Audit Trail Part IV Professional Development School Partnership- Lincoln Elementary

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Part IV: Conclusion

Literacy education develops over time. Students are developing in areas of literacy like reading comprehension, understanding the theme, plot, setting, and characterization, and the types of genres they are reading daily. Even writing builds literacy education like developing a piece during writer's workshop or a response to the text they just read in their writer's notebook. Literacy is everywhere in a classroom and crucial to their interactions or thoughts throughout the course of a day. I have learned through this experience that there is not a set way to tackle or approach literacy education. Depending on the makeup of your class, reading levels, and abilities, you may have to restructure and be flexible with the use of literacy education for students. Vocabulary, expression, feelings, questions, and other multifaceted parts of literacy need to continue to thrive along with flourish in your classroom.

I have learned that students need some scaffolding and modeling when it comes to literacy education. When doing the literature circles, I quite frequently read aloud to model expression, voice, pronunciation of words, and to show fluency with my reading. That is just one of the goals of literacy. Literacy needs to strive for students' independence through writing and reading. The way this is achieved is through guided reading, reading conferences, investigations, and guided writing. With guided reading, the student is being scaffolded for comprehension, expression, voice, and the pronunciation of words when reading. The teacher can step in at any time, but it is crucial to let the students learn for the goal of literacy is moving towards independent reading. Reading conferences help the teacher gauge where the student is at with their text, if they are struggling, or how literacy is being used. The same can be said with guided writing because the teacher is scaffolding for capitalization, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure helping the student move towards independent writing. Investigations for writing are helpful in literacy because the student is comprehending the material being researched and putting those ideas to writing. One thing to keep in mind is that mini-lessons help with reading or writing if a student is struggling in one specific area. For example, if a student does not understand the characterization, you can model that part of a text then use it to further the student's understanding of the character to comprehend the text promoting literacy. While using a mini-lesson on synthesis with Gobstoppers, I demonstrated to my literature circle that the synthesis of ideas has many layers and comprehending those ideas can be tough sometimes for literacy. The students were able to pick up the visual and comprehend the new information to create a synthesis spiral promoting their literacy education in new ways.

Social studies and literacy fit together very well. One of the best tasks this semester was creating a graphic novel with the students. First, the students had to do their research on the chosen topic then take those pieces of information and start to make a graphic novel. The students needed to comprehend the material in order to move on identifying the audience they wanted to target and their unique voice. I was amazed at the information they were pulling up and the primary sources they were finding. The students' completed work were unique, had stunning visuals, told a story from a perspective they came up with, and pulled me in with the content that flowed smoothly. I never thought that social studies and literacy could be integrated in a way like that. The literature circles were a great start to this integration followed by the graphic novels and their rich content. To finish we are doing podcasts, which have been a treat to see the connections with social studies and literature. The group I am working with truly took full advantage of researching healthy foods and obesity to want to make an impact on school lunches at Lincoln Elementary. They bring their comprehension of what to eat, how to maintain a healthy weight, and what causes obesity to be put into written paragraph form. From the written paragraphs, each student will record what they have written to be made into a podcast. The students are taking their literacy skills from their comprehension of the information on nutrition and being active citizens to inform Lincoln Elementary about what should be in their school lunches connecting social studies content.

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