According to Put Reading First, phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words. In order to print and read, students must become aware with the word sounds. This explains that children must understand that the smallest parts of a sound in a spoken word can actually change the meaning of the word. Therefore, each letter sound holds significance. This is a useful document as it goes on to explain the language of literacy.
CTW further details the importance of fluency. Fluency is essential to reading comprehension, as with most of the reader's focus on decoding, there is little attention left for comprehension. Also, in order to enjoy and have a motivation for literacy, readers must find pleasure in reading, which comes once fluency is developed.
CTW has described and placed emphasis on comprehension as it is what reading is all about. Comprehension promotes motivation for literacy. Research has shown that not enough comprehension instruction occurs. However, this is an essential component of literacy instruction and something all educators must partake in more frequently.
CTW details that some students do not know the real purpose of reading - to gain meaning from text. Proficient readers have story structure in their heads, where they are able to understand where the story takes place, the setting, generate background knowledge on the topic ect. As an educator, one must facilitate the story structure and emphasize the purpose of reading is to gain meaning.
Gambrell researched the topic of motivation for literacy as well. The research concluded four key elements to motivation for literacy: access to books in the classroom, opportunities to self-select books, familiarity with books, and social interactions with others about books. This is essential for an educator to understand as increased motivation leads to increased learning.
Turner and Paris detail how to increase motivation for literacy within the classroom. Research states that offering open ended tasks with challenge, choice, student control, opportunities to collaborate, and construct meaning through reading and writing, in fact increases motivation for literacy within the classroom. Motivation for literacy is essential for future success.
The Balanced Literacy Diet details that assessing students motivation for literacy can come through observation. Educators can observe whether the students select their own books/write their ideas down. If not, the educator must ask themselves why, as motivation for literacy is essential for future success.
Personal Browsing Bins offers promotes the enjoyment of reading within the early years. Personal bins offers the students the opportunity to select books which they are interested in and place them in their bin for future reading. This fosters a motivation for literacy. The educator can also motivate students to increase their reading ability by placing various books within the students bins.
Having a Monthly Storyboard within the classroom is another method to increase motivation for literacy, specifically writing. In this case, the students have a monthly topic to write about. With this, the students have their writing posted within the classroom and strive to produce better writing each month. The educator can refer back to the students previous writing to motivate achievement.
Growing Flowers is a method used to track the books that students have read. Through this method, students can notice the various genres they have read and their enjoyment of reading. The students have a motivation to make their flowers full, and therefore continue reading and exploring new books.
Making Teddy Bears is an activity which can increase motivation for writing. The students are asked to create their own bears, based off of a story, and then descriptively write about their bear. With this in mind, the students are motivated with the hands on task and writing piece.
The Writing Wizards Portfolio Wall tracks the students progress over the span of the year. Through the tracking and celebration of progress, students motivation is increased. Students will have goals to enhance their writing skills as it will be tracked.
Having mailboxes within the classroom promotes a motivation for literacy. With a specific purpose of letter writing, students will feel engaged and motivated to partake in literacy activities and improve their writing abilities.
A method to informally assess students writing conventions is through watching them print. Letter formation happens systematically, and therefore while watching the students form their letters, the educator can assess whether or not the formation happens correctly.
An informal method to assessing student's writing conventions is by looking at their writing. While looking at the students writing, the educator can observe their letter formation, punctuation, letter spacing and size, and so on.
Jolly Phonics is a program which effectively teaches handwriting and letter formation to students in the Primary Grades.