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Personal Philosophy

Personal Philosophy of Reading Instruction

            My personal philosophy of reading instruction originates from my educational background, my experiences of teaching Kindergarten, being a music instructor, being a parent and my own personal schema’s of learning to read.  I would like my teaching to reflect the social constructivist approach to reading.  “reading as a social, cultural process where meaning is contructed as readers interact with text, teachers, and peers within the classroom and the broader social context." Bainbridge, J. and Malicky, G.  The Nature and Assessment of Reading  pp. 108 . Reading instruction is a complex process that involves all of these processes stated below:   cognitive (having a schema, so that there is comprehension), psychological (good attitude/feeling success in reading), social (discussions), physiological (sensory stimuli: eyes for sight, touch for Braille) and emerging (reading begins at birth, or even before, when a child hears his or her parents’ voices).  Boggs (2010) Reading Part I Students come to school as individuals with many different schemas (i.e. ELL learners)  and as such reading instruction needs to be student centred.  Language is an interpretive expression that must comprehensively accommodate each student’s schematic background.  Reading instruction needs to engage students with a balance of speaking, listening, presenting, writing, reading and viewing in a meaningful way.  Students first learn through interactions with others.  These interactions provide a basis for reading instruction.  Students need to learn a combination of skills that will enable them to become critical thinkers in their on-going literacy development.  These first skills need to include the alphabetic principle (i.e. phonemic awareness), concepts of print, sight word recognition, comprehension and developing interests (reading ownership).  Students learn to use language cuing systems of visual clues (graphonic), schematic, semantic, and syntactic to develop their reading and construct meaning. Reading instruction may be viewed in four different stages emergent, early, proficient to fluent readers.  As students move on from the emergent stage they may deepen their transactions with text (response theory) by developing their comprehension.  Students may use different comprehension strategies such as predicting, questioning, inferring, sequencing, evaluating, analyzing, synthesizing, and making connections to transact with text. Parents need to be included in reading instruction by being given pertinent information, (such as on how to help their children, home reading programs and their child’s assessment), in a professional, consistent and on-going manner.  The early years is a particularly important time for children’s reading instruction as early intervention may help  children be successful in their reading and future school academics.  Reading instruction now includes technology and media literacy. For example, smart boards may be used to engage students in learning situations or thinking about media advertising critically.  Classroom organization is also very important to reading instruction.  A well-organized, inviting classroom with varied engaging quality literature will stimulate literacy learning.  Effective timetabling for the literacy components and thoughtfully planned lessons are essential for student learning.Since reading instruction is student centred, reading instruction may use differentiated instruction in whole group, small group, and individual learning to support students zone of proximal development with an emphasis on gradually releasing responsibility of reading comprehension to students.  The components of instruction may organized in different ways such as the three block framework (Language + Word Study, Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop) or the components of the balanced literacy model (i.e. Modelled Reading, Guided Reading, Shared Reading, Independent Reading, Word Study, Modelled Writing, Shared Writing, Guided Writing and Independent Writing).  Instruction should be provided with the use of auditory (i.e. musical), visual, tactile, kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, global and analytical for different learning styles.  Assessment needs to varied, on-going, and suited to students schematic background.  Assessment may include portfolios, running records, checklists, anecdotal observations, surveys, writing, tapes, drama presentations, and individual conferences.Reading instruction can be developed through on-going professional learning.  On-going learning may be done through reflection, collaboration with others, research, being involved in the community, keeping resources and attending workshops.  ReferencesAu, Kathryn H (November 1997) Literacy for all students: Ten steps toward making a difference. The Reading Teacher Vol. 51 No. 3 Bainbridge, J. and Malicky, G. (2000).  The Nature and Assessment of Reading. In Constructing Meaning: Balancing Elementary Language Arts. Toronto: Harcourt Canada, pp. 104-114Boggs (2010), from Reading Part I, Queens UniversityBoggs (2005), from Language Arts, Western UniversityGipe, J. (2002). Fundamental Aspects of the Reading Process and Corrective Reading. In Multiple Paths to Literacy: Classroom Techniques for Struggling Readers.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.  Pp. 3-18.   
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