Some Resources for Elementary Level Readers

This semester students in READ 6325 explored professional resources on a variety of topics.

By: Selia

As teachers (current, or future) we want what is best for our students. Out students will most benefit by becoming good readers. As we all know, schooling has changed drastically over the last few decades and things are getting harder by the year. As elementary teachers, we have a tremendous influence on our students and their growth as readers. It is important that we try our best to keep up to date with professional literature in order to have the best teaching practices for our students. I will be providing a few resources that could be helpful for elementary teachers that would like to engage in some personal professional development through the use of professional books, journals, and organizations.

One professional book that caught my attention is Kidwatching: documenting children’s literacy development by Gretchen Owacki and Yetta Goodman. I found this to be a good resource because learning to really watch our students in order to figure out what they really know and what they need is extremely important for planning future lessons. UTPA students are in luck because the school library has a copy of this book and for non-students it is readily available for purchase through Barnes & Noble for $17.54.

 

The professional organization that captured my interest is NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English.) The website that leads to this organization is http://www.ncte.org/. This organization has some information free of charge. If you would like more it does have a membership fee but with this fee comes access to, as per the website, “receive timely material to keep you informed on the trends and ideas affecting education, with a special focus on your level.” The annual membership fee is $50.  This site also informs of upcoming professional development as well as information on professional literature.

One of the professional journals that I will be recommending comes from the NCTE site. Language Arts is a journal geared toward elementary leveled students that, as per the site, “is a professional journal for elementary and middle school teachers and teacher educators. It provides a forum for discussions on all aspects of language arts learning and teaching, primarily as they relate to children in pre-kindergarten through the eighth grade.” Access to this journal requires a subscription. The yearly fee for this bimonthly journal would be $75 if you choose to get the journal subscription alone. The price with the NCTE membership would be $25.  If you plan on getting the Language Arts subscription, it would likely be in your best interest in getting both the journal and NCTE membership as the price would be the same as purchasing the journal subscription alone.

The second journal that I really liked was Elementary School Journal.  This journal is printed quarterly and is free to UTPA students via the library database. I really enjoyed looking at the variety of titles available in the journals. The topics are not strictly literacy related but it does have a heavy focus on the topic. Good luck on your professional development endeavors.

Emergent Readers in Early Childhood Education

This semester students in READ 6325 explored professional resources on a variety of topics.

By Irma Ramirez

Early childhood educators work daily in the attempt to educate school aged children from the ages of 4 to 8 years. In order to become successful in fostering emergent literacy in young children, educators must be able to access the latest research and teaching trends. There are many professional resources that educators can reference to enhance their knowledge about fostering emergent literacy in their young learners.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children is a worldwide organization that works towards upholding the needs and rights of all young children and educating people who work directly with children from birth through 8 years of age. Their continuous research on supporting the development of emergent readers can be found on their website and in two professional publications that members of NAEYC receive for free: Young Children, a professional peer reviewed journal featuring current research in the early childhood field, and Teaching Young Children, a magazine designed for early childhood teachers that offers useful teaching tips. Both publications are issued 5 times a year and members also receive full online access to both subscriptions with additional training guides. Members also receive discounts on books and registration fees. Any individual can become a member with NAEYC such as parents, paraprofessionals, teachers, and college educators. Anyone interested in becoming a member can join their state’s AEYC affiliation or local affiliations in their area. Membership fees differ for students and professionals ranging from $90.00 to $135.00 dollars. Additional information on NAEYC can be found on their webpage at www.naeyc.org.  

In addition to the two publications issued through NAEYC, educators can find articles related to emergent reading in professional journals. Early Childhood Research Quarterly is one such journal that is dedicated to publishing empirical research in the field of early childhood education. ECRQ publications are reviewed by a review board to ensure that the research meets the highest standards in qualitative or quantitative research. An extensive number of articles on emergent literacy in early childhood have been published in ECRQ. Articles cover information of topics such as literacy interventions for emergent readers, teaching strategies, the benefits of emergent literacy skills in young children. The ECRQ is published four times a year. Subscriptions may be purchased by institutions at the cost of about $500.00. Students and college educators may gain access to articles from ECRQ through their university libraries. All full text articles can also be purchased for a 24 hour period at www.journals.elsevier.com/early-childhood-research-quarterly/ for a fee of $31.50 per article.

The Early Childhood Education Journal is another peer reviewed journal that publishes extensive research in regards to emergent literacy and reading in early childhood. Early care educators and teachers working with school aged children can benefit from the articles published in Early Childhood Education Journal. Information on subject matter such as curriculum design strategies for emergent literacy, books that support emergent literacy in young children, and nurturing emergent readers through Readers Theater, are just a few of the topics that can help teachers foster emergent literacy instruction in the classrooms. The ECE Journal can be purchased by institutions at a cost of $850.00 dollars. Subscribers receive six issues per year along with full access to all journal articles online at www.springer.com. Individuals not subscribed can also gain online access to all electronic full text articles for a fee of $34.95 per article.

Professional books are also a great resource to help give teachers insight and knowledge on how children learn and develop literacy skills. Literacy: Helping Students Construct Meaning by David Cooper is a professional book designed for teachers working young children. This book helps teachers understand how children learn and how they acquire emergent literacy skills. It also breaks down the details of a comprehensive balanced literacy program, gives teachers strategies to help children construct meaning, and beginning reading instruction with young children I have personally read this book and consider it to be a great source for educators looking to expand their knowledge of emergent literacy and for students enrolled in higher education who are working to become certified as educators. This book can be purchased online through any major bookstore for about $100.00 to $150.00 dollars.

Ideas on Making Reading in Content Areas More Pleasurable

This semester students in READ 6325 explored professional resources.

Written by: A. Castillo

Do Social Studies or Science leave a sour taste in your or your students’ mouth?  Do you or your students dread using an outdated textbook for certain content areas?  If you answered yes, than like other educators, you may have questioned what else is possible to make reading across the content areas more interesting and engaging for your students?  The answer lies in professional resources such as journals, organizations, and books. 

Professional Journals

The Reading Teacher

This peer-reviewed journal is designed for those who work with children up to 12 years of age.  Every issue provides valuable information such as:

  • Research proven teaching theories to assist all students
  • Articles that are beneficial in providing successful practice
  • Articles written by educators

The journal is published eight times per year between September and May with a special double issue of December and January.  The fee for this particular journal varies depending on whether or not you decide to join the professional organization responsible for publishing the journal.

Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy

This journal is written for those who teach older students.  The peer reviewed journal provides an assortment of useful information to teachers regarding students of all learning abilities.  Interesting topics found within this journal include:

  • Analysis of resources
  • Instructional ideas
  • Useful tips on incorporating technology and other media sources in the classroom

Similar to The Reading Teacher, this journal is also published eight times each year from September and May with a special paired issue for December and January.  The fee for the journal fluctuates varying on whether or not you choose to join the professional organization accountable for distributing the journal.

Professional Organizations

International Reading Association (http://reading.org)

The International Reading Association (IRA) is a wonderful association all educators should participate in.  Membership fees are required in order to have complete access to the wide assortment of resources.  Upon admission into the establishment, you will have access to the educational journals, such as The Reading Teacher and the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, in which the association is responsible for publishing.  The IRA offers peer reviewed lesson plans as well as reading lists. The reading lists are divided into three sections, children, teacher, and young adult choices which makes browsing easier.  The amount of resources made available by this professional organization is certain to enhance your life.

National Council of Teachers of English (http://www.ncte.org)

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is an organization whose primary significance is to integrate the language arts into the content areas.  The association offers access to peer reviewed journals, lesson plans, books, magazines, and professional development for example web seminars on content area literacy.  The structure of the website makes browsing effortless as it specifies sections for elementary, middle, secondary, and college levels.  In order to have complete access to this great organization a membership fee is necessary. 

Professional Literature

Subjects Matter: Every Teacher’s Guide to Content-Area Reading (2004)

Harvey Daniels and Steven Zemelman are the authors of this fantastic resource.  The authors state that students “read too many textbooks, and not enough “real” books and articles” (p.14).  Therefore, they share engaging approaches on how to teach reading in all content areas.  For example, they suggest reading strategies that can be implemented across the curriculum before, during, and after the reading.  In addition, they propose ideas on reading workshop and book clubs which are activities that will interest and engage your students.

Young Adult Literature: Exploration, Evaluation, and Appreciation (2006)

This is another great resource that will add more zing to your teaching of content areas.  Katherine Bucher and M. Lee Manning co-authored this book that can revitalize your teaching of genres as well as be incorporated in different content areas.  Each chapter explores different genres of literature.  Within each chapter, they recommend various activities that will keep your students engaged in the learning.  Also, mentioned in each chapter are suggested books that can be read to complement the genre and content area.

These professional resources will give teachers a refreshing attitude into reading across the content areas that their students will also benefit.  They suggest a new outlook on reading from using outdated textbooks to authentic literature.  Hopefully, these resources will inspire and instill an appreciation for reading in you and your students.

Locating Information on Bilingual Readers

This semester students in READ 6325 explored professional resources on a variety of topics.

By Garcia

It’s always good to know that there is plenty of material that can assist us as we work with English Language Learners and that this information is within our reach.  We have to be well informed of what is needed to address not only the academic but the personal needs, interests, and concerns of all the bilingual population as well as those of the people that work with this minority. 

The data presented here provides information to all audiences concerning Bilingual Education.  The data collected offers information on journals, a professional book, the bilingual association, and websites with unlimited information on this matter.

Bilingual Research Journal, published by Routledge, is the journal of the National Association for Bilingual Education. The publication of this journal includes such topics as: Assessment, Biliteracy, Indigenous languages, Language planning, Language politics, Multilingualism, Pedagogical approaches, Policy analysis, Instructional research, Language planning, and Second language acquisition.  The journal has a strong attention in matters related to the education of language minority children and youth in the United States, grades PreK-12.  Articles from other countries are included if they offer bilingual education material from the U.S.  Bilingual Research Journal delivers in-depth coverage of education theory and practice, dealing with bilingual education, bilingualism, and language policies in education. This journal is published three times per year. The price for a subscription print copy is $70.00, online access for institutions is $211, and print and online subscriptions are $235.  The payment needs to be done by credit card only.  More information can be found at http://www.nabe.com.

 The National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) is an organization that represents and advocates for the nation’s bilingual and English Language Learners (ELL), their families, and Education professionals.  NABE offers professional research journals, conferences, advocacy, news, presentation, and recommendations.  This association has affiliations in 20 states that have more than 5,000 members that include Bilingual and English Language Learner (ELL) teachers, parents, paraprofessionals, administrators, professors, advocates, researchers, and policy makers. To be part of this association NABE offers different types of memberships including individual, student, professional, paraprofessionals, parent, state affiliate members, institutional, and lifetime.  The membership costs in the U.S. range from $30 to $500.  NABE also teams up with 18 Special Interest groups which are connected to bilingual education.  The NABE annual conference for 2013 will occur in Orlando, Florida in February.  More information can be found at http://www.nabe.org/.

Teaching Reading in Multilingual Classrooms is a book that discusses the core principles of a successful reading practice.  David and Yvonne Freeman present eight fantastic teachers   working with mainstream, English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL), and bilingual students.  The Freemans offer daily schedules, sample strategies, and lists of texts to assist teachers and students from elementary up to secondary.  The book chapters help readers put the principles into practice.  Chapter titles refer to understanding, valuing, sustaining, promoting, and evaluating reading.  It also includes talking, writing, and answering tough questions about reading.  At the end of the book professional references and literature are included.  This book can be found on-line. The price for a new book is $25 and for used is $7.  This book is eligible for free shipping and will be delivered in 24 hours from the same day order is placed.

International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism published by Routledge, includes such topics as:

  • Bilingualism, biculturalism, and defines an introduction to bilingual development, motivation, language identity and the second language (L2) self,
  • Bilingualism and enhanced attention in early adulthood  
  • Cognitive Effects of Bilingualism: How Linguistic Experience Leads to Cognitive Change Parent and teacher rating of bilingual language proficiency and language development concerns Linguistic diversity and social inclusion
  • Transliteration as a bridge to learning for bilingual children
  • Leveraging bilingualism to accelerate English reading comprehension

This journal is published three six times per year. The price for a individual subscription print copy is $161, online access for institutions is $781, and print and online subscriptions are $867.  The payment needs to be done by credit card only.  More information can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/action/pricing?journalCode=rbeb

 I also recommend checking out the literacy related websites offered on this blog (on the right) for ideas and links like Colorín Colorado that were created to help Bilingual students and read and succeed.