The Missouri Reader Vol. 42, Issue 1 - Page 32


A Student Organized Classroom Library


There is a plethora of research regarding the literacy block in the primary grades, but nearly none pertaining to other grades. Literacy is the foundation of all learning: elementary school, even the upper elementary grades, is the foundation for compulsory education beyond the early years. It would be wise for school leaders to consider expanding the instructional time for reading, writing, and related skills so that students leave the elementary setting with the strongest foundation possible to think, speak, read, and write with the utmost proficiency. The expansion should conceptualize content-area instruction as another opportunity for literacy instruction. Classroom practitioners often express dissatisfaction with not having enough time to do all that they would like to do in order to be the most effective teachers possible. Time allocation is a significant factor in the teaching and learning that occurs, or is missed, in schools today. The literacy block should be a sacred time during the day in which teachers and students are earnestly engaged. However, it should not be considered the exclusive time devoted to literacy instruction.

Literacy teaching and learning takes place all day! Meeting standards and covering curriculum are important. Developing students who are proficient readers, writers, and speakers is crucial for their individual success as well as for the success of them collectively as a society. The use of time in the literacy block is worthy of examination by classroom practitioners, school administrators, reading professionals, and researchers. The literacy block must afford teachers of all elementary and middle school grades the opportunities to expertly maximize the use of time for literacy instruction so that maximized learning potential is realized by the students. Time is of the essence.


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