This three-hour course will examine the development of literacy in young learners, mostly in K-3 classrooms. We will explore literacy theories and their application to classroom teaching, specifically instructional and assessment strategies. We will write, confer, and inquire together to better understand how to design, implement, and evaluate learning experiences that foster children's literacy development as well as their creativity and curiosity.
Unpacking my Histories, Cultures, and Experiences in Relation to Literacy Teaching 10% of final grade In this assignment you'll critically reflection on your beliefs, memories, experiences and ideologies that shape your pedagogical decisions as a literacy teacher. Teaching is not neutral so we need to examine the self in relation to how we plan instruction and interact with children. You will use multiple modes (writing, artistic, digital, performative, etc.) of collecting memories/artifacts to represent your learning and analysis about the self. - Students bring in one draft to discuss in class with a peer. The length depends on the mode they use (some it is written 4-8 pages, others artistic sketches, etc. -- page equivalent to 4-8 pages). Peers evaluate the draft.
Reading/Writing Responses (due on Mondays) 5% of final grade. By each Monday you will read and write responses to the readings. Here are three main reasons I use reading/writing responses: to deepen your thinking about the course readings, to elicit questions and comments to share during class, and to model possible comprehension strategies to use with children. If you've read the assigned chapters/articles thoroughly, none of these responses should take a long time to complete. If you are spending hours on a response -- that is too long. I read these responses as a way to have a window into your current thinking about topics discussed in class as well as to see what misconceptions and questions you have. It is OK for these responses to be handwritten (as long as it is neat and legible). See the section "Alternate Reader Response Strategies" at the end of the syllabus for specific explanations of R/W response strategies. No drafts shared for this assignment. Typically 2-4 pages long for each response.
Writer’s Notebook & Published Piece of Writing - 15% of final grade
In order to be effective teachers of writing, it is important that we participate in the writing process on a regular basis to understand what it feels like to be writers and to more deeply understand the actions/decisions that writers make. Throughout the semester, you will keep a writer’s notebook as a place to collect thoughts, ideas, reflections, observations, artifacts, and quickwrites on a weekly basis. You will be expected to make entries in your notebook at least 2 times throughout each week. During the semester, you will be talking with peers about this experience as a writer. You will select a seed idea(s) from your writers’ notebook to take through the publishing process. In class, we will have peer conferences on editing and revising this selected piece. You will turn in your final writing notebook piece (along with conferencing notes & the drafts – I want to see the process not just the finished product). The final piece will be shared and celebrated during class. (The page range varies on this assignment - some do short stories, some poetry, some artistic texts - no matter what format they choose they all go through a process of editing and revising before publishing a final piece).
Literacy Unit of Study Curriculum Plan 15% of final grade As a teacher of literacy, you need to be able to plan lessons that meet diverse students needs (i.e. gifted, ELL, or students striving to make sense of print). Using a workshop and/or playshop approach, you'll create an overall framework and mini-lessons for one literacy unit of study for a K-3 grade. As a teacher it is important to collaborate with co-workers, so for this assignment you will work in small groups to plan, brainstorm, gather materials and create the unit of study. In class, we will use a jigsaw format in sharing these units of study with each other. No drafts shared for this assignment in a formal way. However, this assignment is a group project so they are expected to each read all aspects of the assignment and give feedback to peers before turning it in to me. This assignment is about 20-30 pages long.
Participating as a Professional Learner 15% of final grade Midway and at the end of the semester you will complete a self-evaluation of your participation in the course. These should serve as a guide and check point for you and me. No drafts shared for this assignment. This is about 4 pages long total (including both mid-term and final evaluations).