What does implementing literacy look like to me?

It’s one thing to have a personal passion for literacy, but how will I spike a similar interest in my students? I can’t just stand at the front of the class and tell them why it’s important to read and write, and how much more FUN life is when this passion drives the will.

I still have a semester filled with many weeks of practicum ahead of me, so in this time, I plan on finding ways to implement practical and intriguing ways to incorporate literacy into my teaching!

Once I reach my inevitable goal of being a teacher librarian, I believe it will be easier to encourage the students by showing them how great literacy can be! I will see each class about once a week, for a short period of time. For the younger grades, I will be able to chose a book for their select class, tailored to their interests, and to current events happening in the city or in our school. For me, I believe this is where the idea of how neat books really are arose. For the older grades, I will be their resource for finding information they are searching for. I will be able to talk to each of them, and help them find the answers they are in search of. This is so exciting to me! As a student, I relied on the librarian for help, in all areas, and I was usually pleasantly surprised with all they that knew. I cannot wait to be that resource for my future students.

Before any of that is possible, the students need to learn HOW to read and write. Although as the librarian, I will be able to assist them on this path, I will not be able to be there for each student in the school, even though I wish I could. The learning of this starts and continues in the classroom. From an early age, the students will begin with activities to learn to read and write the alphabet. From here, they will start to build and recognize words. There are endless ideas on Pinterest, to find exciting ways to implement these types of activities. Hands on activities are so great for the littles!! By using natural resources, like flat rocks, and writing or painting on letters, this is really ideal for them to start creating their own words. Start with simple things, like their name, and continue to grow deeper into this, by helping them create or recognize words like “cat” and “dog”.

Invitation to write children's names - Puzzles Family Day Care                Sigh Word Fun with Natural Materials from Mummy Musings and Mayhem! #literacy

This is a great and simple way to work on words. This can be adapted to many levels, its just handy for them to be able to touch and move the letters around. Also, this way, if they make a mistake, they won’t feel stuck, they can just move the letters around and start over!

 

 

Resources:

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What is literacy?

lit·er·a·cy
ˈlidərəsē,ˈlitrəsē
noun
noun: literacy
  1. -the ability to read and write.

    -synonyms: ability to read and write, reading/writing proficiency;

    -learning, book learning, education, scholarship, schooling
    “literacy and numeracy are the first goals of education”
    -competence or knowledge in a specified area.
    “wine literacy can’t be taught in three hours”
Literacy, to me, has always been so intriguing. The thought that we can process our thoughts through writing, and not only the verbal.  When the words seem to simply escape our minds before they exit from our mouths, writing can provide such a power and grace to the person trying to portray any sort of information. It gives time to process information, elaborate, and convey exactly how one is feeling in that moment. Grammar, sentence structure, and fluidity in any form of literature are my jam. There are few things I adore as much as a well written piece of work.

I think my own passion for this area stems from my earlier days, through the work I was exposed to and experienced, in and through writing letters to pen pals. Up until this point, I had never really written or received a letter specifically addressed to me. The idea that communication can expand beyond friends that I see everyday at school, and family that I spend everyday with at home, was revolutionary to me. This was before any sort of instant messenger, and long before texting. We were able to get to know students of a similar age, in another province, by writing letters back and forth to one another. We were blessed with the opportunity to actually meet these friends in person a while later, after we had gotten to know each other over the course of the year. By this point in time, it already felt like we knew each other fairly well, as if we had been friends for ages. I am well aware that the concept of letter writing is not new or innovative, by any means, but to little me, it opened a new door to this entire world that I hadn’t a clue existed. From this moment onwards, my life was changed, and I really haven’t halted my passion ever since. I would much rather send a letter across the country that very well may take weeks to arrive, than send a message that will be received almost instantaneously. There’s more effort, thought, and love put into a hand written letter, and I thrive off of that.

Literacy does not comprise solely of written works, it encompasses a great deal, which surely also includes literature.

lit·er·a·ture
ˈlidərəCHər,ˈlidərəˌCHo͝or/
noun
  1. written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit.
    “a great work of literature”

While I am certain that there are some who may prefer reading over writing, or vice versa, these two really do go hand in hand. They work alongside each other, and arguably help better one another. If there is an adult or a child who struggles with writing, they can improve their skills in this area by grasping further knowledge of literature. This can expand vocabulary, improve spelling, and provide new ideas for the writer to explore.

I had a desire for reading, for as long as I can remember. I would spend my recess in the library sorting, organizing, and reading books. I was most certainly “that library kid”, and I loved every minute of it. The library was a sort of saving grace for me, as I knew that I was always welcomed there, and it gave me a place to escape the chaotic and refocus. It brought comfort to me, and through this, my intrigue into the world of literature grew into a passion that I still hold dear to me to this day. This, in fact, sparked enough of an interest in me, that I am now pursuing a career with the end goal of becoming an elementary school librarian, so I can help create this safe place for students to come and explore their own paths.