Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What does it mean when I hear educators talking about LITERACY?

Literacy is a complex concept and there are some key misunderstandings about what, exactly, literacy is.

LITERACY = Reading, Writing, Listening & Speaking

Building student literacy is a complex process that starts with children’s language and literacy experiences from their earliest months and continues throughout their early years as the effects of knowledge acquisition and skill development build.  Our goal is to provide parents with resources and tools that will assist them in helping their child excel on this journey.  Over the coming months we'll be sharing links and resources on this blog.  We believe parents play a critical role in their child's educational success.  We encourage you to bookmark this blog and visit often.

It's about more than just reading the words!
For many, the confusion about literacy arises when we're talking about the skills and knowledge surrounding literacy.

The SKILLS are essentially the foundation, while the KNOWLEDGE is the application of that SKILL.

For example, a literacy skill would be recognizing words, spelling, or knowing the alphabet.  Where literacy KNOWLEDGE is understanding a concept, expressing complex ideas or vocabulary.  When you combine SKILLS and KNOWLEDGE you are talking about a complete set of competencies that make up the developmental process and the whole when talking about LITERACY.

While skills-based competencies are usually master early, knowledge-based competencies must be supported during the entire educational experience.  For many children knowledge‐based competencies  are more likely to be key sources of academic difficulties.  In a knowledge-based, global economy, knowing how to read well  and then apply what you've learned is more important than ever.

Literacy is  JOURNEY not a DESTINATION
Children need environments that support reading skills, background knowledge and active discovery. Neither skills (such as alphabet knowledge, word reading and print awareness), nor knowledge (such as understanding concepts, oral language development and vocabulary growth) are enough by themselves.

Connected, engaged parents are crucial to children’s success. Even parents without strong reading skills can make important contributions to their children’s cognitive development and later reading success through conversation and joint engagement in learning via traditional and digital media.  None of the information posted here is to be considered a substitute for instruction.  Links and resources are strictly offered as resources and supplemental information.


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