wiki_book3.JPGWhat is Literacy:
Literacy is simply the ability to read and write at an acceptable level. However, the complication comes from knowing what is currently satisfactory and being able to teach your students so they can achieve this status.

K-6 literacy is highly complex and the relationships between technology, pedagogy and content are extremely dynamic. The use of technology in literacy/language arts has changed the way both teachers and students read, create and interpret the information that they are looking at. Instead of reading a book from left to right, looking for bolded words that denote important information, subject changes or section breaks, students are typically reading a website, then clicking on highlighted underlined words and following a hyperlink to additional information, scanning and interpreting a graph, watching a video clip or listening to a podcast on their topic. This evolution has changed the way students read and HOW teachers must teach them to read. Especially with the rise of standardized testing on computers, teaching students to read on technological devices is almost a "must" in today's society.
There are five areas that all literacy teachers must possess and continually improve. They are foundational knowledge, instructional strategies and curriculum materials, assessment/diagnosis/evaluation, creating a literate environment, and professional development. In order to develop students critical literacy and media skills, literacy teachers must have a thorough understanding of the content knowledge required to help them learn to read and write. Then they must choose which technology components (TPACK) will enhance this learning. These choices are based on his/her perceptions of the value that technology will have on instructional practices, classroom context, and the students' learning. The ultimate choice is made, however, by the teacher as he/she sees that students are more motivated and seem to have a great sense of control over what they can access and read when they use technology such as word processing software, programs that rely on hypertext and hypermedia, and Internet searches to increase literacy skills.

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TPACK and K-6 Literacy:
Content Knowledge (CK):
A thorough understanding of literacy content is extremely important when teaching students to read and write. There are five main areas that are encompassed in literacy:
  1. Language structure(phonemic awareness and phonics)
    • Phonemic Awareness: Is the knowledge that words are made up of a combination of individual sounds; it is more than recognizing sounds. It also includes the ability to hold on to those sounds, blend them successfully into words, and take them apart again.
    • Phonics: Is the relationship between a specific letter and its sound, only as it relates to the written word. If a child learns to identify the relationship between the sounds of our language and letters, he/she will have an easier time identifying words, leading to improved reading comprehension. Failure to master phonics is one reason why children have difficulty learning to read.
  2. Vocabulary (word recognition)
    • When children learn to read, they begin to understand that the words on the page correspond to the words they encounter every day in spoken English. Children increase their vocabulary through both direct and indirect instruction.
    • Children continually learn new words indirectly through listening and speaking to the people around them, being read to by others, and reading on their own. Sometimes children need to be taught new words explicitly, especially when they are crucial to their understanding of a story or concept.
  3. Comprehension (all genres of text)
    • Text comprehension is the interaction that happens between reader and text.
    • Strategies to support comprehension:
      • Monitoring comprehension: Successful readers know when they understand a passage and when they don’t. When they don’t understand, they know to pause and utilize strategies to improve understanding.
      • Using prior knowledge: Thinking about what is already known about the subject helps readers make connections between the story and their current knowledge.
      • Making predictions: Good readers often make predictions as they read through a story, using both the knowledge they bring to a text as well as what they can derive from the text.
      • Questioning: When children ask questions about what they read and search for answers, they are interacting with the text to construct meaning. Good questions are based on a child’s knowledge base and what information he/she desires.
      • Recognizing story structure: Children will understand a story better if they understand how it is organized (i.e., setting, plot, characters, and themes).
      • Summarizing: When summarizing a story, readers determine the main idea and important information and use their own words to demonstrate a understanding of the text.
  4. Fluency (reading attitude, conventions, and discourse)
    • Fluency is the ability to read text accurately and smoothly.
    • Since fluency depends on higher word recognition skills, it helps children move from decoding words to sight-reading. This means less energy is spent on deciphering and more is spent on comprehending.
    • Repeated oral reading is the best way for children to improve their fluency. This can include re-reading a familiar tex, listening to models of fluent reading, or engaging in choral, or unison reading.
  5. Composition (grammar and usage, spelling, handwriting, and writing attitude)
    • Practice in writing helps children build their reading skills.
    • Giving children their choice in writing is an effective way to motivate students.

Although other areas exist, these five are prevalent in many educator programs.

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Common Core State Standards (CCSS):
Reading: Literature
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6

Reading: Informational Text
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6

Reading: Foundational Skills
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5

Early Childhood Standards of Quality ELE:

Pedagogical Knowledge (PK):
The methods in which a teacher educates is based on personal experience, classroom setting, and individual students abilities. Literacy motivation and assessment also play an important role. In order to teach the students literacy skills they need to have a valued interest and the teacher needs to identify the current level.

The objective is to reach children by empowering their minds, and sparking their interest, when instructing. Since children learn from being actively involved in the learning process, educators need to ensure the content allows children to make personal connections with material connecting relevancy to their lives. Basically, If the content makes sense to learners, children will retain the information, enhancing their knowledge in the content area.

Reading motivation occurs by providing the student with goals, allowing the student to choose their own goals, providing interesting text for the readers, allow self-chosen texts along with assigned texts, use verbal praise, provide opportunities for students to collaborate, hold group discussions, and provide opportunities for students to share/write their thoughts.

Some strategies teachers utilize to accomplish this goal are in using KWL charts, meaning What children know about the content, what they want to know, and what children want to learn about the content during Large Group discussion. Another strategy teachers use to build on the KWL chart from children's input, is the integration of technology into the lesson planning using a Learning Management Systems or (LMS). By using a LMS, teachers can use various tools to enhance individual student learning,as students are encouraged to access helpful links which build on student knowledge added by the teacher. Each student's learning can be individualized as teacher's can view student work, and revise instruction or enhance more components based on assessment of students. Most LMS systems allow students to work independently and upload pictures of their work showing authentic learning.


Teachers utilize a informal assessment, and formal assessments, informal assessments are completed through gathering a broader and meaningful picture of development of student’s knowledge or growth in learning content. Teachers achieve this by observing students play, asking open ended questions, taking anecdotal notes, and by using photographs of student work engaging students verbally in knowledge of content. By doing an authentic assessment, Teachers are able to meet children where they are developmentally, and identify students who show knowledge of concepts, or those who may need further guidance.

Teachers utilize formal assessments by using a online assessment tools like Child Observation Records or (COR) and Teaching Strategies Gold.
HighScope Child Observation Record (COR), COR Advantage, is an observation assessment tool designed for use with children aged 2 years 6 months to 6 years in early childhood settings, including preschools, child care, and Head Start programs. COR Advantage charts children's development and progress over time.

Teaching Strategies GOLD is a seamless system for assessing children from birth through kindergarten. Extensive field tests have shown it to be both valid and reliable. Available online and in print, the system can be used with any developmentally appropriate early childhood curriculum. Although assessments are based on knowledge of content, evaluations are a resource for guiding instruction and helps support the pedagogical methods of an educator.

Assessment Resources:

Technological Knowledge (TK):
Studies have shown that integrating technology into the teaching of literacy has increased children's motivation and desire to learn to read and strengthened their comprehension skills. Teachers who incorporate technology have discovered that they have altered their instructional models to accommodate the technology for literacy learning. They use more student-centered models of instruction such as the items listed below:

Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) in Literacy:
Schmidt and Gurbo summarize Shulman’s idea of PCK as it pertains to literacy by stating “…PCK relates to literacy-it is the ability of a teacher to transform content knowledge (i.e. language structure, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and composition) in pedagogically powerful ways (i.e. teaching strategies, lesson plan development and implementation, classroom management, student assessment) that adapt to students’ abilities and backgrounds in a classroom context.” (p. 64) When thinking about PCK, you should choose a teaching method that is appropriate for the content you want your students to learn.

PCK Methods (applied and altered based on students diverse background)
*for English Language Learners it is suggested that books in the native language(s) also be made available


PCK Components (used daily in various situations)
  • Teach literacy as a developmental continuum
  • Apply appropriate teaching methods and strategies while considering the diversity of learners and individual differences
  • Create a supportive literacy environment that increase learners’ engagement
  • Motivate students to read
  • Select and use a wide range of strategies and tools for assessment

Technical Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK) in Literacy:
According to Koehler and Mishra, TPK is an understanding of "how teaching and learning can change when particular technologies are used in particular ways (2009)." When integrating technology to teach literacy, the methods require the student to take more responsibility for their learning by allowing them to contribute and collaborate in numerous ways. According to this website, "Technology improves student performance when the application directly supports the curriculum objectives being assessed." The technology should enhance the teaching process and diversify learning so that your visual/spacial, kinesthetic, linguistic, and auditory learners are all actively engaged.

In order for teachers to successfully use technology teachers must have training. As noted in the study done by Pilgrim and Martinez, "opportunities for technology integration and reflection benefited teachers. Professional development should utilize a mentoring model in which teachers who are skilled in instructional technology are available to guide an iterative process of planning, execution, feedback, and continued planning. More robust training and assistance with planning could include the improvement of previously prepared content specific lesson plans. Technology integration with Web literacy skills requires a more student-centered approach to instruction. Implementing a new learning method requires the teacher to approach classroom instruction differently" (p. 144).

Technical Content Knowledge (TCK) in Literacy:
Introducing software word processing tools, as simple as word pad, or as complex as Word 2007, has changed the teaching and learning of composition and the art of writing. These programs actually made the writing process easier, especially the editing and revising components. They also changed the teacher's role from being the grammar and mechanics of writing authority yielding a red pen, to being the facilitator of drawing out a child's thoughts and visions into word form on the computer.
Listed below are some of the benefits of using a word processing program (TCK) with writing:
  • longer written samples
  • greater variety of word usage
  • variety of sentence structure
  • more accurate mechanics and spelling (they use Spellchecker!)
  • more substantial revision
  • greater responsiveness to teacher and peer feedback
  • better understanding of the writing process
  • more positive attitudes towards writing

Along with writing, their are other technological sources that provide literacy content such as reading, listening, viewing, and speaking. Into the Book is a website that practices eight reading strategies (visualizing, summarizing, synthesizing, making connections, prior knowledge, inferring, evaluating, and questioning). Each strategy can be viewed separately or there is an option to work through all eight strategies together. These strategies are supported by short viedoes, animation, and automated voice.

When it comes to dealing with pre-literacy skills and teaching younger students, it is still important to keep their interests by using technology and by having meaningful interactions with their environment. “Learning to recognize letters is an integral part of most kindergarten programs. The challenge is to keep students interest while they are practicing until they are fluent”. (Duffelmeyer, 2002). Similarly, research also shows that, "Alphabet instruction should be supported by multiple opportunities to interact with letters in a variety of settings" (Duffelmeyer, 2002). Thus proving using technology in the classroom would be very beneficial. Making room for technology in an early childhood classroom is more beneficial than it may seem. “In order for students to emerge as 21st century learners, introducing them to technology, and specifically to using a tablet for learning, may be beneficial to them”, (Giugni, 2015).

When choosing a particular technology for your literacy lesson, it is important to consider the availability of the technology, the affordability, and the students experience. Whatever technology source is chosen, it should be a best fit for the content being taught.

TCK Resources:

Activities and Other Educational Resources:

Technical Pedagogical And Content Knowledge (TPACK) in Literacy:
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Finally, TPACK is putting all of the pieces (CK, PK, TK, PCK, TCK) together to plan and facilitate a learning environment in which K-6 students use elements of technology as tools and are actively engaged in learning literacy. Individual teachers can learn to do this on their own, but it is the ultimate responsibility of Teacher Education Schools to critically examine their current preparation programs and come up with models and solutions that will successfully train pre-service and in-service teachers to efficiently and seamlessly integrate technology into their everyday classroom instruction. Some suggested strageties are providing one-on-one technology mentors to educators, continous modeling of effective TPACK within teacher education courses, providing plenty of "hands-on" practical technology integration for pre-service teachers, and facilitating continous communication and feedback opportunities for pre-service teachers to increase their knowledge and understanding of TPACK.

Overall, teachers need to know the following to effectively use technology to help foster early literacy:
  • specific software applications and/or hardware with added value for developing early literacy,
  • features of effective technology with added value for developing early literacy,
  • guidelines for effective uses of technology for developing early literacy

Sample TPACK Lesson Plans for K-6 Literacy:

The attached lesson plan demonstrates how a literacy lesson can be modified and adapted to incorporate the elements of TPACK.

Summary of the lesson:
The Content (C) is Elements of Myths which covers the 5th grade Common Core State Standards RL.5.7 and RL.5.2.
The Pedagogy (P) is cooperative learning in a small group setting.
The Technology (T) is Bitstrips (comics).

Summary of the lesson:
The Content (C) is a online book discussion which uses literature through student blogging grades K-3
based on
MDE Early Childhood Standards of Quality ELE:LANGUAGE AND EARLY LITERACY DEVELOPMENT 1. Early Learning Expectation:
The Pedagogy (P) is group discussions.
The Technology (T) is edublogs
Summary of lesson:

Summary of lesson:

Summary of the lesson:
The Content (C) is main topic and identifying key details which covers the 1st grade Common Core State Standards RI.1.2 and RI.1.10
The Pedagogy (P) is direct instruction in a small and whole group setting.
The Technology (T) is Kidspiration software which students will use to create a web.

Summary of the Lesson:
The Content (C) is letter identification (for 4-5 year olds in a pre-K program or Kindergarten class).
The Pedagogy (P) is active learning in small group setting.
The Technology (T) is iPads (specifically, the camera app).

Summary of the Lesson:
The Content (C) is the Life cycle of insects.
The Pedagogy (P) is inquiry-based learning.
Technology (T) is a interactive whiteboard.

Summary of the Lesson: This is an example of a kindergarten TPACK foundational literacy lesson.
The Content (C) is rhyming words.
The Pedagogy (P) is game- based learning.
The Technology (T) is an interactive whiteboard.

Summary of the lesson: This is an example of a kindergarten TPACK foundational literacy lesson.
The Content (C) is sight word identification.
The Pedagogy (P) is game-based learning.
The Technology (T) is iPads.

Summary of the Lesson: This is an example of a Preschool TPACK foundational literacy lesson.
The Content (C) is practicing letter identification and sounds (phonics).
The Pedagogy (P) is active learning.
The Technology (T) is the smart board and YouTube.

Summary of the lesson:
The Content (C) is improving reading fluency
The Pedagogy (P) is guided reading
The Technology (T) is Read Naturally Live, a computer-based reading program

Summary of Lesson: This is an example of a 1st grade lesson for building literacy through Raz-Kids.
The Content is comprehension and vocabulary identification and fluency.
The Pedagogy is independent learning.
The Technology is the Raz-Kids application.
TPACK Literacy Lesson

Summary of Lesson: In third grade, we do lots of comparing and contrasting across curriculum. Students are also required to use technology to produce writing. This lesson will incorporate nonfiction reading, social studies, writing, and technology. Students study Michigan's two peninsulas using nonfiction text. Then, students will use an interactive whiteboard to compare and contrast Michigan's two peninsulas using graphic organizers. Lastly, students will compose an essay on the similarities and differences of Michigan's two peninsulas using Google Docs on classroom Chromebooks. This lesson will take place over an extended period of time.
Content (C) - Michigan's Two Peninsulas
Pedagogy (P) - Multi-sensory learning
Technology (T) - Interactive Whiteboard, Google Docs, and Chromebooks

Summary of Lesson: In third grade, students are required to use technology to produce writing and conduct research to create a report. This lesson will incorporate nonfiction reading, science, writing, and technology. Students study a unit on the Arctic Region using nonfiction texts and the Internet. The Arctic Region includes geography, plants, animals, climate, people, and the Iditarod. During each lesson, students will use Google Slides to create an electronic "Arctic Notebook". Lastly, students will create an Arctic Animal Report using Google Slides and present it to the class. This lesson will take place over an extended period of time.
Content (C) - The Arctic Region (applying research skills)
Pedagogy (P) - Multi-sensory learning
Technology (T) - Interactive Whiteboard, Document Camera, Google Slides, and Chromebooks

Summary of Lesson: In this first grade lesson, students would work in small groups as part of a "center" or "Daily 5" rotation. Students would be required to use a table to scan a QR code. The code would play an audio clip of a sight word. Students would then need to color in or write down what they heard on an accompanying paper.
Content (C) - Practicing sight word recognition
Pedagogy (P) - Active learning and collaborative learning
Technology (T) - iPads and QR Codes


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