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Knudson, Heather

Module 543

January 23, 2017

Literacy Rich Environments

During my observations of literacy rich environments in four classrooms I found many

similarities in the techniques being used and some unique ideas that encourage literacy

development. In the first classroom, I observed a first grade teacher use a horse shoe table for

small group reading and listening centers so students could read along with books. There were I

like to play sentences on the board and frequency words for the students to be able to look at

when they do their daily work. Sight words and word families of the week were displayed on

the whiteboard. In addition, there was a library area in the classroom where students could read

during their free time. The library had comfortable chairs to sit in, as well as bean bag chairs to

make reading inviting and fun.

In the second video observation, multiple classrooms were used as examples for a literacy

rich environment. These classrooms also had a reading area, they displayed big books on rings

which were easy to see and access, and they displayed authentic student work throughout the

classroom. Birthdays were displayed with the month and day to help the students learn numbers.

One classroom had an emerging board with exploration as the topic. Each picture displayed on

this board had words to label the pictures and additional reading materials. The agenda was

written out in every classroom and visuals were added to the schedule for autistic students. The

alphabet was displayed along with writing goals, a co-constructed chart for math, frequency

word charts, anchor charts, and students names were displayed by the first letter of their name in

the alphabet. One technique I did not see in other classrooms were individual students books

bins. These bins contained books they were in the middle of reading or that were suggested to

them and each student had a bin full of books to read which I thought was a great idea. This took

the library concept and make it specific to the student.

In my third video observation, a second grade classroom, I began to see similarities in the

usage of print around the room. This classroom also had books in all types and sizes, the agenda

printed on the board, literacy centers with word work, word set, etc., and a word wall with

frequency words so students can reference these locations for addition help. What was unique to

this classroom was that the clock had labels to interpret the time during class and the agenda was

displayed so it could also be interpreted by the students. This classroom had every wall covered

in print pertaining to specific content areas, hanging charts, and even content posters on window


My fourth and final video observation was in a grade level that was unknown but there

were dozens of words displayed throughout the room. Books were displayed at a low level with

bright labels that separated categories and they were organized by genre and difficulty. The

physical arrangement of the chairs encouraged reading and writing, and everything was covered

in large and colorful print. Daily literacy routines showed an agenda with a time frame and

subject of activity to be accomplished and this agenda used vocabulary and sight words for the

students to have constant exposure. This teacher also chose to have a fun reading area to

encourage students to read independently and used different forms of assessment, like written,

oral and flashcards. Technology was also used in this classroom and poster paper with different

content was displayed everywhere.

Each classroom I observed had so many techniques to create a literacy rich environment

for their students. It was interesting to see the similarities in each room and how some teachers

added unique elements to create the most inviting environment for their students and the learning

process. I look forward to being able to use these techniques when setting up my room in the


Literacy Rich Environments Notes

Online Resources 1)




Video #1: Print Rich Classroom Second Grade

a. print is a childs first experience with words
b. books in classroom: large, small, audio books, books on I-pods
c. agenda printed out on the board
d. The clock has labels to interpret the time and work with time assignments
e. Literacy Centers
i. Word work, word sets, spelling centers
ii. Posted on wall and interactive
iii. Becomes a resource when they arent away in books
f. Word Wall
i. Use high frequency works
ii. Students can use the wall themselves
g. Walls covered in print
h. Content specific areas
i. Hanging charts
j. Content posters are even on the window shades
Video #2: Literacy Rich Environment Grade unknown
a. Books are displayed with labels that separate categories
b. Board is covered in words
i. Amazing words section
ii. Question of the week
iii. All about numbers
iv. Number talk
v. High frequency works
vi. The sounds being the focus for that day
c. Books displayed at a low level for access
i. Organized by genre and difficulty
d. Physical arrangement that encourages reading and writing
e. Everything is labeled in large and colorful print
f. Literacy references are all over the walls
g. Daily literacy routines
i. Time frame and subject/activity
ii. Important to use vocabulary and sight words to give constant exposure
h. Read aloud poems/books
i. Carpet and fun chairs to encourage independent reading
j. Uses different forms of assessment

i. Written
ii. Oral
iii. Flashcards
k. Technology
l. Monthly calendar
m. Poster paper are displays for reference to students
n. Culturally sensitive and integrated curriculum
o. Student work hanging everywhere

Video #3: Literacy Rich Environments First Grade

a. Horseshoe table for small group reading
b. Listening centers
c. I like to play.. sentences
d. Frequency words
e. Audio books
f. Student read sight words out loud to each other
g. Library where students can read during their free time
h. Reading area with fun chairs and bean bags

Video #4: Literacy Rich Environment Video Multiple Grade Levels

a. Reading area
b. Big books on rings, easy to see and get to
c. Authentic student work displayed
d. Birthdays displayed with month and day to help learn numbers
e. Emerging board with exploration
i. Every picture had labels
ii. With Reading materials that relate to the subject
f. Agenda on the board
g. Visual schedule in an autism setting in binders
h. Alphabet displayed
i. Print everywhere
j. Student books with a recommendation chart
k. Writing goals written on the windows
l. Co-constructed charts all over the classroom
m. Students names under the first letter of their name on the alphabet
n. Shapes and labels
o. Frequency word flashcards
p. Anchor charts
q. Individual student book bins
r. Books related to the unit of study for reference