Synopses & Reviews
Organizing for Literacy is a professional development series for implementing a balanced early literacy program based on apprenticeship theory. When used in conjunction with the book Apprenticeship in Literacy, the series presents a complete early literacy resource, with the option of using individual videos to focus on a specific area of need.
The programs illustrate the reciprocal nature of teaching and learning across a range of reading and writing events. Each program is designed to allow you to view it in its entirety or to focus on specific literacy components. The accompanying Viewing Guide is structured to promote the analysis of teaching and learning interactions during these components. The videos can also be cross-referenced for evidence of how the same children are applying their knowledge, skills, and strategies across a range of reading, writing, and word-building activities. Since this is an important principle of apprenticeship literacy, a chart for cross-referencing teaching segments across the four programs is included at the end of the viewing guide.
Organizing the Classroom
We invite you into Teresa's classroom to observe how she provides her first graders with a balanced literacy program that includes small- and large-group instruction and opportunities to work independently in well-designed literacy corners. Teresa's classroom illustrates the importance of a well-organized environment.
Segments include: principles of apprenticeship theory; scheduling for a balanced literacy program; managing literacy corners for independence.
Learning About Reading
In the video, Teresa and Carla provide their first graders with opportunities to read inwhole-group and small-group interactions that offer a range of literacy experiences: familiar reading, shared reading, reading-aloud, and guided reading. As they engage in problem-solving interactions with a more knowledgeable person, children apply flexible strategies for learning how to read.
Segments include: familiar reading; shared reading; reading aloud; emergent guided reading group; early guided reading group; fluent guided reading group.
Learning About Writing
This video emphasizes the reciprocal nature of reading and writing in a balanced literacy program. You will observe the same children from their guided reading groups as they work in their assisted writing groups. Teresa and Carla provide a range of writing opportunities specially designed to scaffold children in their move toward independent writing.
Segments include: interactive writing in a small group; writing aloud in a small group; editing and revising at the overhead; the writing workshop.
Learning About Words
As children read and write, they acquire important knowledge and strategies for solving words. On this program, poetry is used to direct children's attention to word patterns during shared reading. Also, whole-group spelling lessons teach children about analogy. And in literacy corners, children apply their knowledge about words in specially designed activities that are based on their reading and writing accomplishments. They are also introduced to vocabulary notebooks, structural-analysis notebooks, student dictionaries, and personal thesauri.
Segments include: poetry for analyzing patterns;letter sorting and classification activities in a small group; teaching for analogy during spellinglessons; using the dictionary and thesaurus; literacy corner activities for learning about words.
Organizing for Literacy, plus the accompanying text Apprenticeship in Literacy, form the basis for a complete and in-depth inservice program. They serve equally well as text and classroom material for preservice courses in early literracy and language arts courses at college level.