Creating personal learning goals supports literacy.
Images help set the stage for understanding abstract concepts.
Fifth-graders revist the world of Lewis and Clark using global positioning systems.
Improving reading skills in middle school using a popular Web site prompts effective feedback.
Literacy develops over time as students progress from emerging to skilled readers who can comprehend and analyze complex text. Reading for understanding requires an active thinking process that is influenced by the reader's prior knowledge and experiences (National Reading Panel, 2000). Current national efforts aim at helping every child read independently by third grade.
Strategies for increasing literacy development focus not only on improving reading skills, but also on developing the higher-order thinking skills that enable students to comprehend, analyze, and communicate about ideas. Well-designed literacy programs provide students with frequent opportunities to use language--reading, writing, listening, and speaking--for varied and authentic purposes.
Proficient readers monitor their understanding as they read. When the text doesn't make sense they use strategies that include:
Technology offers new tools for effective literacy instruction, and also expands the definition of 21st century literacy. As the International Reading Association's position statement on literacy and technology explains, "To become fully literate in today's world, students must become proficient in the new literacies of information and communication technologies. Therefore, literacy educators have a responsibility to effectively integrate these technologies into the literacy curriculum" (IRA, 2001).
The International Reading Association (IRA) has published a position paper on integrating technology into literacy instruction. http://www.reading.org/resources/issues/positions_technology.html.
The IRA's online resources include suggested reading on literacy and technology. http://www.reading.org/resources/issues/focus_technology_reading.html#books
The Lab at Brown provides information and resources on selected education topics, including elementary literacy and adolescent literacy in the content areas, on the Knowledge Loom Web site. http://knowledgeloom.org/index.jsp
The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory has published Using Technology to Enhance Literacy Instruction http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/content/cntareas/reading/li300.htm
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory's Literacy and Language Development Team provides a variety of resources. Many Paths to Literacy and Learning to read and write: a place to start focus on early literacy development. Inquiring Minds addresses literacy in early adolescence. Learners, Language, and Technology suggests how to incorporate technology to promote literacy skills. http://www.nwrel.org/lld/publications.html
The Partnership for Reading published Put Reading First, designed to help teachers apply findings and conclusions from the 2000 report of the National Reading Panel, including analysis and discussion of five areas of reading instruction. http://www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading/publications/reading_first1.html
Reading Next: A Vision for Action and Research in Middle and High School Literacy is a comprehensive 2004 report to the Carnegie Corporation of New York. http://www.all4ed.org/publications/ReadingNext/ReadingNext.pdf
The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory's Reading Assessment Database provides information to those seeking reliable reading assessment tools for children in grades Pre-K to 3. Many of the assessments are suitable for higher grades as well. http://www.sedl.org/reading/rad/