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My Literacy Adventure!. By: Brenna McCormick LTCY 519. Once upon a time. . .

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My Literacy Adventure!

By: Brenna McCormick

LTCY 519


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Once upon a time. . .

This presentation is a guide through my adventure in reading. I will show you some of my favorite books throughout my life. I will also share with you some of the trials and tribulations in learning that were faced by some members of my family and how witnessing this experience shaped my own learning experiences.

When I was a young child my entire world included books. My parents, my babysitter, my brother, every person in my life would read to me. I was surrounded by a loving group of people who knew how important reading was to life-long learning.

Let’s begin exploring my adventure through reading!


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My Favorites: A Short List!

  • The Monster at the End of this Book

  • Author: Jon Stone and Michael Smollin

  • Ages: 2-4 years old

    I used to have my dad read this book to me over and over. This book is somewhat interactive. It is about Grover not wanting us to turn the next page because he is afraid of a monster at the end of the book! There is a clever surprise when you turn the final page (but you have to read it on your own to figure it out)! My dad would add so much suspense to this book that it made it so much fun to read. This is also part of the Golden Book series. I had many of these books as a child and enjoyed reading them as well as having them read to me.


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My Favorites: A Short List!

  • Little Critter Books

  • Author: Mercer Mayer

  • Age: 3-5 years old

    I loved these books! They were fun to have read to me as well as fun to learn to read! When someone would read these books to me I would always look for the spider hidden in the pages. When I began reading on my own, I found them simple and fun to read! It helped me develop my love of reading. There were so many of these books about so many different topics that I always found one that was interesting to me and that I could relate to.


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My Favorites: A Short List!

  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

  • Author: Virginia Burton

  • Age: 4-5 years old

    I loved this book! My dad would read it to me often before I went to bed. It is about an out-of-date steam shovel and his owner who are hired to dig a foundation for a new building. They are involved in a competition and must dig as fast as they can. They dig so fast that they don’t leave themselves a way out. They must stay in the basement of the building! The steam shovel gets transformed into the boiler and Mike Mulligan becomes the caretaker of the boiler. It is a great story about making the best out of things!


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My Favorites: A Short List!

  • Magic School Bus Series

  • Author: Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen

  • Age: 6-9 years old

    This series of books was all about a class that would travel to all kinds of places on a magic school bus and learn a lot about the places they traveled. These books were so much fun to read because they were set up like a comic book. They had pictures and captions, thought bubbles, and informational boxes. It was full of energy and got me so excited about reading it. I learned a lot from these books. They perked my already budding interest in science and sharpened my focus on school.


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My Favorites: A Short List!

  • American Girl: Kirsten Series

  • Author: Janet Shaw

  • Ages: 7-11 years old

    I loved reading these books. I could connect with this young girl about my age. These books were about young girls growing up in different time periods in the United States. There were many other girls for many different time periods. These books taught me a lot about history. I learned more by reading these books because I became personally involved with this young girl and her family. There were many other ways that I became personally involved. These books also had a doll and “props” that went along with the stories. My parents bought me the doll, the props, and the books for Christmas and I fell in love with them. This increased my interest in reading and school.


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My Favorites: A Short List!

  • Ramona Books

  • Author: Beverly Cleary

  • Ages: 8-9 years old

    When I was in the third grade my teacher would always read to us and inspired my interest in “chapter books.” Ramona was one of the first chapter books that was read to me. I loved the stories in it. I could relate to them because they were about a young girl with siblings and the trouble she could get into. It was such a fun read. I read all of the Ramona books. Through these books I learned that I could read chapter books. Before they had seemed to hard for me to read. However, after I read the first one I knew I could do it and I could read anything I wanted!


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My Favorites: A Short List!

  • Babysitters Club

  • Author: Ann M. Martin

  • Ages: 10-13 years old

    My parents gave me my first Babysitters Club book for Christmas and I read it within 2 days. I loved it. It was a big chapter book and I was so interested in it I just zipped right through it! These books were about a young pre-teens life. They were so interesting to me. I just loved them. I began buying them in stacks of 3 or 4 at a time just so I would always have something to read. Later when I actually began babysitting, I used many of the ideas that the club had. So they actually helped me in my daily life!


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My Writing Experiences

Before I went to kindergarten my babysitter taught me how to write letters and to trace my name. She knew I liked to draw and taught me how to make Alphabet people out of capital letters. She encouraged me to use my interests as stepping stones into the world of literacy. When I got to kindergarten I was ready to keep learning to write and read.


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My Writing Experiences: An Example

I remember writing Bible verses when I was in Bible School as a young girl. My mother still has one verse that I wrote hanging in our home office. I had to write a few lines about my mother and family along with the Bible verse. I wrote: “ I love my mommy and daddy. And my brother. I like to look at the prety flowers in my bakyard.” You can see that I didn’t quite have the spelling down yet! I also didn’t have all of the grammatical rules down yet either! I was about 6 or 7 years old when I wrote this.


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Other Literacy Experiences

  • Literacy experiences can involve more than just reading books and learning to write letters.

    • Oral literacy experiences

      • Example: Remembering lines for a play

    • Learning to read music is another form of a literacy experience


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Other Literacy Experiences: My Favorite Play!

When I was in the third grade I was in our school’s Christmas play. I was one of the reindeer keepers. I had to memorize several short lines. I was so nervous! I remember that I had to wear goofy red and white socks that went up to my knees, a set of Christmas suspenders that I borrowed from my dad, little red shorts, green tights, a white turtle neck, and of course a silly looking elf hat. I had to carry a bucket of reindeer food and talk about how they were not eating because the “Spirit of Christmas” was missing. I was really nervous but I remembered all of my lines! I could have put more emotion into the delivery of them, but they were still good!


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Other Literacy Experiences

From when I was 5 years old until I was about 10 I took piano lessons. I enjoy playing the piano and reading music. It was a whole new experience for me. I remember hating to work on the Theory books. I just wanted to play the music and not learn how to play it! It was sometimes really hard to remember all of the symbols and what they meant. I eventually learned music well enough to memorize a piece and play it in a competition.


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Middle School Experiences: Reading

  • Favorite Leisure Reading Material

    • To Kill a Mockingbird (required)

    • Anne of Green Gables

    • Island of the Blue Dolphins (required)

    • Seventeen Magazine

    • YM Magazine

      I read a lot in middle school. I began to read more educational books (like my textbooks), rather than for leisure. However, some required reading I actually enjoyed. I also loved the Anne of Green Gables series. I bought all three books and read them all over a year or so. Mostly I read magazines for fun. My friends and I would get together and do the quizzes in them and read up on the current fashion trends.


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Middle School Experiences: Writing

In 8th grade we were required to take a creative writing course. I loved this class! For a short time I even thought about becoming a writer. I enjoyed writing children’s books. I would write modern fairy tales and make-believe stories that would entertain young elementary children.

  • Titles of some of my work:

    • Little Red Goes on Vacation (Red Riding Hood goes to the beach and meets a sneaky shark)

    • Three Little Fairies and the Toad Prince(The fairies try to tell the Prince how he can become a human again. He becomes annoyed by their buzzing and decides to eat them!)

      One time I remember we had to write a horror story in this class. I hated horror movies and I really was not looking forward to this assignment. I tried my best to come up with a really horrific tale. I wrote down as many gruesome details as I could think. As I wrote I got chills and knew I must be doing something right. I ended up getting an “A” on my story and overcoming my fears of horror movies!


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High School Experiences: Reading

During high school I mostly read textbooks and tried to keep up with my studies. I did enjoy my English classes that focused on Literature. I enjoyed learning about Shakespeare, Homer, and other great authors.

  • Some favorite books/subjects:

    • Biology

    • Literature

    • Foreign Languages

    • Stones from the River, by Ursula Hegi

    • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berndt

      The two foreign languages I took were Latin and German. I learned a lot about the English language through both of these foreign languages. I was surprised that another language could teach me so much!


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High School Experiences: Favorite Subjects

  • Biology

    • I have always loved the way living thinks work.

    • My teachers in this class made me work extremely hard. I had to read and take notes over entire chapters of material just for quizzes!

      • Because of this I learned a lot and felt extremely prepared for college.

  • Literature

    • My English classes that focused on literature were interesting because we discussed all of the great literary works of the time (the ones that I always heard my parents and older brother talking about).

    • I was able to discuss these in a group of my peers with guidance from the teacher. The teacher helped us understand the “hidden” meaning behind the famous works.


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High School Experiences: Foreign Languages

  • German

    • The German Language is actually very similar to English in many ways.

      • Verb usage

      • Spelling Consistencies

    • I learned how to correctly use certain verbs in English through my reading and writing coursework in German Class.

  • Latin

    • Many of our English words come from Latin origin as well as prefix and suffix meanings.

      • My Latin teacher would have an English “word of the day” that had Latin roots.

    • This class helped me tremendously in college as well as on the college entrance exams!



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Parents

  • My parents had a huge impact on my attitude toward literacy.

  • They:

    • Purchased books

    • Were involved in my academic career

    • Read to me

    • Set an example through their own actions

  • My father in particular read to me when I was young. He made reading fun! He would talk in different character voices, spend as much time on a page as I liked, and always made time for reading.


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Parents

  • Both of my parents went to college and received degrees. They both have instilled in me the importance of education, especially literacy. Their attitudes shaped my reading adventure.

  • Currently my mother and I exchange leisure reading books. We have several of the same interests and enjoy the same authors. We call each other and discuss what we are reading. It is sort of like our own mother/daughter book club!

    • Our favorite author (currently) is Nicholas Sparks

      • We have not read a book by him that we do not like!


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My Brother

  • My brother was diagnosed with ADD when he was 9 years old (I was only 5 at the time). He was also diagnosed with a reading learning disability.

  • He had to be taught to read all over again. He was taught to come up with new strategies for reading and was able to triumph! He went to college and obtained a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

    • I remember him struggling and going to the reading tutor, but I wasn’t sure why. Later I realized how hard it was for him to overcome these disabilities.

    • Through this understanding I became especially motivated to work hard and succeed in reading. I told myself if he can do it then I can do it! This philosophy carried me through high school and college.


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My Babysitter

  • My babysitter encouraged me to read and write by teaching me to do worksheets from the elementary school level even before I was in kindergarten!

    • She would bring these to me everyday and we would work on them. She taught me to write my name as well as the rest of the alphabet. She taught me basic reading skills (sounds of letters, phonemes, etc.).

  • She also read to me every single day.

  • She encouraged me to read instead of watching television.


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My Babysitter

  • She also had me work on other creative projects, which required me to use my imagination.

    • This enhanced my literacy experience by strengthening my imagination, which allowed me to better fully experience the world in which the characters of my books lived.

  • She is also the person who inspired my interest in the Babysitters Club Books!

  • She only babysat me until I was 6 years old; however, her impact on my reading adventure was enormous!


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Today, currently . . .

  • I have graduate college with a B.A. in Psychology.

  • I am attending a School Psychology Graduate program at Western Kentucky University.

  • I rarely have time for leisure reading because of all of the reading I do for class.

    • Occasionally, I find time to read a quick fun book!

      • Recent Titles:

        • The Lost Boy, David Pelzer

        • Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, James Patterson

        • The Wedding, Nicholas Sparks


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Current Literacy Attitudes

  • I feel that reading should be a part of everyone’s life.

  • Children should think reading is fun!

  • Teachers need to identify children that have reading difficulties as early as possible.

  • Parents should read to their children at least once a day.

  • Learning is a life-long process that begins early and is sustained through enjoyment!

  • Reading and writing are the keys that open up a big world of knowledge.

    • And with knowledge you can achieve anything!


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Changes in Current Attitudes

  • Most of my attitudes about literacy have held steadfast. However, I am beginning to see that current legislation that requires every child to read by the third grade may be grossly overestimating what our children can actually do.

  • I feel that not all children will be able to read at grade level by the third grade. I feel some children may never read at grade level. I do not feel that it is hopeless to help these children.

  • I feel that educators need to be aware of these children and help them develop a love of reading.

    • A love of reading will encourage more reading. More than likely these children will hate to read because of their disability. However, if easier reading is allowed then they may just find the self-confidence they need to keep their interest in reading.

  • I feel that it is more important to encourage children to enjoy reading than it is to measure and compare their competence to the rest of the nation.


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