My Friend’s Daughter and Literacy Development


A friend’s daughter took a course on Balanced Literacy(not sure what that means and did not notice that the author clarified what she meant by the word Balanced) using a textbook by Gail Tompkins. This was a few summers ago when I found myself unemployed and bored to death, so my buddy thought I might have some time to help her which I did.

There was a fasinating table in the book on page 116 in the fifth edition I was using. Yes, she left the book at my house and has never called requesting to regain possession of the overpriced resource which is usually somewhere near the base of our master bathroom commode. She was assigned to use  information in the Young Children’s Literacy Development table to determine the developmental level of the child.

Her prof called the assignment a field activity as I recall.  The table distinguished between emergent(lower level than beginning), beginning, and Fluent. Some emergent readers are observed pretending to read, while fluent readers prefer to read silently as is it is well known that “mouthing the words” is a big slow down and even an impediment.

Anyway the table was created to help educators to determine the developing literacy level of Kindergarten through grade 5 I think. I would love to know how the entire hierarchy of this classification table was engendered. Thanks for your help and, Sarah I still have your book. Come get it so your Dad won’t think less of me than he already does! Also did you end up teaching kiddos with special needs. I know that was your intention around two years ago. Let me know how you are doing. I know you Google stuff like this. Hopefully the name Sarah is unique enough to where you will stumble upon this!


9 comments on “My Friend’s Daughter and Literacy DevelopmentAdd yours →

  1. Marissa Brantley a big time fan of the pedagogy of Tompkins stresses the importance of writing across curriculums and the importance of persuasive writing. I strongly believe in emphasis on diphthongs and consonant digraphs for non American speaking foreigners whose tongues may have difficulties enunciating th ch or oy.

    Also discerning when to crash the scaffolding and FORCING the little farts to figure out appropriate context clues is HUGE developmentally. Elkonin boxes are indispensable aids as pronunciation tools.

    Phoneme grapheme correspondence, self efficacy, the six traits for writing of ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and presentation.

    Homographic homophones, inflectional endings like boys boy’s. Homographs like minute and minute(small). Lexile scores measure difficulty of text. Basal reading leveled according to grade. Compound word spelled hyphen, separately or together. Trade book is any book that is not a text book. Reciprocal teaching where teachers and students swap roles.

    Prosody or reading expressively with emotional intonation. The work of Paula J. Schwanenflugel and Anne Marie Hamilton provides more breadth and depth regarding prosodic reading.

  2. This seems like a good place to thank Haley Montes a thoughtful and involved teacher from Artesia,NM. She helped my daughter considerably in Science class and helped her with her self esteem. Her interest in my daughter’s issues were real and made a difference. We had to leave due to circumstances beyond our Control, but will never forget her vital influence on my daughter’ growth and development. Miss Montes is a valuable human resource whose influence will never end in the sense of Aesop.

    1. The teacher you described from Artesia reminds me another bright and positive soul named Ashley Watkins. She genuinely loves teaching and I am grateful my son had her for that precious year before we had to move. I cannot come to close to telling you about how much her dedication and love of her craft changed my ADHT kiddo!!! We will never forget you Miss Ashely !!!

      1. My husband and I lived in Lovington, New Mexico and also had a bright teaching light named Tracy Overcast guide and mentor our daughter through troubled times. Despite her gloomy sounding surname, Tracy was anything but as she was looked up to and respected by faculty, parents and higher ups. You made a big difference Miss Overcast and have many who love you even though we are no longer blessed by your shining influence!

      2. Nice to see another Bulldogs fan. I go all the way back to Landry Jones who had a family that strongly supported literacy. His mom was especially dedicated to those challenged students who could not distinguish between a vowel digraph and a diphthong. Her favorite example was how the ai in nail is an example of a vowel digraph, but the oi in soil “glides” to form a differenct sound!! Good stuff compadres!

        Also she was an animal in understanding the subtle relationship between phonology and orthography resulting in the confusing discipline of phonics and the fact that there is not a one to to one correspondence between phonemes and graphemes!! Another real pisser dude. English really SUCKS green donkey dicks that way you know!! Shefelbine did some substantive and insightful research into the matter but still in scratching his ball hard even when not in the shower man. That cat is bright and cerebral and shit.

        I mean I get that some of the horrible to remember spellings like sign and bomb is cuz of the parent words like signature and bombard, but those damn words are have too many extran damn letters too. I vote for an international phonetic language.Venezky does nothing more than point out a hard to spell sight word comes from another hard to spell sight word. Where does the shit stop man! I am angry about his bullshit if you could not already tell from the tone and tenor of my expostion. Note that I did not use the word intonation as that would have intimated we were having verbal intercourse, not the sexual intercourse you would enjoy with this volleyball girl.

        1. OMG, I loved that book by Tompkins Literacy 21st century fifth edition with Professor Thompson at ENMU in Portales. He is excellent teacher and patient with some of the whiney crybaby people who actually want to become teachers…..Gag me with spoon! Some of those immature girls would complain they didn’t understand instructions and would beg him to extend the deadline. I dont blame the man for putting specific information in syllabus about how it would hurt your grade if you were disrespectful to him in emails! Quite a few would not even buy the textbook and just wait for others who had bought the book to post so they could CHEAT! And people wonder why NM and Mississippi rank last in literacy.

          That Lexile framework way to match books to the reading levels of students was my big takeaway from his course and have used it to this day in Albququerque, Hobbs, and Lovington. Thanks Doctor for taking the time to pick a good book for class and future reference AND hang in their with thos immature teacher wannabes!!!!

          1. I agree 100% about Dr Thompson. He is very professional and respectful of his students. He should have worked with Tompkins because he definitely could have improved it in various places. She is good author, but her book could use some revisons. His experiences as a motorcycle dude make him a practical understanding man even when the teachers in his class are crybabies who should probably not be teaching. I would get pissed off if I had to deal with the way they whine and moan directly to his face in class. Dr. T should have worked at Texas A&M or Baylor rather than tolerate the behaviors he gets in Portales, New Mexico

          2. Dear Webmaster for the ENMU-Portales NM website,

            I kept getting page not found message for two straight days when trying to get copy of my transcripts for a job interview. The Lubbock,TX employer only needed unoffical free transcripts for the first phase of the interview process, BUT the friggin ENMU Portal was DOWN two straight days!!! Somebody else got the job! Please, at least give us some indication when the site will be up and running in the future dude!!!! Comon, it is MyENMU right.

            Error 500–Internal Server Error

            From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol — HTTP/1.1:

            10.5.1 500 Internal Server Error

            The server encountered an unexpected condition(you mean an unexpected condition like trying to pay a bill, get class schedule, or enroll?!?!!) which prevented it from fulfilling the request.

  3. How crazy is this?
    Patricia Quezada, an outstanding teacher, would love this stuff. I have not seen her in many moons. One of her specialties was interfacing with parent’s of Dysfluent youngsters and forcing challenged students into the Sustained Silent Reading mode. A very talented and patient educator. Parents love her. This guy named Eldredge, I think, creates this list of 300 high frequency words that account for 72% of the words beginning readers even know! Wow! Here is the list sight words published at Read Oak Elementary in Shakopee, Minnesota:

    the or will number new great
    of one up no sound where
    and had other way take help
    a by about could only through
    to word out people little much
    in but many my work before
    is not then than know line
    you what them first place right
    that all these water year too
    it were so been live mean
    he we some call me old
    was when her who back any
    for your would oil give same
    on can make now most tell
    are said like find very boy
    as there him long after follow
    with use into down thing came
    his an time day our want
    they each has did just show
    I which look get name also
    at she two come good around
    be do more made sentence form
    this how write may man three
    have their go part think small
    from if see over say set
    put kind every left until idea
    end hand near don’t children enough
    does picture add few side eat
    another again food while feet face
    well change between along car watch
    large off own might mile far
    must play below close night Indian
    big spell country something walk real
    even air plant seem white almost
    such away last next sea let
    because animal school hard began above
    turn house father open grow girl
    here point keep example took sometimes
    why page tree begin river mountain
    ask letter never life four cut
    went mother start always carry young
    men answer city those state talk
    read found earth both once soon
    need study eye paper book list
    land still light together hear song
    different learn thought got stop being
    home should head group without leave
    us America under often second family
    move world story run late it’s
    try high saw important miss afternoon

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