections and ask questions, how to visualize
and infer, how to extract important ideas and to synthesize information if they are to become fluent readers. Stephanie Harvey
and Anne Goudvis show how teachers can model these strategies by thinking aloud and coding the text, lifting text onto the
overhead and reasoning through it in class discussions, and bringing in their own books to model how adults use these strategies.
All the while teachers give students long blocks of time to practice these strategies independently in their own reading"
This book has more than 40 strategy lessons to understand text for all grade levels. It guides
the teachers to use poetry, short text, news papers, magazines etc. to teach comprehension. This book has examples of students
work, illustrations, scripts of conversations, and a complete assessment interview to demonstrate and evaluate students' use
Guided Readers and Writers: Teaching Comprehension, Genre,
and Content Literacy
by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell
The book is divided into six sections: Breakthrough to Literacy, Independent Reading ,Guided
Reading ,Literature Study ,Teaching for Comprehension and Word Analysis ,The Reading and Writing Connection. Each section
discusses thoroughly about each issue and provides strategies and activities to cultivate reading, writing, and literacy competencies.
The book elaborately discusses about guided reading, how to introduce levelled texts, independent reading and how to plan
mini lessons on these, how to maintain a journal by the students to explore meaning of the text they have read. This book
has at the end of each book section suggestions for effectively and efficiently helping struggling readers and writers. The
book provides illustrations, pictures, charts which help the teachers augment literacy learning in their class. This book
is a very good resource for elementary grade teachers who want an organized approach to a balanced literacy program for their