Literacy Autobiography

  • Emergent Literacy: 1

    Emergent Literacy: 1
    The Brainy Benefits of Bedtime StoriesFrom the very beginning, the importance of reading was instilled within me. Beginning with Bible and bedtime stories, both from text and storytelling, I demonstrated a great love for read- alouds. Stories were comforting, entertaining, and informative. I fondly remember all the nights my father read me story after story, even though it was past my bedtime.
  • Period: to

    Literacy Autobiography

  • Emergent Literacy: 2

    Emergent Literacy: 2
    My father lovingly reassured me after many a nightmare with silly stories from his youth about crabbing, exploring his grandfather’s cavernous basement and battling bats in the attic. He sought to teach me about his faith through kids’ devotional Bible stories that left me wondering about the great mysteries of religion. It was in this loving and comforting manner that I developed a great appreciation for written texts.
  • Emergent Literacy: 3

    Emergent Literacy: 3
    We took frequent trips to our local library, always on the lookout for a new favorite. I can recall a pop up alphabet book that was wildly entertaining. Not only did it promote letter identification, but it also provided me with a wealth of knowledge about exotic animals. I have always been an animal lover for as long as I can remember, and many of the books and stories which I grew to love, were informational texts about various wildlife.
  • Emergent Literacy: 4

    Emergent Literacy: 4
    As a child, I often proclaimed I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, along with about 10 other professions. Not only did books serve as a resource for developing literacy, but also my artistic abilities. I often used these books as a reference when drawing and creating my many works of art. Looking back, it is clear to me that these experiences led me to the profession of teaching young children.
  • Emergent Literacy: 5

    Emergent Literacy: 5
    As an educator, I wear many hats, often, more than one at a time. This in turn, demonstrates to beginning readers that reading opens up many doors beyond just reading the words on a page. Sharing these experiences with my young students allow me to ensure that they will also be exposed to the building blocks that develop readers who enjoy reading.
  • Beginning Literacy: 1

    Beginning Literacy: 1
    As I entered elementary school, my interests in reading began to change. Instead of being read to, I wanted to be the reader. One of my favorite series as a child was “Alice in Bible Land”. After having heard all of the stories countless times, I had most of them memorized. It was during this time when I “read” my first book. Although I hadn’t truly “read” the book, in my mind, I had! The excitement and joy on my parents’ faces solidified the empowerment I felt from reading my first book.
  • Beginning Literacy: 2

    Beginning Literacy: 2
    Reading for Imaginative PlayOne quote from the “Bible Land” series sticks with me to this day and is what some may consider my motto. As spoken by Alice Joyce Davidson, the author of the “Bible Land” series, “reading is the magic key that takes you where you want to be”. These words resonate with me on a daily basis as I engage my students in our various texts. It is this very idea, that reading can open up a world full of wonders, which I aim to pass on.
  • Beginning Literacy: 3

    Beginning Literacy: 3
    My imagination began to flourish and that love for reading developed into a love for storytelling, which eventually led to story writing. I can remember making countless books from old copy paper that I cut into squares and stapled together. I created illustrations using markers, colored pencils, and paints. I proudly read them to my father when he came home from work. I believe his enjoyment of these books and support to be responsible for my continued creativity.
  • Beginning Literacy: 4

    Beginning Literacy: 4
    In school, I don’t recall too many reading experiences, but there is one that comes to mind. I vividly remember reading a story about the city. I remember this because I read the word as “kitty”; unaware of the fact that c had more than one letter sound. I remember it being a particularly embarrassing moment, but don’t believe that anyone but the teacher really noticed. Most of the nuns at the school had reputations for being very strict, which I believe fostered the perfectionist archetype.
  • Beginning Literacy: 5

    Beginning Literacy: 5
    I always took school seriously, but I loved learning. Playing school was one of my favorite things to do. I begged my brother to teach me cursive and multiplication. Although I didn’t quite comprehend the material, I would read his old text books in hopes of teaching myself something new. This exploration was exciting and educational because it was something that I had chosen to do. This is why we need to give our students choices and opportunities to explore and make challenging decisions.
  • Transitional Literacy: 1

    Transitional Literacy: 1
    Literature Circle in the Elementary GradesIn 4th grade I transitioned from private to public school. Being very shy made this quite difficult. One of the first differences I noticed was in the reading and writing curriculum. I remember finding the spelling lists to be very easy. Reading was a different story. There were groups and each one read a different book! This idea was very new to me. The group discussions were also foreign to me as well. It took reading from a strictly educational to a social level.
  • Transitional Literacy: 2

    Transitional Literacy: 2
    Harry Potter Reading ClubAt first, I struggled with this new model, but eventually grew to enjoy it. Our groups were given choices of texts which, we voted on. We had volunteers work with different groups to facilitate discussions. One of my favorite memories of literature circles was getting to read “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. This was a particularly wonderful series because I as I grew and developed as a reader, so did the characters.
  • Transitional Literacy: 3

    Transitional Literacy: 3
    As an early childhood educator, it may seem difficult to incorporate literature circles when students are being taught to read, but I encourage student discussion during all reading opportunities. While discussions and models look different in every classroom and group, it is important that students get engaged with whatever it is they are reading. I always enjoy hearing what my students have to share because they almost always share a new perspective that I may not otherwise have thought of.
  • Transitional Literacy: 4

    Transitional Literacy: 4
    Most of my students can’t wait to share with their classmates, but I do have some who are more reluctant to do so. I’ve found that these students often struggle with comprehension or vocabulary and really need more guidance when sharing. Whole group or shared reading time is beneficial to those students who need modeling from both the teacher and their peers. Once they see the ease with which their peers are sharing, they usually begin to open up and take a turn sharing.
  • Transitional Literacy:5

    Transitional Literacy:5
    Remembering that we all have to start somewhere is very humbling and helps me to better relate to my students. After experiencing what Vygotsky refers to as “disequilibrium”, a state in which we are presented with a challenge or have encountered uncharted territory, we learn and grow! I experienced this disequilibrium again as I entered middle school and was faced with the challenge of deciphering text books. Pulling the knowledge from the books was challenging and often boring.
  • Adolescent/Multiple Literacies: 1

    Adolescent/Multiple Literacies: 1
    I have been very lucky in school and have never truly struggled, with reading anyway. Math did require more concentration and was something I had to work at every day or it was lost on me. I had continued in the GT/Honors program and met one of my favorite teachers in my 9th grade English class. It was during this class that I got to read some of the greatest literature of our time: "The Poisonwood Bible", "Cold Sassy Tree", and "To Kill a Mockingbird".
  • Adolescent/Multiple Literacies: 2

    Adolescent/Multiple Literacies: 2
    My 10th grade English teacher was another who continued to foster my love of reading and exposed me to many new types of literature. We read many current books that related to the war in the Middle East, as well as wars past. I found a new way to relate to history that was more engaging than the text books. I try to use both non-fiction and informational texts on the same topic in order to show students the varying perspectives of different genres.
  • Adolescent/Multiple Literacies: 3

    Adolescent/Multiple Literacies: 3
    High school also introduced me to new styles of writing. This also brought about the many different purposes for reading and the varying types of texts used to support a thesis. I considered myself a good reader and writer, but wasn’t always interested or engaged in my learning. My grades were important, as they were a direct reflection of myself and my performance, but as I got older these things became less important.
  • Adolescent/Multiple Literacies: 4

    Adolescent/Multiple Literacies: 4
    High school was the anomaly of my educational career. Towards the latter half, I grew very careless and uninterested in school. Knowing I was going to community college, the effort I once put forth seemed futile. I was lacking motivation from my family that everyone else around me seemed to be getting. While many students were under pressure to perform well on their SAT’s, teachers were asking me why I was taking AP classes if I wasn’t planning on going to a 4 year school.
  • Adolescent/Multiple Literacies: 5

    Adolescent/Multiple Literacies: 5
    After not performing well on my AP exams due to an extreme lack of effort, I decided that it didn’t matter that I wasn’t going to a 4 year college and changed my attitude about school. Because it’s not always easy to be intrinsically motivated, I have to remember that I can make the difference in my student’s self-concept. No one wants to fail or feel as though their efforts go unnoticed. Reminding students to stay positive and focus on their achievements will motivate them to succeed.
  • Mature Reading: 1

    Mature Reading: 1
    Throughout college and the many assigned texts, I learned strategies for reading, note taking, and organizing my writing. With my regained self-confidence and motivation, I was determined to make the most of the situation. While the assigned reading didn’t fulfill me as the classic literature from high school had, the content felt much more valuable the more I progressed in my undergraduate studies.
  • Mature Reading: 2

    Mature Reading: 2
    Some of the most valuable material I read was in an elementary math course. My professor’s excitement about learning and teaching was palpable and quickly influenced us all. We read about student centered learning and ways to incorporate problem solving methods into every lesson. One particular research article compared the way students are taught across the world. The findings were frightening, but not at all surprising.
  • Mature Reading: 3

    Mature Reading: 3
    Problem Based Learing in KindergartenThis article opened my eyes to the need for engaging and motivating curriculum and methods of delivering it. One of our assignments following the reading was to implement a problem based lesson. During this time, I was also teaching kindergarten and the idea of teaching such a lesson was intimidating. The lesson was planned, but relied on the students’ exploration and discovery. While all educators strive to implement responsive teaching practices, this lesson thrived on it.
  • Mature Reading: 4

    Mature Reading: 4
    As an adult, I still love reading novels of varying genres and usually do so every night before bed. I receive many cooking magazines and enjoy trying out new recipes and reading about ways to decorate cakes with fondant and gumpaste flowers. I often play trivia with a group of friends which drives me to keep up with current events. I always leave trivia learning something new and feeling as though I need to further my knowledge.
  • Mature Reading: 5

    Mature Reading: 5
    I love reading to my students every chance I get and expanding my classroom library. I make a point to share my enjoyment for reading with my students in hopes that they are able to understand that literacy is the most important skill they’ll ever learn. Our favorite part of the day is reading a chapter from the "Junie B. Jones" or "Boris" series.
  • Reflection: 1

    Reflection: 1
    When I was preparing to teach kindergarten, my greatest concern was figuring out how I could acquire as many books as possible! My first year, my library was comprised mainly of the school’s books, many of which had seen better days. I continued to pick up books along the way, but often relied on the school’s library as well as the public library.
  • Reflection: 2

    Reflection: 2
    This past summer, our school librarian gifted me money to spend at the scholastic book warehouse. This was easily one of the highlights of my summer as I was able to almost double my classroom library. I love being able to spark a student’s interest with a book and encourage them to use their imagination and become authors themselves.