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Few things will be more important to students later in life than their ability to read and write well. Constantly working to improve classroom literacy, from the time students are in elementary school, can help them to develop strong grammar skills and make them more careful readers and writers. One of the best ways to improve classroom literacy is to immerse the students in the written word, and make it a part of all different types of activities; for instance, surrounding the classroom in literary posters, as well as making reading a fun and pleasurable activity, are two ways to improve classroom literacy without students even realizing it.
No matter the age of students, they should be able to read or listen to a story, and then answer questions about that story. Young students may simply be asked to verbally answer a few questions. Older students can read stories on their own or in a group, and then answer written questions about these stories, or even write formal essays. This will help them to think critically about what they are reading as well as help students begin to develop their writing skills; teachers can then provide specific comments and feedback on their writing, and students can revise their work.
Encouraging students to select books to read on their own, and then reflect upon this information later such as in a journal, can also improve classroom literacy. In addition, many teachers will encourage students to write short stories, and then share the short stories with the rest of the class. This can often encourage students to try a little harder than they otherwise would, as well as getting them used to speaking in front of a group.
It is important to make classroom literacy fun. Vocabulary games with students, for instance, can help them to build their vocabularies and have fun at the same time. Daily time to listen to a story being read aloud, or to read a book for pleasure, can also help develop this attitude that reading is fun. There are plenty of reading activities that can be found by searching online or in curriculum guides for specific grade levels.
Technological options for improving classroom literacy exist as well. Computer games can be a great way for kids to improve literacy, since most are pretty familiar with using the computer. These also offer great opportunities to give students who are excelling at reading and writing more opportunities to learn, while offering extra help to those students who may be struggling.
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