This book invites readers to consider ways in which their language and literacy teaching practices can better value and build upon the brilliance of every child. In doing so, it highlights the ways in which teachers and students build on diversities as strengths to create more inclusive and responsive classrooms. After inviting readers to consider and better understand the diverse language and literacy practices of diverse children, it offers invitations for teachers to make these practices foundational in their own classrooms and to consider meaningful possibilities for learning authentically with young children in primary grades. It features chapters that focus on oral language, reading, and writing development, all while recognizing that these are not separate. In each of these chapters, readers are invited to consider diverse possibilities, perspectives, and points of view in practice within primary grades classrooms. Throughout, it offers ways to foster classroom learning communities where racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse children are supported and valued.
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Mariana Souto-Manning is associate professor and coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her books include Courageous Leadership in Early Childhood Education, Multicultural Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom, and Teachers Act Up!Jessica Martell is an elementary school teacher with over 17 years of experience working with diverse student populations in New York City's public schools.
This book is an important read for current and future primary grade teachers who want to help children achieve their full potential through culturally-relevant and inclusive instruction. Souto-Manning and Martell identify many ways teachers can honor the voices, stories, languages, and cultures that the children bring to the classroom and promote high levels of academic achievement. The authors gently guide teachers to consider their current views of diversity and demonstrate how a deficit view and standardization of the curriculum and/or not holding high expectations for children can limit their potential.
--TC Record In Reading, Writing, and Talk, Souto-Manning and Martell succeed in honoring their commitment to 'reading words, but also reading worlds - and rewriting them transformatively, in just and inclusive ways'
--Journal of Education
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