July 09, 2012 by
I am taking the AQ Reading Part 1 over the summer and have decided to blog some of my ideas and the discussion questions being addressed in the course. Our first discussion question was: Define literacy. Comment on how literacy has changed in the 21st Century and what we as teachers need to consider to be effective literacy instructors due to that change.
Here’s what I think…
I strongly believe that in the traditional sense, literacy can be defined within the realm of reading and writing. However, I believe in the 21st Century we must adopt a more generalized sense of the term, as the mode of literacy changes. I believe in a definition that encompasses the interpretation and creation of communication. We hear of Media Literacy, Critical Literacy, and Technological Literacy. It is the ability to absorb and internalize a message someone is creating (reading) and it is then interpreting that message and creating a response in a variety of forms (writing, oral communication, texting, slogans, etc). In that sense we see Literacy as the ability to infer and interpret images as well as text. In fact Literacy in the broadest sense could be defined as the intake of information, images, signals and then the production of more or new information to be passed on to others.
When we were sitting at my staff meeting yesterday and examining our strategic goal we spent a lot of time discussing a general goal we could apply to JKs to Grade 8s and the connection between image and text as all literacy comes from an image.
One change in the mode of communication in the 21st Century is the accessibility to a variety of modes of writing. The Internet and other technology has allowed millions of ideas to be published on a second by second basis with little to supervision or accountability. Even 30 years ago if I had an idea I wanted to write down and show other people I would have to go through the publishing process with countless edits, re-writes and the potential for rejection. In 2012, I can, in less than 10 minutes, share my ideas with the world regardless of validity, quality and restraint. I am by no means criticizing the ability for people to publish their creative, genuine ideas which are truly incredible when you think of all of the things we see on YouTube, Blogs, Facebook on a daily basis. I applaud the accessibility to publish information. However, the concern can exist that we as educators need to teach our students the ability to think critically when looking for information and asking themselves questions like who wrote this, what is their message, which voices are heard or not being heard. We have to teach on the basic level the ability to distinguish fact and opinion in order to ensure our students are able to successfully navigate the massive resources at their digital fingertips. We have to teach children to read for the deeper meaning, which is a daunting task at best.
What is your definition of Literacy? Comment below, join the discussion on Facebook, or send us a tweet @RookieTeacherCA.
December 12, 2011 by
Hey people! I know it’s been crunch time for me at OISE, but the holidays are almost here! I just wanted to share a website, Teaching Kids News, a Toronto based news site for kids! They have timely articles written in kid friendly language that break down important issues. Like any news site, TKN is divided into categories from science to art, environment to politics. The site is clear, legible and easily navigable. The team behind the project includes TDSB teachers looking for a meaningful way to develop a balanced literacy program. As such, they provide suggestions on each entry for how to use the articles, from Writing and Reading Prompts to Grammar Features. If we, as educators, are to help our students develop skills necessary in current and future realities then I think getting them involved in news early and regularly is a great way. Check out one of their most recent articles Gap Between Rich-Poor Growing: OECD!
Do you incorporate discussions about the news in your practice? Share your links in the comments below or find me on twitter @sarlowes (or @RookieTeacherCA)
December 05, 2011 by
If you’re looking to beef up your classroom or personal library, this is the blog post for you. Warehouse Books Ink is a company that offers 50-90% off original book prices. I have personally attended the book sale 4 times and scored many outstanding deals!
The book sale takes place in Burlington, Ontario (map).
Here’s a photo of my latest finds, only $27 + tax!
November 26, 2011 by
Great news…Yesterday I stumbled upon* a tool for students of all ages!
(*as seen on LifeHacker.com/5856460)
Announcify is a great little extension for Google Chrome and Android Devices and it works like this: (a) transfers any website to a text page, (b) zooms in and highlights, (c) reads the text aloud.
<<note: While testing this extension, I ran into one problem…occasionally it will read aloud the html code from the webpage.>>
Ideas for Tomorrow
- Announcify listening center (all you need is a laptop & some headphones)
- Have students create websites then listen back to what they wrote
- Upload tasks/quiz/tests for accommodation
Sounds great! …Hook me up
- Download Google Chrome for WIN or MAC
- Visit the Announcify extension on the Chrome Web Store
- Download and enable the Announcify productivity extension
Please share how you are using Announcify as an educational tech tool in your classroom…post a comment below.
November 22, 2011 by
Hello Rookies! My name is Lauren and I am a primary-junior teacher who is just beginning occasional teaching in the GTA. I enjoy facilitating classroom discussions about contemporary issues and current events. I am interested in taking a couple of AQs in the new year, including Special Education, Librarianship, and Reading (I would love to hear about your AQ experiences). When I’m not on the clock as a teacher, you can find me reading a book, hanging out with my dog (cute pooch to the right), or catching up with the latest episode of Damages. I look forward to sharing and learning from all you rookies out there. Find me on Twitter @Hughes_Lauren or post a comment on the blog.