I tried critical literacy this past year and loved using it with my kids. However, this group of kids were all such great readers, I think teaching critical literacy was easier than it might be with other groups of kids - so I think that as I taught blindly this year, they just picked things up really well. This next school year, I think I will need to be more explicit and more strategic in my teaching.
Last year, I spent many, many days teaching each part of critical literacy, when in reality, I think the teaching of each aspect should be quick and then continue to develop it over the year as the model is used with books. So, I think this year, I plan on spending just one day on each aspect of critical literacy. This day will include an introduction, and then active engagement with books looking for evidence of that aspect of critical literacy.
While I have not thought about this in great depth yet, here is my thinking so far in terms of code breaking:
- Introduce Code Breaking - all of the many aspects including vocabulary, decoding, and other aspects like font, pictures, etc.
- Create a list of all of the codes/texts we can think of
- Explore books (maybe with a book pass) in which we look for evidence of how we code break. I could see the kids use a blog, or ipad to take pictures of what they find, and then typing how this is code breaking. Then sharing in small groups. I read about KidBlog.org today and each kid could have their own blog to record their thinking. Or I could use Edmodo (I'd need to check to be sure they could upload images). I think this would be a great way to use iPads beyond just games.
- Share what we found.
I think text participation can be taught without explicitly talking about reading strategies, but I am not fully sure at the moment and will need to think through this a bit more. My second unit of study is a review of reading strategies, so it will provide us with an opportunity to come back to text participation.