After taking EDUC 417 and completing level 1 of the elementary education program, I have definitely learned that children’s literature matters and is a necessity in the classroom. Children are never to young to be read to and never to old to stop being read to. Reading aloud to students at all ages, but especially to young and developing readers is an essential tool in order for children to become successful in school. Children’s literature is endless and I have truly learned about the diverse collection of books that are available for student’s to read.
It is essential as a teacher to provide students with access to a diverse collection of books because students’ can learn endlessly from different genres, reading levels, and cultural perspectives. It is key to provide a diverse source of literature in the classroom for students to be exposed to. When children are young readers, one of the most important jobs of the teacher is to help students not only learn to read but develop a love for reading. Not only is reading important in developing skills and succeeding in school, but it is valuable for other important reasons as well.
Children’s literature is vital because it allows students to respond to literature and appreciate their own culture, as well as others. It allows students to grow creatively and develops student’s personalities and social skills. It is crucial for students to learn about their culture as well as others, and literature is an amazing source for students to learn this. It is critical to find books that are unbiased and depict culture as an important piece of society. My eyes have opened after reading a large selection of books with different genres, reading levels, and cultural perspectives this semester.
The more contact students have with books, the better readers they become. Teachers can promote this by reading every day and providing children the opportunity for students to interact with books daily. Providing time for reading in the classroom and having conversations about reading helps children foster a love for reading. Children learn to read by reading, which is why literature matters and it is important to read and use in the classroom.
2. Three important learning’s from this semester are multicultural literature, reading logs, and genre sharing. Multicultural literature has been a key aspect of learning this semester.
Before taking EDUC 417, I was unaware of the vast collection of books that represent diverse cultures. Through the books read in class and the two text sets I created, I have learned the significance of multicultural children’s literature and the value it can have on students. Through these books, children can learn to respect not only their own cultural groups, but also the cultural groups of others. Children’s books can be a mirror of their on lives or a window into the world around them.
Multicultural literature helps students understand that despite the differences around us, all people share common feelings and experiences. I have also learned the importance of choosing good multicultural books that represent specific cultures in realistic and unbiased ways. It is important for the books to challenge stereotypes and have a realistic glimpse of the lives of the culture portrayed in the book. Books that provide an accurate representation of diverse cultural groups allow students to learn to identify stereotypes and biases in their lives.
Reading logs have been another important learning from this semester. The website, LibraryThing has been an amazing tool in creating my own reading log. I have been able to create a list of all of the books I have read this semester with specific details like tags, reading level, genre, rating, and review. The reading log I created is a source I am able to look back on for years to come. Creating my own reading log has taught me organization and time management skills, but has also given me the opportunity to reflect on the books I have read.
Since I am going to be a teacher with my own classroom, my reading log has helped me start creating a source in order to create a successful and beneficial classroom library in the future. Being able to look back on the books I loved and didn’t like will help me create the best classroom library for my students. Genre sharing was the third learning from this semester that was significant to me. I believe this was very important because I learned a huge amount of information about different genres present in children’s literature.
Before taking EDUC 417, I was unaware of the collection of genres present within children’s literature. From genre and book sharing this semester, I have learned about seven different genres and the key points, history, reader connections, and evaluation criteria of each genre. This has been very beneficial because I have learned the importance of introducing students to all different genres and how to find books that represent each genre in the most successful way.
3. Three specific ways that I am committed to using children’s literature in my classroom are through a classroom library, reading aloud, and literature centers. All three of these ways I will use children’s literature in my classroom are critical to my teaching in different ways. A classroom library is essential and critical to my teaching because it provides students with the opportunity to read daily. I will provide students with time to read daily and self-choice of books.
My classroom library is critical to my teaching because it will expose students to books, reading, and help foster their love of reading. Reading aloud is another way I will commit to using children’s literature in my classroom. Reading aloud is such an essential tool in the classroom and exposes students to language, different text types, critical thinking, and books that students normally would not be able to read on their own.
Children who are read aloud to usually become the best readers and eventually writers as well. Reading aloud will be critical to my teaching because I am able to read a huge variety of books with different genres and cultural perspectives. Reading aloud gives me the opportunity to expose my students to a vast diversity of books. If time allows it, I would love to read aloud to my students daily as a key way of commitment to using children’s literature in my classroom. Lastly, I will be committed to using children’s literature in my classroom through literature circles.
There is an abundance of ways to read within the classroom and literature circles allow students to read in multiple different ways. Students can read independently, through shared reading, and guided reading. Literature circles also give the teacher the opportunity to split students up by reading level. During literature circles, teachers are able to work with students on a more personal level in order to help them grow as readers. Literature circles will be critical to my teaching because they provide a place for cooperative learning, social experiences, choice, structure, and differentiated instruction.