Literacy teachers need to stay informed about teaching practices and research. This semester students in READ 6325 are exploring scholarly journals that are in some way related to literacy. Each student was required to write a blog post about one such journal. I will be publishing one or two of their posts each week.
By Ms. Garcia
The journal I collected information on is Reading Research Quarterly. This journal has been published for more than forty years by the International Reading Association, Inc. It goes out four times a year: in January, April, July, and October, and its audiences include reading researchers, reading specialists, students wishing to pursue a degree in reading, and educators.
Each issue of RRQ includes reports of important studies, multidisciplinary research, various modes of investigation, and diverse viewpoints on literacy practices, teaching, and learning (www.reading.org/General/Publications/Journals/RRQ.aspx). The focus of RRQ is reading. It includes articles about classrooms from grades kinder through high school. One of the articles I found included information on the effects vocabulary practices in prekindergarten and kindergarten have on the latter years of schooling. It states that there are some practices that “appear associated with greater growth in vocabulary for children with higher initial vocabulary knowledge than for children with lower initial vocabulary knowledge”. Another article discussed the validity of oral reading fluency and comprehension. It mentioned how it is set up, and that it is subjective for the test administrator. Both of these articles are useful to me as a teacher because the first one reiterated the importance of vocabulary development. The second one solidified my belief that I need to provide a vast variety of reading assessment tools instead of relying on one.
This journal is packed with research, data, opinions, and studies from all aspects of literacy, and I found it was easy to read. The articles are academically dense, but it was informational nonetheless. In order to have full access to the RRQ, you need to subscribe to it. It comes out to about ten dollars per quarter. Information about the journal is found at the website www.reading.org/General/Publications/Journals/RRQ.aspx. However, it was difficult for me to navigate this website. I found if helpful only for those that would like to subscribe to the article. It was easier for me to look up articles through the WilsonWeb Journal Directory in which I typed in RRQ followed by a topic. A list of articles quickly followed. I was also able to find articles through other search engines such as google.com and netscape.com. I would recommend for my colleagues to read this journal if they are interested in reading and what is being talked about, tried, and implemented in schools in response to literacy, especially reading. The articles can reinforce practices in the classroom, or they can help educators change their way of thinking. If a teacher is adamant about a certain practice or way of doing things that contrasts what administration wants to see, they can look up articles that support their beliefs and backs them up with research studies. The information provided in the articles may be useful for teachers in instances when reluctant administrators might question a teacher’s theoretical framework. As a future reading coach, the research and studies will be a useful tool that I can provide for my colleagues that may require support in their classroom.