Reading: Chall’s developmental stages of reading (stages 0-5); basic-skills-& phonetics approach or whole language approach to reading (some combo of the 2 where kids can blend sounds and segment syllables and recoginze letters but also get whole language instruction works); the more reading you do the better; importance of decoding and comprehending words, constructing meaning from prior knowledge, and developing expert reading strategies. All this emphasizes cognitive constructivism (metacognition, children’s internal construction of meaning). Social constructivist approaches (reciprocal teaching, book clubs, involving family in literacy efforts, esp. low-English proficiency families)
Library application: more for school and public librarians as well as those engaged in literacy efforts, esp. the social constructivist methods–library book clubs, story hours, and family involvement in literacy programs; also the idea that more knowledge students have as background the better their reading comprehension will be (research!)
Writing: developmentally, kids gain enough motor control to form letters, learn to distinguish different letters, and go through “creative” spelling attempts; cognitively, they must plan (pre-write), problem solve (how to make meaning, what am i saying), revise (what worked, what didn’t, how to say it better), and use metacognition to learn writing strategies (planning and organizational strategies necessary to be a good writer); social constructuvist methods of writing instruction: writing on meaningful topics, student-teacher writing conferences, peer collaboration, involving community and family in writing projects (differences in knowledge transmission and writing in Latino communities students came from and the school environment–interviews, incorporation of communit writing and knowledge in class projects, e-mail contact with Latino students in other communities). Ways to encourage writing–nurturing positive attitudes, giving authentic writing tasks, providing supportive context, have students write to learn, do free and creative writing assignments, as well as formal writing assignments.
Library application: lots of info lit applications–make writing assignments with info lit directly applicable to students’ lives, that chart of the writing timeline and the skills involved (pre-writing aka researching, problem solving (organizing that information agthered, evaluating, framing it) and revising (reference checking as well)) .
Math: developmental changes: pre-K-2: basic counting, simple addition and subtraction, relative magnitude of numbers, base 10 basics; then 3-5: multiplicative reasoning (fractions as part of a whole and as division), equivalence (diff. mathmatical representation (n=) as basis for algebra), computational fluency (thinking of things different ways, which still eludes me); then 6-8: algebra and geometry; then 9-12: algebra, & geometry continued and combined with stats, probability and discrete math, and visualization, description and analysis of maths ituations and proving math ideas. Fight between computational approach and constructivist. Constructivist approach–make it realistic and interesting, consider student’s prior knowledge, encourage social interaction, do innovative projects, and involve family in “family math night” (oh, joy). Give students good grounding in operations before introducing too much tech that does I for them (calcs and computers).
Library applications: not so much
Science: Blah blah blah critical thinking-cakes. OK, so kids and scientists think alike (natural curiosity, fundamental ?s, time to devote to them) but not (kids too attached to their own theories even in face of conflicting evidence); constructivist principles for teachign science–scaffolding through interactive demos (kids get situation, make predictions and then teacher demos); everday science problems, social constructivist collab, interdisciplinary coursework; worry that kids are not learning to make careful observations; collect organize and analyze data; measure graph and understand spatial relationships, pay attention to and regulate their own thinking, or know when
Social studies: teaching across a number of areas and disciplines; still largely lecture-based but constructicvist approaches encourage reflection, understanding, meaning, thinking critically about values, and sustained exmination of a few topics rather than superficial coverage of many topics