School is the place where almost all of us learned some very important lessons about life. We learned to be part of a group and to work together with others; we learned to be kind and friendly. We learned to follow directions and to manage ourselves within a large group in a small room. We learned that you have to share. And we learned that language is powerful. It brings pleasure, excitement, and a way to express what we think. We learned to become literate human beings—and to know that reading, writing, thinking, and talking are an integral and necessary part of life.
The family is, of course, the primary influence on the child. But we also must recognize the profound influence of the school, where children spend six to seven hours, five days a week, ten months of the year in a randomly formed group of 25 to 30 individuals, in a relatively small space, with one leader—you, the teacher. For ten months you are responsible for helping your students to live literate lives.
In Responsive Literacy, editor Patricia L. Scharer and authors from The Ohio State Literacy Collaborative share a comprehensive framework for classroom literacy instruction—drawn from their years of dedicated learning and honing their craft—that will help you successfully influence students’ thinking.
This comprehensive literacy framework consists of six essential components:
1. Professional Learning
2. Organizing for Learning
5. Building Blocks of Language
6. A Learning Community: Students, Teachers, Principals, and Families.
No aspect of literacy education is unimportant. The goal of all this framework is joyful independent reading and writing, as well as deep thinking and rewarding talk about students’ thinking. Responsive Literacy emphasizes coherence, the hallmark of effective literacy education.
About the author:
Gay Su Pinnell is Professor Emerita in the School of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University and a member of the Reading Hall of Fame. She has extensive experience in classroom teaching, field-based research, and in developing comprehensive literacy systems. She is the recipient of the International Literacy Association’s Diane Lapp & James Flood Professional Collaborator Award, The Ohio State University Alumni Association’s Medalist Award, the International Reading Association’s Albert J. Harris Award for research in reading difficulties, the Ohio Governor’s Award, the Charles A. Dana Foundation Award, The Eastern New Mexico University Hall of Honor, and a 2018 recipient of an honorary doctorate Lesley University for her contributions to literacy education.