Friday, September 7, 2012

EDSS 521: Student Interests in Literacy

         I administered a literacy survey to my 5th grade students  in order to get some insight on their literacy interests and habits. After reading the surveys it allowed me to see what my students were interested in outside of the school environment. I learned that the majority of my students love to read books by themselves but not with someone else. I also learned that about half of my students read more than 5 books this summer, while the other half read less than 5. It was clear that the students who read less than 5 books during the summer, created more spelling errors on his/her own survey than the students who read more than 5. This makes me think that the students who are more successful in reading and writing have positive experiences with literacy, which results in them reading for pleasure more. This made me realize that when I create signs, posters, or any written instructions, I should add pictures and demonstrations as guides for those students who may not be as strong in reading. This would help ease a student's anxiety about not being able to understand the directions if they were just strictly written out.
       I am a physical education teacher, so I wanted to use a survey that not only could show me the students literacy habits, but also more about their interests outside of academics. I felt that by adding this component I could create lessons that incorporated things that are relevant and valuable to my students to increase their motivation in PE. I use a strategy called "Mingle Mingle" to allow my students to get to know their peers, and also as a tactic to put them with a partner quickly, without wasting instructional time. During this activity I ask the students to ask their partner if they want to be the coconut or apple, then I will say all the apples do this certain activity while all the coconuts go here (great strategy to give the partners certain roles, without them fighting over who does what first). By using this survey, I can now incorporate my students' favorite TV shows or games instead of using just the coconuts and apples. Although this is a small example of how I could incorporate their interests in an activity, it shows the students that I am invested into them and  their learning by creating situations that are relevant to them.

1 comment:

  1. Corey,
    I think you are correct about the connection between such things as spelling errors and reading (or the lack thereof). Reading and writing go hand in hand. I like your idea of adding visuals to words in explanations. I am sure that many of your students are not aural learners. If you only give instructions orally, some will miss it. We think they aren't listening, when in fact, they just need to "see" as well as "hear" the instructions.