Montezuma Elementary School
Office: Hokona 212
Hours: Tues. & Thurs. 1:30 - 3:00 & TBA
277-5887; home: 881-7981
Description and Rationale:
course will examine theories of first language literacy acquisition and
development. It is the first part of a two course sequence, the second part
of which is second language literacy acquisition and development. We will
examine literacy from a number of different perspectives and then building
on this understanding, we will examine practical classroom applications
that will facilitate the acquisition and development of literacy. Initially,
we will discuss a methodological approach to study literacy and then explore
the development of literacy, as a prelude to studying the processes at play
as an individual acquires and develops literacy at home and at school.
To develop a methodological approach to study first language literacy acquisition
To examine the historical development of literacy and construct a definition
To examine the way that literacy develops in a child's first five years.
Based on that understanding to develop a pedagogical approach that builds
on that development.
To critique current approaches to the teaching of literacy.
To develop classroom practices that reflect students' own developing conception
of literacy acquisition and development.
To understand the relationship between literacy and technology and how to
integrate them in the classroom.
Regular participation in an on-line discussion set up for this course which
is accessible by clicking Here.
This on-line discussion allows us to ask questions, make comments, respond
to questions, raise concerns, in essence to carry on a dialogue with our
peers and the instructor. Students should make at least one contribution
student will be assigned or will find on their own a low progress reader
in the primary grades to tutor for one hour a week for ten weeks. At the
end of ten weeks students will write a short (2-3 page) reflection on the
tutoring experience focusing on what you have learned through this experience.
student will be responsible for doing a 10-15 minute demonstration, using
our class, of an activity described in Conversations.
Action Plan (25%)
-- This project will give you the opportunity to reflect on your approach
to teaching literacy and to develop a plan that you would implement in your
classroom. This plan should start with a 2-3 page statement of the underlying
theoretical approach that will inform the way that literacy activities are
constructed in your classroom.You will then give an overview of how your
curriculum will be organized. This should include routines that are done
on a regular basis. You should also include the description of an activity
that reflects your approach to literacy instruction. You can use this project
to develop a plan that you would implement if you were not constrained by
other considerations. We will discuss this project at greater length in
Project (35%) --
This project will give you the opportunity to explore an area of literacy
activity that is of particular interest to you. The kind of inquiry you
conduct will vary depending on the nature of your project. It is hoped that
this project will be something that helps you in your teaching. No matter
what the project is, you will turn in a 2-3 page paper describing your inquiry
process -- how and why you choose the project, how you refined the scope,
how you gathered the information, what you learned from the process.
a short paper (2-3) pages reviewing two online articles
about first language literacy acquisition, that tie in with your Final Project.
These reviews will be factored into the 35% allocated to the Final Project.
Other articles on-line or distributed in class.
One -- 1/15 -- Topic: Introduction to the Course and Community Building.
Two -- 1/22 -- Development of a Methodological Approach/Origins of Literacy
Reading: Smith -- "Reading -- From Behind the Eyes"; Weaver --
"How Words Are Perceived"; Conversations -- Introduction
& Ch. 1
Week Three -- 1/29-- Topic: Constructing an Approach to Literacy
Reading: Harste article; Au article; Conversations -- Introduction;
Week Four -- 2/5 -- Topic: Curriculum Inquiry
Reading: Conversations -- Ch. 12
Week Five -- 2/12 -- Approaches to Teaching Literature
Reading: Conversations -- Chs. 3 & 4 to page 121
Week Six -- 2/19 -- Topic: Struggling Readers & Special Needs Students
Reading: Conversations -- Ch. 4, 121-169; Lyons -- "Helping
a Learning-Disabled Child Enter the Literate World"; Primeaux -- "Shifting
Perspectives on Struggling Readers"
the Thought and Learning of Struggling Writers
Week Seven -- 2/26 -- Topic: Creating an Environment for Literacy
Reading: Conversations -- Ch. 5
Eight -- 3/5 -- Topic: Getting Started with Writing
Reading: Conversations -- Ch. 6
Week Nine -- 3/12 -- Spring Break
Ten -- 3/19 -- Topic: Using Journals in the Classroom
Reading: Conversations -- Ch. 7
Week Eleven -- 3/26-- Topic: Creating an Environment for Writing
Reading: Conversations -- Ch. 8
Week Twelve -- 4/2 -- Topic: Multiple Purposes & Functions for Writing;
Reading: Conversations -- Ch. 9; Strickland & Taylor -- "Family
Storybook Reading: Implications for Children, Families, and Curriculum"
Is Family Literacy?
Start Family Literacy
Action Plans Due
Thirteen -- 4/9 -- Topic: Spelling/Word Study & Reading in the Content
Reading: Conversations -- Chs. 10 & 11
Week Fourteen -- 4/16-- Topic: Evaluation of Literacy Activities
Reading: Conversations -- Ch. 15
Fifteen -- 4/26-- Topic: Collaboration and Professional Development &
Technology in Literacy Practices
of Final Projects
Reading: Conversations -- Chs. 13 & 14
Graduate Credit Reviews Due
Day to Post to Online Discussion 4/26; Reflective Journals Due
Week Sixteen -- 5/7 --Topic: Presentations of Final
Reading: Weaver: A Balanced Approach to Reading; Smith -- "Twelve
Easy Ways to Make Learning to Read Difficult"; Labbo,
Hoffman & Roser, "Ways to Unintentionally Make Writing Difficult"
No End to the Reading
Links on "Reading