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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Entry 4: Counterpart Strategies

This course, “Reading Improvement through Written Expression”, has given me the opportunity to learn about the essential connections between the reading and writing processes.  Even though we are half way through the semester, I have been exposed to countless number of strategies I can implement in my future classroom to support my students.  One of the most interesting readings thus far discusses reading and writing as parallel processes that build upon one another.  Stephen Kucer and Lynn Rhodes wrote the article, called “Counterpart Strategies: Fine Tuning Language with Language”, which represents this idea of reading and writing as parallel processes and provides meaningful activities to assist students in becoming better readers and writers.

  According to Kucer and Rhodes (1986), both reading and writing focus a student’s attention “…on discrete language elements.”  I believe the word “elements” in this quote refers to phonological and phonemic awareness and extends to students making meaning from text.  It is imperative for teachers to break down the reading process at an early age and then teach whole language as the students grow older.  As learners, it is more beneficial for us to learn from part to whole; similarly, the writing process is taught in the same way.  First students learn their letters and sounds and then acquire the ability to write words, sentences and paragraphs.  The more literacy events a student encounters the more proficient he/she will become as a reader and writer.  Therefore, “…each becomes a counterpart to the other” (Kucer, Rhodes, 1986).

I truly enjoyed being introduced to the “Card Strategy Lesson” and “Puzzle Strategy Lesson” because they clearly depict to students how reading influences writing and vice versa; each of these activities supports students in their literacy development.  As an educator, I would like to utilize these strategies in my own classroom.  The card strategy assists students with focusing “…on chunks of meaning” (Kucer, Rhodes, 1986), whereas the puzzle strategy assist students in creating meaning from text.  They are helpful tools teachers can make use of before a writing/reading assignment.  Each strategy allows students to brainstorm topics, organize their ideas, and collaborate with others.  I believe it is important for teachers to allow students to work with their peers in order for them to gain more than one perspective and learn from one another.

Dr. Jones gave us the opportunity to experience utilizing the card strategy in class.  As a result, I gained a deeper understanding of how the activity is actually carried out; I was able to generate many ideas for my genre project and collaborate with my peers on how to organize them efficiently.  In the end it has made the writing process more comfortable and less stressful.  I can clearly understand and recognize the connections between reading and writing.

Kucer, S., Rhodes, L.  (1986).  Counterpart Strategies: Fine tuning language with language.  The Reading Teacher, 186-193.

1 comment:

  1. Kelly, you clearly found some benefits from the instructional strategies Kucer and Rhodes discuss in their article. However, be careful not to read too much into their discussion of literacy elements. They would not agree with the point that students must first learn letters and sounds before they learn to write words. Emergent literacy research has showed us that students often have developed aspects of phonological awareness, long before they develop an ability to discriminate between letter shapes or map sounds to letters. Also, many students will learn to write their name, but have little awareness of the individual letters that make up their name.

    The literacy elements Kucer and Rhodes are referring to in the article focus on distinct concepts or ideas (i.e., chunks of meaning) and the reader and/or writer constructed a connected understanding of these discrete pieces of information.