Emergent Literacy

I will encourage emergent literacy by ensuring that the classroom becomes a literacy-rich environment. Not only does this build a foundation for reading but it develops an understanding for language. I will provide my students with a classroom filled with signs, labels, menus, and dictionaries. Putting up labels throughout the classroom in different languages can help students with ESL. For example, door will be labeled as “door, puerta, porta” etc. This will help students acknowledge that “puerta” translates to “door” which in term will help them understand language development. Homework and assignments will also be given out in English and their native language. During morning meeting I will use a small portable white board that will have sections for the month, day of the week, year, weather, and feeling of the day. This ensures participation and helps improve their emergent literacy. After this is done, my students will go into their first center which may include reading time for students to go into the classroom library and pick out a book. This will include books on math, science, and social studies along with an appropriate child dictionary, menus, and recipes. These reading options can also help keep literacy as a key component during play-time. Students who are pretending to be chefs, can use the menus and recipes that are provided for them in the classroom library to hand out to their “customers”. Along with all of this, we will have circle-time towards the end of the first center rotations in which I will incorporate sight words into the read alongs.

To keep school and home connected, it is important to keep parents aware of daily routines, changes, etc. Each week, every student will be sent home with a list of their homework/projects. This may including creating a book report with their parent that includes a short summary, and picture that will be cut out and glued onto construction paper. I will then hang them up around the classroom to display their work. I will also send home a biweekly short report of how the student is doing and what they need to work on at home. However, paper seems to either get lost or it stays stuck inside a folder for months. This can be resolved by encouraging parents to join a classroom app, where I will post assignments, important dates, and a section for parent-teacher interaction. This can help parents see where their child is at and what they can do to help improve their at home literacy skills.

 

Intellectual Risk

In this video, the teacher asked each student to find an object that measured the length of their hand. It was rather easy for the students to find an object but when it came to explaining why it was “just the right size,” it became challenging. I noticed that the teacher asked her students to explain what they did, how they did it, and why it was just the right size. I liked how she made this activity personal to each student. During the discussion the teacher kept asking the student “how and why” to further understand their thinking process along with developing oral skills. It was also interesting how she had a conversation with each student. Asking questions and explanations are essential in a pre-k classroom. It is important for children to share their ideas, options, and come to their own conclusions.

Oral Language Development

Children develop oral language by observing and interacting with adults. Teachers can help their students with oral language development by expanding their daily use of cognitively challenging conversation. This can mean creating conversations “that involve explanations, personal narrative, and pretend play where children create and re-create events, analyze experiences, and share opinions and ideas (Smith & Dickinson, 1994).” However, teachers have trouble with balancing rich conversations while devoting time to child’s play.

Four Levels of Abstract Language

  • Teacher’s can create cognitively challenging conversations by focusing on labeling and locating objects and characters.
    • For example: “Where can you find the car in this illustration?”
  • Teacher’s can focus on describing and recalling by using “fill in the blank” activities.
    • For example: “Today it was _____ outside.”
  • Teacher’s can focus on summarizing, defining, comparing and contrasting, and providing judgments.
    • For example: “Mary couldn’t find her teddy bear last night, how do you think that made her feel? How did she react when she finally found it?”
  •  Teacher’s can focus on predictions, problem solving, and concept explanation.
    • For example: “How do you think the cat will find its way out of the closet?”

Teacher’s can interact with their students during book readings by having discussions that involve questions before, during and after the reading. Developing oral language can happen during play-time by using “pretend talk” to stimulate literacy development and strong language. Teacher’s can also use rare vocabulary words that develops linguistic concepts during meal-time. For example, saying that milk is a dairy product can get students to ask questions, learn information, and expand their vocabulary through explanations.

 

Learning Goals

My goals for this semester are to develop a deeper understand of children’s literacy. I want to be able to understand different learners and how to accommodate to their needs. Learning how to read can be quite difficult, especially when English isn’t your first language. I remember being in kindergarten/1st grade and asking the kid next to me how to read certain words. His response would be “sound it out” but I didn’t know how. With that being said, I was too shy to tell the teacher that I didn’t know how to read.  Nonetheless, I did pass the class which must have meant that she did end up accommodating to my needs. My goal is to understand all methods of literacy to help my future students succeed.

 

Lego Gender Remixer

During the Lego gender remixer, I learned a lot on children’s ads. I never really thought about this because I grew up wanting to use the computer and let go of toys really fast. While observing the mashups, I observed how gender plays a huge role in these advertisements. Little boys are viewed as “macho men” who love to destroy things so sound effects and destruction is the center of every “boy” lego ad. These ads are based on weapons and violence because boys are viewed as more aggressive. While, girls are viewed as fragile and more passive so their Lego Friends ads are mostly on shopping, hanging with friends, and baking. These ads are embedded with stereotypical sets of social values on gender roles. These commercials made Legos that were essentially for everybody, into two separate categories. The Lego Friends that are aimed towards girls, wear skirts, have puppies, play dress-up, and hang out in a candy-colored cafe. Meanwhile, the boys’ Lego characters are fighting space battles, capturing dinosaurs, and sailing pirate ships. The division of these toys furthermore prove how society considers this to be the social norm when in reality toys have no gender and can be played by anyone. These stereotypes are the reason why websites like these are made. They are here to educate us on how society should not tell us how to live our lives.

Old Communication, New Literacies.

Social media encourages online learning. News can be tweeted, images are created, posted, and ready to be discussed. However, social media seems “bad” because of the amount of time young people spend on it. Adults who are opposed to online learning need to recognize that times have changed and developed for a better future for students. Nevertheless, online learning is harder to teach among low-income communities because it is difficult to provide computers for the school or students may not have one that is easily at their reach. In this observation, they want to learn how young people (between 17-19) view and think of social media and online learning. Social media is able to provide fast interactions and sharing with anyone around the world, which encourages learning even if it is on facebook or twitter. Some believe that social media can make communication more friendly than actual face to face conversations. I believe this is correct because if I am in a bad or gloomy mood, the person behind the screen is unable to detect it unless they find a difference in the way I am typing. Online you are able to make connection with all kinds of people based on whatever topic you desire. Low-income families value the use of online learning because their ideas and thoughts are not beneath others based on their income. Everything is constantly changing, especially the internet. It is a huge community with never ending change.

Easter Killing Spree

In Cleveland, Ohio a man claimed to have shot 15 people and says will continue until he is caught. He even recorded it on Facebook live. This is not only cruel but upsetting to the families of the deceased. It is awful to think that innocent people have been murdered on a day like Easter, where most families are enjoying spending time together. Families are being torn apart due to the news of their loved ones being murdered for absolutely no reason. I don’t understand how a person is capable of murdering people and not getting caught immediately. This man is 6’1, 224 pounds, with a full beard, pictures have been released to help shorten the search. Police have advised to not approach this man but to call 911 immediately because he is considered armed and dangerous. Although, his facebook was closed shortly after the “live video,” there are still copies online of this murder. Currently, there has been no sighting of this sick individual since the Facebook Live video occurred. The man in this video was 74 years old and was shot to death. I do not agree with the city not being on lockdown. It is very dangerous to be outside while there is a murdered on the loose who claims that his job is not done.

Lady Gaga – Equality

Lady Gaga is an inspiration to most people because of the messages throughout her songs, lyrics, and personality. She is specifically trying to advocate gender equality and gay rights through social activism. People have noticed her messages and came to the conclusion that society makes it socially acceptable for men to walk outside without a shirt on but women cannot. Women must not only cover up but they must wear bras while men can freely take off their shirts without any stares or confusion. Lady Gaga sends the message that if men can do it, so can we. Women should be able to have the same equality and freedom as men. However, because women have breast, society named it unacceptable to walk around without a shirt on. She reveals her body to the public because it is her choice, and she is allowed to have this freedom, even if society says otherwise. This sends a powerful message to her “little monsters” because it shows that they can express themselves and should not let society decide how they should dress or act. By using social networks, Gaga enables her material to transcend real world barriers. She was able to create a safe space for people to express their identity and gender without being discouraged or receiving hatred. Gaga makes sure to ban all hate comments on her site to ensure the safety of her “little monsters.” She is able to use social activism to express gender equality and gay rights.