-Knowing Beliefs About Reading-

Chapter One

Key Terms

Alphabetic Principle- Principle suggesting that letters in the alphabet map to phonemes, the minimal sound units represented in written language.

Autobiographical Narrative- An instructional strategy to help students and teachers reflect on personal knowledge.

Explicit-Based on stated information. Directly communicated/obvious.

Graphophonemic Cues- Letter-sound information that readers process during reading.

Implicit- Based on unstated assumptions in conjunction with information. NOT directly stated information.

Literary Coach- An individual who provides professional development opportunities and resources. In class coaching and support provide a variety of professional development activities while in a nonevaluative role.

Metacognition- Knowledge about regulation of some form of cognitive activity. In the case of reading; Self Knowledge: the knowledge students have about themselves as readers and learners. Task knowledge: the knowledge of reading tasks and strategies that are appropriate given a task at hand. Self-monitoring: the ability of students to monitor reading my keeping track of how well they are comprehending

Orthographic Knowledge- Knowledge of common letter patterns that skilled readers use of rapidly and accurately to associate with sounds.

Professional Knowledge- Knowledge acquired from an ongoing study of practice of teaching.

Schemata- Mental frameworks that humans use to organize and construct meaning. Reflects on prior knowledge, experiences, conceptual understanding, attitudes, values, skills and procedures a reader brings to a reading situation.

Sociolinguistics- The study of everyday functions of language and how interactions with others and with the environment aid language comprehension and learning.

Semantic Cues- Grammatical information in a text that readers process, along  with graphophonemic and semantic information, to construct information.

Three Cueing Systems

  1. Graphophonic (Visual): Does it look right?  ­breaking words down into letters, sounds, syllables, prefixes, chunks, etc. ­visual cues come from students developing knowledge of letter/sound relationships and of how letters are formed  ­what letters and words look like  ­often identified as sounding out  words
  2. Semantic (meaning): Does it make sense? ­making sense of text and  relaying meaningful connections ­context clues found in the text  and/or background knowledge (comes from the students own  experiences).
  3. Syntactic (Structure): Does it sound right? ­making sense of the actual words in the sentences ­structural cues come from the  students knowledge of correct  oral language structures ­the way in which language is put together into sentences, phrases, paragraphs, etc.

3 Models of Reading

  1. Bottom-up: A type of reading model that assumes that the process of translating print to meaning begins with the printed word and initiated by decoding graphic symbols into sound.
  2. Top-down: A type of reading model that assumes that the construction of textual meaning depends on the readers prior knowledge and experience.
  3. Interactive: A type of reading model that that assumes that translating print to meaning involves using both prior knowledge and print and that the process is initiated by the reader making predictions about meaning and/or decoding graphic symbols.

Response to Intervention (RTI)

  1. Tier 1: All students are provided research-based instruction differentiated to meet each student’s needs. In Tier 1 intervention is considered preventive and proactive.
  2. Tier 2:  More intensive work is provided to learners who have not been successful in traditional classroom learning situations. Therefore more focused small group interventions are implemented with frequent monitoring to measure progress. Regular classroom teachers receive support from special educators and literacy coaches.
  3. Tier 3: Learners receive intensive, individualized intervention targeting specific deficits and problem areas. Special educators and literacy specialists are responsible for the intervention and assessment process; classroom teachers provide support.


4 Steps of Literacy Development

  1. Text intent: Children expect written language to be meaningful. their encounters with text support the expectation that the will be able to re-create and construct the authors meaning.
  2. Negotiability: Because children expect print to make sense, they use whatever knowledge and resources they possess to negotiate meaning- to create meaningful message. Negotiation suggests that reading is a give-and-take process between the reader and author.
  3. Risk-taking: Children experiment with how written language works. They take risks. They make hypotheses and then test them out. Risk-taking situations permit children to grow as language users.
  4. Fine-tuning: An encounter with written language becomes a resource for subsequent literacy events and situations. The more children interact with authors and texts, the better they get at constructing meaning.


Jean Piaget:

  • Developed a cognitive development theory which helps explain that language acquisition is influenced by more general cognitive attainments. As children explore their environment, they interpret and give meaning to events they experience.
  • Language reflects thought and does not necessarily shape it.


Lev Vygotsky:

  • Russian psychologist who viewed children as active participants in their own learning.
  • Believed language stimulates cognitive development.
  • Thought children regulate their own problem-solving activities through mediation of egocentric space.

-Application to the classroom-

  • Using this knowledge to be aware how your students best learn. i.e. knowing what type of cuing system they use.
  • Utilizing a Literacy coach in your classroom. Or being that for some students.
  • Using  Piaget’s theories to better be aware of what stages students are going through and how children will best respond.
  • Using Vygotsky’s theory to be aware of the child’s ZPD and use scaffolding in your classroom.