A Deep Dive Into What Integration Really Is
When I first began school, the timetable was artificially divided up into segments of time oriented around specific subject areas. By the time I was finished teaching pre-service students, we were no longer talking about subject areas but integration across them. Literacy is the key way to begin to think about integration because we always begin with one of the language modalities when we are teaching and then branch out from there. So we can use reading as a spring board to think about how WHAT we are reading relates to WHERE it fits Into the greater body of knowledge. Our minds do not think about channels but rather pictures that tie things together and make sense of the world. Integration is how that process works. We integrate the new into what is already there.
Curiosity, Conceptual Development & Literacy Enhancement
Literacy enhancement beyond the skills involved in reading comprehension begins with basic curiosity about the world. As we explore the world around us, we create concepts in our minds about the objects in our environment and the people and places we visit and meet. Through experiences we move from concrete ideas about those things to the ability to think abstractly about them. Once we can think abstractly, we can read about those same things and add or change or evolve our concepts and apply them in different environments. Only through reading can we continue to evolve our understanding of the world around us and apply what we learn to new and different situations.
Personal Reflections on Joanne Levy's Fish Out of Water
To help our students develop a real love of reading and to enhance literacy skill growth, we need to lead them to books in which they will find something of themselves either in the characters or the situations or their passions and interests. My generation was not lucky that way to go into a library and find books that we could identify with on a very personal level. That might be one reason why few ever went beyond high school. But today, there are books like the one I speak about in this podcast that present characters and situations that a reader like myself could have identified with way back when. I explore why in this podcast.
Enhancing Literacy Means Aiming For Deep Learning
Last week, I posted about the banning of books and how I reacted to what happened in the Deep South recently. Since then, an old friend approached me about my thoughts on different approaches to dealing with book banning and what I thought might be done to combat it. I decided, in thinking about it, that we needed to work hard to educate teacher and parents about how reading aloud and reading programs through the years in school had to be focussed on making reading creating change in how students see and understand the world. Only by cultivating deep learning which I explore in this podcast, will children become adults who do not see reading as threatening but as a way to understand better what the world is all about and how to understand and respond to the diversity of humanity in the world.
Other Words For Home by Jasmine Warga
In order to effectively reach an increasingly diverse student population, teachers need to understand where their students have come from and what their lives must have been like at an earlier time. We are no longer on the same wave length as our students. Teachers need to read books like this to try and be able to see the world through the eyes of their students so that they can reach them and help them learn. Teachers cannot advocate and preach about reading unless they read themselves and this gives them a place to begin their reading.