Learning Materials

Here is a really great chart that allows you to see literacy development across the first 8 or 9 years of life:

This is a pdf file on literacy development--a fast read

Here is an excellent summary of written language development, including the functions of written language:

Education 314/316 Reading

Education 371 students are invited to read this, also, but it is optional.

Discussion Post

Education 371
What do you remember about the development of your reading and writing abilities in both language and music? What in this information surprised you? What are the implications of this information for teaching music?

I was educated in Catholic schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. I went to a small urban elementary school, then to a suburban middle and high school and finally to an exclusive high school. All catholic, all very strict and no nonsense. I remember loving school and loving learning. When I think back on it, we didn't really have a lot of play time or creative learning through play.
In terms of writing, I remember rote memorization, a lot of writing and many lectures, but always great rewards if you did the work well. That is what I remember most. The work was hard, but if you did it, you were rewarded with things like outdoor play, extra snacks, helping the Nun for the day or great notes home for your parents. I remember working very hard as a child to get these rewards. Fortunately for me, I have always loved to read and was a voracious reader. My mother had Highlights for Children, TIME, Newsweek and other magazines and newspapers around the house and was always reading something herself, so I picked up her habit.

I learned a lot through that kind of motivation. School work was repetitive throughout elementary school and became more and more introspective through high school. I was stimulated and rewarded and challenged and I really felt good about myself because I knew I was learning and pleasing my parents and teachers too.

Education 314/316
What are the implications of this for classroom practice, particularly in an urban setting?

Literacy development is very important for classrooms in urban settings. Children may not be getting enough reading time with thier caregivers for whatever reason so the time that they spend on reading in the classroom is paramount. The teacher should take full opportunity while the children are in the classroom and develop the reading and writing skills as much as possible. In addition, the teacher could also try to send home worksheets and give the parents homework to increase the time spend on literacy with the child. I would also make sure my students know about any literary events taking place at the local library or at school or any where near the community and let my students know about it or plan a field trip for extended learning.