Thursday, 7 August 2014

Developing Literacy

What is literacy?

Literacy is defined as "   ".

This post was jumpstarted by things that I'm currently doing in my Y9 class as well as a post on Facebook by Rotorua's newspaper 'The Daily Post'.

TDP stated -

A few comments were left before I added mine. As a good digital citizen, I read what others had to say first, I thought about the question and the issue at hand for myself, and then I decided I'd post something - and as a teacher when I post on something as public as that I make extra careful that I'm portraying my perspective as clearly as possible - to ensure I uphold my own, my schools', my students' and my community's mana.

On reading that some 14 years ago, parents in our community were told that they shouldn't teach their students how to spell and read phonetically - I decided to ask for more info as well as put my two cents into the literacy debate.

"That's useful info Anahera - know why that's the case? Kids need to be reading more at home. If they're on FB - Sweet - but give them pages of worth to 'like' to learn about the world around them. Upworthy, Policymic, TedTalks. This newspaper page even. Teach them how to comment appropriately and be a digital citizen. Help them set up a blog. Be open to using tech to develop literacy. Foster a love for reading at home. Never too late to start."

I truly believe in the power of reading.

Like I said in my #WhoIAmWhatIDo post - It's incredibly important to ensure a love for reading from a young age. I credit mine to my Grandmother Lorraine. She is amazing. We would read together every night I stayed with her and my Grandad - and eventually she stopped reading to me and I started reading to her. It was something we could share together and just as important, created a burning passion for me to learn as much as I possibly could.

Literacy is important. As is numeracy.

You can be literate in speaking, reading and writing English. However the only way you will become fluent or improve your own literacy levels is to... you guessed it - read!

Of course the writing and verbalising your point of view is equally as important.

I totally believe that our students should be given the chance to share their opinions, do group work and peer assess to improve their thinking.

It's why I think student blogging is so damn effective. Because they're writing. They're reading. They're thinking about what they've read and written and then they're commenting and replying to others' comments. Boom. Improved literacy.

Yes there are risks. Read my earlier posts on this. But so many gains. Get your students writing. So many different challenges for them to work through. Get them writing in their books for starters. Even if it's a simple oral storytelling session as we did the other day which turned into a mighty writing and storytelling lesson. One of my students wrote a five page story when retellingy scary one. He made my story way better. And this kid wasn't one that I would have said previously could write well. He completely fooled me! He just needed to right oomph to get started.

And so now I'm sharing different books with them and stopping being apathetic and reminding myself why I got into this game of teaching - to help, to influence and more importantly to inspire kids to love learning... and reading too :)

The below is an awesome website. Found through Grammarly's recent post on FB.
Check them out!