Balancing Principles for Teaching Elementary Reading

By James V. Hoffman; James F. Baumann et al. | Go to book overview

Children are acquiring knowledge about all forms of communication that are used around them from the first point of contact. The child explores reading and writing in emergent, and in some cases conventional, forms long before entering school. These early forms of reading and writing are the first steps on the path toward mature use. They are nurtured in the context of the demonstrations of literacy events in the home, family and social institutions that are part of the child's life long before he or she enters formal schooling. The children who are offered these demonstrations on a frequent basis are not shy about stepping in to explore and interact with the processes. Parents, siblings, and other care-givers are there to offer support and guidance ("instruction") in how to engage the system successfully. They are there to provide responsive feedback and a safety net when the learner takes a risk and comes up short.

Is learning to read natural or unnatural? This is one of those dichotomies created by academics that serve no useful purpose for teachers but seem to fuel the frenzy of the public as they read the popular press accounts of dissension among educators. Such dichotomies divert our attention from the important questions we face. Learning to read is no more natural or unnatural than learning to talk. Literacy and oracy are social constructs that serve communicative functions. The acquisition of oracy skills is not a reflex action. It is not automatic, like breathing or a heart beat. The development of speaking and listening abilities depends on the availability of models, the opportunity to engage in meaningful use, and feedback. The same holds true for the development of literacy -- both occur within social contexts. Is a family member available to read with a child? Are there books and writing materials in the home? Are expert users of reading and writing available to observe, offer feedback, and support the development process? Is a parent available to interact with a child in oral language? Is the context rich with vocabulary?. Let the academics debate whether these are natural or unnatural features of the environment. The reality is clear -- the richer the context, the richer the outcome.


THE CHALLENGE FOR SCHOOLS

Elementary schools bear a major responsibility for teaching reading. To be effective, schools must be prepared to meet children who are already moving along the developmental path, recognizing that all children may not be at the same point at the same time. We must meet them not with a balanced program that offers a little bit of this and a little bit of that; we must meet them with a program that supports balance within the reader, and this may require very different strategies for different students. Our vision of balance in reading is not a new one to the field. Paul Witty4 wrote over a half a century ago regarding balanced reading and the teacher's responsibility: ". . . balanced reading instruction depends upon the teacher's understanding and knowledge of each child and his needs" (p. 2).

As educators, responsible for designing and delivering instruction in literacy, we must be prepared to offer the best instruction possible that is responsive and

-8-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Balancing Principles for Teaching Elementary Reading
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Notes x
  • I - Our Professional Stance 1
  • Notes 9
  • II - Our Principles and Our Practices 11
  • Notes 56
  • III - Our Past and Our Present 59
  • Notes 73
  • IV - Our Plans and Our Future 75
  • Notes 100
  • Author Index 103
  • Subject Index 107
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 115

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.