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Teaching Reading: K-2 Workshop

Before You Watch | Creating a Literate Community

Video Summary

 In this video session, Dr. Jeanne R. Paratore presents three research-based principles for creating an effective literacy environment — accessible materials, purposeful room and wall displays of print materials, and classroom routines that promote reading and writing. Following the lecture, workshop participants watch two sets of classroom excerpts illustrating routines and physical arrangements that advance children’s reading, writing, and oral language skills. Workshop participants discuss these classroom excerpts in relation to their own classrooms and teaching practices.

Session Preparation

Materials Needed for This Session

  • Graph paper
  • Drawing materials

Throughout the session, questions are posed to guide you through the topic. If you are working in a group, discuss your responses; if you are working alone, reflect on them in your journal.

To prepare for the workshop session, you will tap prior knowledge, read two articles on creating literate communities, and review important terms.

What do you already know and do?

Sketch your classroom. Using graph paper, illustrate:

  • specific areas for small-group and whole-class instruction;
  • centers or work stations for independent and small-group practice;
  • areas of the room that display print (books, posters, word walls, etc.);
  • arrangement of furniture (chairs, tables, bookcases, etc.) for instruction and practice; and
  • any other features that promote literacy development.

Print and complete the Classroom Community Chart (PDF).

Examine your sketch and chart to reflect on how you use the environment to promote reading, writing, and oral language. Think about and take notes on these questions:

  • What part of your classroom works well to promote reading and writing?
  • What would you like to change?
  • What do you need to improve your classroom environment?

Assignment: Save your Classroom Sketch and Classroom Community Chart to revise at the end of the session.

Read these articles:

Early Literacy Development Part: 1 | 2 | 3 (PDF)
Morrow, L. M., and E. Asbury. “Current Practices in Early Literacy Development.” In Gambrell, L. B., et al., eds. Best Practices in Literacy Instruction. 2d ed. 43-63. New York, N.Y.: The Guilford Press, 2003.

Using Centers to Engage Children Part: 1 | 2 (PDF)
Ford, M. P., and M. F. Opitz. “Using Centers to Engage Children During Guided Reading Time: Intensifying Learning Experiences Away From the Teacher.” The Reading Teacher 55, no. 8 (2002): 710-717.

Review these important terms:

Word wall
Learning centers/Work stations
Shared reading
Guided reading
Independent reading

Revise your chart:

Return to your Classroom Community Chart. Add any new thoughts, ideas or questions based on the readings and review of important terms.

Series Directory

Teaching Reading: K-2 Workshop


Produced by WGBH Educational Foundation. 2003.
  • ISBN: ISBN: 1-57680-681-2