My Philosophy on Reading
    My philosophy of reading in the elementary classroom is to develop good readers who actively interact and make connections with the text for in-depth comprehension.  My students will be motivated, fluent, and flexible; and choose reading as a lifelong pursuit in becoming lifelong learners.

     Reading in my classroom will be an interactive process between the reader and the text.  Thus, my students will construct meaning by combining their knowledge of phonics, structure of language, and meaning of words.  In addition, I will relate my students’ prior experiences and knowledge during the reading process.  Reading is developmental in nature and complex; thus, it requires learning the relationship between spoken and written language.  The process of learning to read varies with each child.  Literate individuals must have the tool of reading in order to continue to acquire knowledge.  They will use the tools, skills, and knowledge I teach them throughout their life to learn, explore, and to understand the world.  I hope to teach all my students to be successful readers who read with passion and purpose.

     Reading is more than the decoding of written words into sound.  Reading is a complex communication process which requires thought and individual construction of meaning.  My reading instruction at the elementary level will take into consideration the general developmental needs of my students as well as their individual reading abilities.  When considering the reading needs of my students, it is important to realize that all readers differ considerably in their interests, aptitudes, personalities, backgrounds, and learning styles.  Their varied needs can be addressed successfully in a balanced reading program. 

     I will promote opportunities in my classroom that will provide for various group structures to interact such as heterogeneous as well as homogeneous; interest groups as well as ability level groups.  Reading development varies depending upon the personal, social, and cultural experiences of my students.  When readers have mastered the how-to-read skills, they develop higher level thinking skills, attitudes, and behaviors in reading.  A developing reader must demonstrate proficiency when reading all different types of genres and remain an emerging reader when reading these different genres.  I will make it possible to establish a community of readers who:

• Value reading and choose to read for a variety of purposes, in and out of the classroom.
• Share with peers responses to what they have read.
• Respond to literature in a variety of ways.
• Recommend reading materials to peers and exchange books with peers.

Characteristics of reading that will be seen in my classroom will be:
• the teacher modeling and sharing reading strategies as well as a personal joy of reading.
• the students and the teacher reading and discussing a variety of genres.
• the students, and often the teacher, participating in silent reading on a regular basis.
• the students independently selecting and reading a variety of resources.
• the teacher reading aloud to students on a regular basis.
• the students reading aloud or practicing prior to reading aloud.
• the teacher using integrated units of study based on curriculum objectives and students' needs and interests.
• the students developing their reading strategies and skills within meaningful contexts, rather than in isolation.
• the students willing to take risks and offering diverse responses to literature.
• the teacher using a variety of learning situations for instruction.
• the teacher using instructional strategies that promote reflection, discussion, and critical thinking.
• the students engaging in reading activities that access and activate students' prior knowledge before, during, and after reading.
• the students and teacher assessing reading abilities and strategies using checklists, conferences, and anecdotal notes and using the data to inform instructional decisions.

     Finally, reading in my classroom will not be taught in isolation.  Reading and the reading curriculum will be integrated into all subject areas when I teach.  I will be a reading teacher everyday in every subject.  Furthermore, I hope to make my students realize that learning to read does not happen just at school and only during reading time.  Learning to read happens in every subject in and out of school; thus, my students will take notice of all the environmental print that surrounds them in their lives.
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