FIELD EXP 1: BEST PRACTICES OBSERVATION
1. Visit an elementary classroom and observe literacy instruction
2.Using the “Best Practices” in literacy instruction as guide for these observations, record what is observed in the classroom during whole and/ or small group instruction.
3.Record your observations.
4. Using those observations write a minimum 3 page paper.
In part I note the strengths and weaknesses you observed in the classroom.
In part II reflect on your observations and what you learned by answering ALL the qustions listed. Turn in the Observation Form with your essay.
∙ How the environment (use of space, opportunities for choice, structuring time) nurture thoughtful response to literacy instruction.
∙ How could the environment be altered to support more opportunities for learning
∙ What surprised you in the observation?
∙ Did anything confuse you?
∙ What did you learn that can help you as a teacher and learner?
∙ Be sure to fully develop responses and include substantive reference to the course texts or other sources.
FIELD EXPERIENCE #1: OBSERVATION
Using this “Best Practices” in literacy instruction checklist as a guide for your observation, record what is observed in the classroom during whole and/ or small group instruction. Record your observations and then write a 2 page reflection noting strengths and weaknesses in the classroom and what you learned.
Grade observed________________ Length of Observation__________________
PRINCIPLES OF BEST PRACTICES IN LITERACY INSTRUCTION
1. Teacher understands that the function of language is to communicate.
_____The type of classroom instruction activities, strategies and methods that involve students in authentic reading for real purposes
______Instruction that relies on dialogue and discussion with a de-emphasis on workbook activities
______Ongoing discussions of reading that emphasize higher order thinking.
2. Teacher understands that reading is a constructivist and meaning-making process
_____Teaching strategies that show children how to become actively involved in the search for meaning
_____Students being provided with strategies for independent strategic reading
_____Students engaging in self-monitoring and self-questioning activities
_____Multiple opportunities for students to respond to what they have read
_____Multiple opportunities to make personal connections to text
_____Teacher helping students understand the goal of reading is the construction of meaning and use
meaning-driven reading activities
_____The instruction of reading through and inquiry approach.
_____The teacher and students engaging in interactive guided practice with time for metacognitive whole group discussions.
_____Emphasis on strategy instruction as opposed to skill instruction
3. Teacher understands that prior knowledge should be a springboard for learning
_____The language children bring to school being recognized and used in learn to read and write.
_____Students being assessed to determine the word knowledge and vocabulary they bring to school
_____Support and encouragement of reading and writing outside of school with students’ families.
4. Teacher understands that the whole of language is not the sum of the parts
_____Reading that encourages use of all cueing systems are activated and used √ graphophonic,
syntactic, semantic and pragmatic.
_____Reading that uses whole stories, poems, and other authentic forms of print with real messages.
_____The use of a variety of reading materials
5. Teacher understands that the interaction of thought and language is essential for cognitive development and language development
_____Students are immersed in a literacy rich environment
_____Students reading about what they hear and talk about
_____Students writing about what they read, hear and talk about
_____Students talking about whey they read, hear and write about
6. Teacher understands that assessment guides and directs literacy instruction
______The daily use of a variety of assessment strategies
______Use of a variety of assessment tools including tests, observation, interviews, individual
conferences, student self assessment and portfolios.
______The accommodation of students interests, abilities and reading styles
______Instruction and instructional plans based on students literacy strengths
7. Teacher works to increase students’ self esteem, motivation and learning
______Accommodations for students’ interests and backgrounds abilities
______Accommodations for reading styles and learning styles
______Provision of authentic purposes, materials and audiences for reading, writing, listening and
8. Teacher provides systematic instruction using a variety of strategies
______The use of teaching strategies for recognizing words in meaningful contexts to promote fluency
and to give students control over their reading.
______The use of scaffolding in completing complex tasks.
______The use of a balanced approach of shared reading, read aloud, recorded books, small group
guided reading, repeated readings, choral reading, paired reading and independent reading.
______The use of modeling to provide explicit instruction in the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ of reading
______Opportunities for students to apply strategies in their reading and writing.
______Students reading a variety of texts
______Students provided with long period o extended silent reading and the encouragement to read for
9. Teacher provides provide opportunities for students to work in a variety of grouping
______Distinct independent and individual activities mixed with group activities
______Occurrence of cooperative and team learning activities.
1. The strengths and challenges or weaknesses can be listed in bulleted fashion √ link to the principles listed above
Strengths noted Challenges to be addressed
In paragraph format explain what you observed by addressing/answering the following:
a. How the environment (use of space, opportunities for choice, structuring time) nurture thoughtful response to literacy instruction.
b. How could the environment be altered to support more opportunities for learning
c. What surprised you in the observation?
d. Did anything confuse you?
e. What did you learn that can help you as a teacher and learner?
The size of the paper is 3 pages, type observation essay.
The following 3 texts are included:
Gunning, T. (2009). Creating literacy instruction for all students. (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.
Cunningham, P. (2008). Phonics they use (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Rossi, J. & Schipper, B. (2012). Case studies in preparation for the California reading Competency Test (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.
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