Strategies for Literacy Education

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9780130221483: Strategies for Literacy Education

This user-friendly resource offers a selection of broad-based and stimulating strategies to assist teachers in developing lessons that will advance students' reading abilities. The author designs strategies to motivate and to encourage reading, to help improve the teaching-learning process, and to plan for appropriate instruction. The book addresses all standard literacy topics and is appropriate for instructing beginning through intermediate level readers. Specific chapter topics cover word identification strategies, meaning vocabulary strategies, comprehension strategies, writing strategies, and study skills strategies. For use as a resource guide by student teachers.

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface

PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK

Teachers understand the issues of accountability and want to advance and develop professionally. They have a perpetual need for strategies to assist them in planning curricular objectives, yet great demands on their time make it difficult for them to plan such strategies. Commercially prepared materials may offer excellent suggestions but may not allow teachers to meet the specific demands of the classroom such as dealing with individual differences. Teachers want alternative strategies and ideas to ensure their objectives are met for all students.

This book was written to provide a resource for teachers and to give them a selection of interesting and stimulating strategies that will assist them in developing lessons helpful for students' advancement in reading. These strategies are designed to motivate and encourage reading and should prove useful to both preservice and inservice teachers in improving the teaching-learning process and planning for appropriate instruction. They should help teachers evaluate the literacy needs of students and plan lessons accordingly. By working through the strategies in this book, teachers can help children achieve goals.

The text is not theoretical, nor does it attempt to justify a particular reading theory. The assumption is that one has developed a theoretical framework about literacy before using these strategies. The strategies, however, are based on sound research and were selected because they can be used with any reading program. They are manageable, of high interest, easy to implement, and adaptable.

WHO SHOULD USE THIS BOOK?

Both preservice and inservice teachers will find the strategies in the text useful. The text is ideal to use with classes that contain a practicum component. Student teachers can use the text as a general guide. Preservice teachers can use the strategies to develop lessons and apply them to concepts presented in a theoretical text. If preservice teachers are engaged in tutoring students, they can design lessons for different ability groups or try to incorporate several of the strategies in each of the five major areas of the text.

Inservice teachers can use this book as an alternative to commercialized instruction and workbook pages. The strategies will enable them to incorporate variety into their classrooms and help motivate students by keeping them active and attentive. Teachers can sharpen their expertise in what is effective with different groups of students, as well as design and implement lessons that would best suit the students' needs. Finally, they can use this book to develop both alternative and reinforcement activities for the wide range of students within their classrooms.

CONTENT OF THIS BOOK

The text is divided into five major sections: word identification, meaning vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and study skills.

  • Word Identification.
  • This section is devoted to providing strategies for those students who need more experience with the printed word because they have an inadequate sight vocabulary, problems with decoding, or problems with structural analysis.
  • Meaning Vocabulary. This section consists mainly of strategies that allow teachers to develop lessons for students who lack the ability to understand underlying concepts. These strategies help teachers plan lessons in which students interpret concepts necessary for understanding connected text. They incorporate dialogue, explanations, descriptions, and experiences into the lessons.
  • Comprehension. These strategies enable students who have difficulty constructing messages from the printed text. They have an interactive approach and focus on the process of metacognition, consequently helping students learn how to learn.
  • Writing. The strategies in this section emphasize the writing process. With these strategies, students can learn from text by integrating reading and writing. Many of the strategies in other sections of the text also could incorporate a writing component. The creation of a separate writing category does not imply that the reading-writing process should not be integrated. Rather, its purpose is to provide teachers with strategies directed toward writing. When selecting strategies, teachers should be mindful of the importance of connecting reading and writing. They also should stress the processes of writing as well as the integration of the curriculum.
  • Study Skills. These strategies help teachers develop lessons to help students learn more effectively by enabling them to acquire information from the text. They are mainly intended for use with expository text.

The strategies incorporated in each of these categories have been implemented successfully in the classroom. They are designed to help teachers develop lessons by giving them ideas they could use in the classroom. While specific steps are given for each strategy, teachers are encouraged to develop variations for meeting individual needs.

The following information is presented for each strategy:

  • Desired Outcome explains the purpose or overall goal in using the strategy.
  • General Overview gives a brief summary of the strategy and often includes such information as under what specific circumstances a teacher might use the strategy to help ensure success.
  • Steps Used in the Strategy outlines the procedure for using the strategy, using clear instructions on how to use each strategy when designing a lesson. Specific directions are given to enable the teacher to implement the strategy and adapt it to suit the-lesson's objectives.
  • Additional Information includes pertinent knowledge that may be useful when designing a lesson. This section focuses on suggestions for modifying the strategy and alternative suggestions to consider when implementing the strategy.

Charts and diagrams may be included at the end of each chapter as examples of how the strategy might best be implemented. These visuals will enable teachers to conceptualize their final outcome and understand how students can show their interactions with the text.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

Reading is a complex process and needs to be developed and taught both holistically and systematically. Teachers should make the act of reading comfortable and nonthreatening for all students in order that they may develop intrinsic motivators and be continually successful.

While the procedures for implementing the strategies are presented step by step as in a typical lesson plan format, the intent is not to oversimplify the teaching of reading by implying that teaching is a prescriptive process. Consequently, teachers are encouraged either to use the strategies in their entirety or to adapt them to meet the needs of the specific situation. As teachers become more familiar with the strategies and more proficient in incorporating them into their curriculum, they are encouraged to combine several strategies in one lesson and adapt them to fit the lesson's objectives, students' needs, and environmental constraints.

Keeping in mind that the most effective lessons often integrate the curriculum, relate it to the realities of students' lives, and incorporate several organizational or grouping patterns, knowledgeable teachers should take the substance of each strategy and adapt, modify, or elaborate it as necessary.

Finally, teachers can use this text as a resource or reference guide for implementing the ideas and strategies with different types of children in various educational contexts. Teachers can use this text to expand and develop their own style and to accommodate the ever-increasing and more complicated needs of their students.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I wish to thank the many teachers and graduate students who were instrumental in the preparation of this manuscript. Hundreds of professionals gave concrete and realistic suggestions about the instructional strategies used in this text. Particular appreciation is due to Lori Cambareri.

Special thanks goes to Mary Evangelista, who did an excellent job in preparing the manuscript for production, and Brad Potthoff, the sponsoring editor, who gave me unique insight from the beginning to the end of the project.

Appreciation is also given to the reviewers of the manuscript who contributed significantly to the finished product: Denise M. Bartelo, Plymouth State College of New Hampshire; Carole L. Bond, University of Memphis; William Oehlkers, Rhode Island College; Lorelie Olson, Seattle Pacific University; Daniel L. Pearce, Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi; David G. Petkosh, Cabrini College; Elaine Roberts, State University of West Georgia; and Gary D. Spray, California State University, Sacramento.

Review:

*Specific Compliance Instructions-On how to develop lessons to meet new state standards that emphasize a balanced approach to teaching literacy. * Teachers will gain confidence in knowing their efforts are meeting state compliance standards. Ex.___ *Detailed table of contents-Serves as a directory to 123 strategies appropriate for a variety of lesson topics, presented in a clear step-by-step format. * The directory is a resource to assist teachers in finding a specific strategy appropriate to develop a lesson. Ex.___ *Additional activities and practice. * Allows teachers to expand their repertoire of activities for classroom use and to hone their professional skills by using a rich variety of activities. Ex.___ *5 major sections. * Teachers' grasp of the major components of literacy education is simplified. Ex.___

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