The literacy classroom is as deictic as literacy itself. An obvious parallel between ever-changing classrooms and endless fluidity in literacy can surely be drawn. Good teachers recognize the novel framework of a productive literacy classroom, yet utilize the elasticity of the content. The classroom should be set up dynamically, groupings should be flexible and intentional, literacy becomes a foundation for the content areas (Canter & Winberry, 2001), and time must be given to the progression of what it means to be literate in a highly technologically advanced society (Leu, 2002).
The physical, affective, and procedural aspects of the classroom are integral and is always be carefully analyzed for the optimum literate environment. The library is user friendly, and a wide variety of books in a wide variety of genres are readily accessible. The type of furniture is important as well as its placement. The organization of workstations is appropriate for the tasks and audibility. All the proper equipment is prepared for fresh curious minds (Canter & Winberry, 2001).
Flexible grouping debunks days filled with whole group instruction. Groups can be formed hetero or homogenously. Each of the aforementioned groups can be changed at any time, for any instructional reason (Canter & Winberry, 2002). Most importantly, not all groups will receive the same instruction, duration, or intensity; it is based on student needs (Strickland, Ganske, & Monroe, 2002).
Time is definitely a teacher’s worst enemy. At this point, reading standards, along with the content areas, are constantly being raised. Up to this point, not all instruction has been carefully integrated across the curriculum, but it is never too late to change a bad habit. Literacy instruction can happen within all content areas while utilizing countless effective instructional strategies. Content is not confined to a block of time, nor is literacy; this understanding can only lead to more effective instruction throughout the day (Canter & Winberry, 2001).
The way literacy is defined has changed as the world advances. Technological literacy needs to be practiced to prepare students for success in life. There is no excuse for skipping these crucial sets of knowledge and skills because of lack of time, lack of training, or lack of understanding. A grave disservice is done to students that are not exposed to technology, and explicitly instructed on technology through a carefully integrated program (Leu, 2002).
Teachers face challenges in the classroom on a daily basis. Time, discipline, and other mundane duties sometimes cloud the vision of an exceedingly successful teacher. However, preparing the classroom in an effective manner, practicing procedures, and challenging students with new and targeted instruction, is a great foundation for an efficient literacy instructional environment (Canter & Winberry, 2002).
Canter, L. & Winberry, K. (Directors). (2002) Programs 1-5. [Motion Picture]. In C. Arnold (Producer), Planning and managing the literacy classroom. Los Angeles: Laureate Education, Inc.
Leu, D. J., Jr. (2002). Internet Workshop: Making time for literacy. The Reading Teacher, 55(5), 466–472
Strickland, D. S., Ganske, K., & Monroe, J. K. (2002). Supporting struggling readers and writers: Strategies for classroom intervention 3–6. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.