The overview video summarizes the contents and the literacy issues of the entire video library. Included in the overview are clips from the classroom and student case study videos, as well as reflections from teachers and the project's advisors.
Becoming Readers and Writers
Kindergarten teacher Sheila Owen's literacy routines gradually develop student independence in reading and writing activities. Focusing on oral language development, Ms. Owen creates a classroom atmosphere where students are "never encouraged to be quiet."
John Sinnett emphasizes the three Rs -- respect, responsibility, and relationships -- in his kindergarten classroom. Following a careful, step-by-step process, his students write an entry in their journals, beginning with an illustration.
Building Oral Language
In kindergarten teacher Cindy Wilson's classroom, oral language development is a primary literacy focus. Thematic classroom activities help her students make connections with their own -- and each other's -- linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Connecting Skills to Text
Learning to read in Charmon Evans's first-grade classroom is skills-oriented but fun. Ms. Evans plans her phonics instruction based on ongoing assessments of students' reading and writing skills, and integrates that instruction into literature activities.
In her first-grade classroom, Hildi Perez links ongoing assessment to instruction. Ms. Perez's students learn to solve problems they encounter when reading or writing, and to articulate the strategies they use.
Students Making Choices
First-grade teacher Becky Pursley uses reading and writing workshops to emphasize student choice throughout her literacy curriculum. Balancing student freedom with a commitment to meeting state standards, Ms. Pursley uses teachable moments to present skills and concepts.
Promoting Readers as Leaders
In Valerie Kostandos's first-grade classroom, students are readers, writers, and leaders who manage their daily routines. Her explicit teaching helps students reflect on their learning and develop independence.
Staying on Topic
Martha Duran-Contreras creates a community of learners in her second-grade class by establishing predictable routines, mutual respect, and clear expectations. Ms. Duran-Contreras comfortably uses both English and Spanish to support individual students and to provide explicit instruction.
100 Days of Reading
In Shari Frost's multi-grade classroom, literacy activities have a real-world emphasis. Dr. Frost creates strong connections between language arts and other content areas.
Student Case Studies
Thalia Learns the Details
At the start of this case study, five-year-old Thalia, a student in a two-way bilingual kindergarten, loves books and writing, but needs to focus more on the details of the reading process. Over the course of the year, Thalia develops the pre-reading and writing skills she will need for first grade.
Cassandra Becomes a Fluent Reader
Over the course of her first-grade year, seven-year-old Cassandra builds fluency in reading by practicing reading with the class, in small groups, with a partner, and at home. Cassandra's teacher and mother collaborate to support her literacy development.
William Finds His Base
William enters second grade as a struggling reader. His teacher places him in a reading group where he works on strategies to build understanding. By the end of the year, William has made significant progress. "He went from not liking reading to liking it and being able to do it," says his mother.