Early Childhood Education, Professional Development
April 21, 2008

Educators Voice I: Early Literacy

Source: Research and Educational Services
educator's voice 1 early literacy

Early Literacy: The Foundation for All Learning

There is compelling evidence that high-quality early literacy instruction can lead to significant, long-term improvements in student achievement. Educators, parents, researchers and policymakers alike are developing a growing understanding that early literacy is an investment that yields critical academic and economic gains.

This premier issue of Educator's Voice explores early literacy through a framework that raises questions and provides practical strategies for building literacy skills among young learners. In this journal, you will find research on several developmentally appropriate literacy activities from birth through elementary levels; strategies for helping struggling readers; information on integrating vocabulary instruction with literacy development; and much more.

Welcome and Introduction

By Maria Neira, Vice President, NYSUT

Welcome to the first issue of Educator's Voice, NYSUT's journal of best practices in education. Educator's Voice provides research-based, field-tested strategies that have been used by experienced educators to help schools close achievement gaps and ensure all students have a solid academic foundation.

An Early Childhood Practitioner's Guide: Developmentally Appropriate Literacy Practices for Preschool-Age Children

by Carmelita Lomeo-Smrtic, Ph.D.
Mohawk Valley Community College Professional Association

In her discussion of user-friendly and developmentally appropriate literacy strategies for the early childhood teacher, the author provides a short review of best practices in literacy for young children and a list of developmentally appropriate, research-based literacy instruction strategies for the preschool teacher.

Early Literacy in School: Getting off on the Right Foot

by Kristin Dale
Dover-Wingdale Teachers Association

Because students enter kindergarten in varying states of readiness, meeting the national challenge that every child read by the end of third grade is no easy task for primary teachers. Here, one classroom professional offers a host of proven strategies to help meet this goal.

Vocabulary Instruction for English Language Learners

by Katie Kurjakovic
United Federation of Teachers, New York City

To comprehend a text, readers need to understand up to 95% of the vocabulary. Where does this leave English language learners? With the help of simple, research-based strategies, vocabulary instruction can be less daunting, more successful - and even fun.

Response to Intervention: An Overview: New Hope for Struggling Learners

by Donna M. Scanlon, Ph.D.
United University Professions
- and -
Joan M. Sweeney
North Colonie Teachers Association

Response to Intervention has its roots in research on early literacy development and the prevention of long-term reading difficulties. This research has demonstrated that early and intensive interventions can accelerate the process of young struggling readers and thereby help to avoid inappropriate LD classifications. The current article provides an overview of what implementation of RTI in the primary grades might look like. It also highlights the many unanswered questions and concerns that schools currently confront with regard to RTI.

The Importance of the A in LiterAcy

by Patricia Barbanell, Ph.D.
State University of New York at New Paltz

In this increasingly multimedia and multidisciplinary world, classroom teachers working with visual arts specialists can create the kind of learning environment that will help students develop the literacy skills needed in the 21st century.

How Drawing in Conjunction with Writing Contributes to Literacy

by Joan L. Davidson
United Federation of Teachers, New York City

Long before they learn to read and write, children often express themselves through the simple drawings they create. A veteran art teacher explains how this basic creative outlet, if it is nurtured, can be instrumental in helping youngsters develop - and improve - their reading, writing and speaking skills.

Comprehension Strategies that Enhance Literacy

by Mary Ann Taylor
Shenendehowa Central School District (retired)

When it comes to helping students better understand what they read, there are a number of basic, useful strategies that can be utilized not just by teachers in the classroom but by anyone reading to, or with, a child. Here are 15 of them.

Facilitating Professional Conversations: Data-Driven Planning and Instruction for the Early Childhood Classroom

by Deborah Jones and Leslie Richmond
United Federation of Teachers, New York City

Join a group of early childhood literacy coaches in New York City as they spend two days learning more about data-driven planning and instruction.

Additional Resources

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