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Amber LaFerriere

CIED 3293
Literary Prospectus
I believe that reading is a very individualized skill. A child needs to start at stage one and
master the basics before moving on if success is to be achieved. A child cannot be expected to
read a book, sentence, or even a word before he or she understands alphabet recognition in
shapes and sounds. I think the teaching of reading begins even before students begin to practice
writing letters or sounding out words. I believe that it all begins when children are introduced to
a written work be that a book, poster, sign, etc. My mom read to me long before I was able to
read on my own. While that did not necessarily teach me to read, it showed me the importance of
being able to read and made me want to be able to do it on my own. This is very similar to the
demonstration and participation sections of Holdaways Natural Learning Model. I think that
reading and writing go hand in hand. As you learn to read, you learn to write and vice versa. I
think that which comes first depends on the individual child and/or the instructor of the child.
Children first learn to manipulate individual sounds, or phonemes, at the spoken level through
phonemic awareness. Then, during phonics instruction, children learn to associate the letters, or
graphemes, that represent these phonemes. At this point, children can either take these
graphemes and begin to read by sounding out words phonetically or begin to write phonetically.
As children become more advanced in reading, I think that how it is taught changes greatly. In
beginning stages, students are asked to read simply to see that they can sound out the words and
make sentences. These early stages focus primarily on phonics and fluency because students are

asked to connect written letters to sounds and work on reading with automaticity and prosody.
However, in more advanced stages, students are required to comprehend the reading material and
look beyond the words for a deeper meaning. These advanced stages focus more on
comprehension because students are asked to use their schema and inferences from text clues to
create meaning.
In my classroom, I think that literacy reading will take place in many ways. I want to
teach upper elementary, so my students should optimally already have a firm foundation in
decoding and would be beginning to look beyond the words on the page. I think one of the best
ways to have students read is to do literature circles. By splitting up students into smaller groups,
each child has more opportunities to give his or her opinions on the book. Additionally, it can
open up more options for selection. Every group would not necessarily have to read the same
book, so students could choose which option interested him or her the most and was the best fit
for their literacy level. People are a lot more willing to read and participate in reading groups if
they are actually interested in the material. Furthermore, I would like to include group activities
such as readers theater or podcast reading to allow students to practice fluency as well as create
fun activities for my students. I never experienced these in the classroom setting, but when our
school held a Christmas play, everyone was excited to perform in it. I think that giving students
the feeling that someone other than their teacher cares about and is listening to their reading
excites students whether it is simply their fellow classmates watching in class or friends and
family tuning in to online postings. I am also a firm believer that you are never too old to be read
to. My seventh grade language arts teacher read chapters to us from books at the end of every
class period. We all sat quietly and listened to her even though we were never tested on the
material or given assignments on it. Finally, I think independent reading is very important as

well. Whether this is for AR or just for fun, students can choose books that interest them and
work with their current literacy level. I think it is important for there to be some aspect of
literature in the classroom that is not graded. This helps remind students that reading is fun. If
any time a student reads, he or she has to complete an assignment or take a test, reading will
probably not be associated with a good thing, and the student will be much less likely to read for
enjoyment. Overall, I think that choice and motivation are very important in the classroom.
Students need to feel that they have some control over their own learning through the use of a
student-centered classroom. Additionally, the motivation behind why a student is reading can be
a strong predictor of what his or her reading quantity will be like outside of the classroom.
Students who spend their entire education reading solely to complete assignments are not likely
to read much after the assignments stop. However, students who read for pleasure at least some
of the time are much more likely to continue to be avid readers after they have completed their
I think that through the use of multiple book reading groups and independent reading, all
levels of learners can participate and be involved. Additionally, teachers reading aloud helps
introduce students to books and topics that they may not be able to read on their own yet, but
could still benefit from the exposure. This is a great strategy for teaching vocabulary because
higher level books are more likely to include a greater amount of Tier Two words. Moreover,
when I was in elementary school, we had parents pull kids out of class during reading time to
practice reading out loud. I think it is important to get parents involved because it is not only a
treat for the students (younger children typically love showing off family members at school),
but it also gives parents hands-on experience for ways to help their children improve their
reading skills at home. Everyone got called out at one time or another, so it was not as if the

struggling readers were being isolated. This was a good way to track our progress and also give
one-on-one help to those who needed it without embarrassing them. I think it is really important
to make sure that a student does not feel ashamed or embarrassed about their reading level
compared to others. This can go both for those who are above and below the class average. When
I was in second grade, I was reading at a middle school level. During free reading time, my
teacher would insist I read books at my reading level even if they were not interesting to me. I
remember once she had me read a giant book about a girl who did ballet and refused to let me
read something else until I had read it. While I could understand the storyline, I had no interest in
ballet, so I sat through free reading time for a week flipping through the pages and fake-reading
in order to satisfy her. While I think it is important for students to read near their reading level, I
would not force a student to read a particular book for free reading. I think suggestions are great,
but the student should not be feel like they are being forced to read uninteresting books
because they have a high reading level.
Overall, I believe the three most powerful components of a balanced literary approach are
choice, motivation, and making sure students have time to read. I think that these three things
make the most impact on student literacy beyond the classroom. When students are given choices
in reading material, have the right motivation, or reason, to read, and are given time to actually
read, they will be more likely to become lifelong readers. According to an article from
Smithsonian, 27% of adults in America have not read a book in the last 12 months (Oct. 2014
Oct. 2015). This number has risen from 2011 by approximately seven percent. Additionally, the
article states that the average American reads 12 books a year which seems like a decent amount,
a book a month, until it is stated the median is only four. The difference between the median and
the average is caused by avid readers who are doing voluminous reading (Blakemore, 2015). I

think that if we can, as teachers, can get students reading not only for educational purposes, but
for fun as well, give them time to do it in class, and help them feel in control of their learning by
giving them choices in their readings, we can show our students the importance of reading.
Hopefully, this will help increase the number of avid readers in our society and diminish the
number of people who never pick up a book again after graduation.

Works Cited
Blakemore, Erin. 27 Percent of U.S. Adults Didnt Read a Single Book Last Year.
Smithsonian. 23 Oct. 2015. Web. 08 Dec. 2015.