Children's Literacy Initiative
September 21, 2010
I went to a college that was originally a normal school, one with the sole purpose of training teachers. I had several long term student teaching experiences, and I thought I had a solid education behind my teaching degree. I was shocked to discover I had very little idea how to move students as readers, and was at a complete loss when it came to instructing writing. I could have good discussions with children about the stories in their basal textbooks. (I should mention that when I first started teaching the "stories" in these texts were vocabulary controlled resulting in very weak narratives.)I could assign writing topics and correct each and every error a student made, essentially rewriting his work, and handing back the paper for recopying, but I could do little else. I was left to my own devices to improve my craft.
Now I work with teachers, the majority very early in their careers and I co-plan, co-teach, and co-reflect on each lesson we do together, implementing best practices in the instruction of literacy. Children's Literacy Initiative keeps my colleagues and me abreast of the most current research regarding literacy instruction, and I am able to asure that any teacher I'm assigned to coach isn't left to flounder like I did as a new teacher. As a result, teachers who use best practices as their teaching strategies can expose their students to rich literature increasing the domains of the children's knowledge and allowing them to hear sophisticated vocabulary in context. Students can emulate fluent reading modeled by their teachers as they navigate texts at their own levels using decoding and comprehension strategies learned during these read-alouds, during reading workshop, or Message Time Plus. Writing is demystified as children are taught to view the world as writers, and then choose their own topics for writing, trying craft modeled by their teachers, or maybe by an author studied by the class. Mechanics are taught and used purposefully rather than in meaningless isolation. Children ultimately see themselves as writers with ideas worthy of recording.
Children's Literacy Initiative empowers teachers, thereby empowering all the students they will ever teach.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
classrooms where little are people are working purposefully as readers and writers, and watching their abilities spill over into all content areas of the curriculum.
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About every week
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Professional with expertise in this field & I am currently a Professional Developer with CLI.