My Own Spiral of Literacy

This post will be longer than usual because I saw it important for you to know the gist of things and share with you my reflective cycle on The Spiral of Literacy.   Dr. Wink and her daughter Dawn wrote Teaching Passionately in which I read The Spiral of Literacy (chapter 2).  It was great, and it even brought tears to my eyes to think of how my nieces and nephews are missing out on this beautiful adventure of literacy that starts at an early age.  Everyone starts reading at different ages and in different environments.  I began to read in kindergarten in Mexico after we moved out of the States when I was three (a year before).  I entered 1st and 2nd grade and was an A+ student in all my subjects.  The funny thing is that I DO NOT remember reading or being read to in Spanish.  We came back to the States when I was 6 ½ and was put back to kindergarten.  I had to relearn the language and start to learn how to read.  By 1st grade, I was reading at school, never at home.

My parents never read to me.  My mother has never stepped into a classroom setting up to this day (she is a smart lady, bilingual and taught herself how to read!), and my father only went up to 3th grade.  Education was valued but no habits for it were implemented.  Reading was not part our daily activities.  This makes me sad.  When I was older, we changed our belief system and began to read biblical stories.

I understand that the Spiral of Literacy is different for all people.  I find it important to create an environment where reading is important.  It does not matter what one reads as long as one reads.  I feel sad that my sisters do not read to their children.  They all got PSPs, DSIs, and MP3s but no books.  I gave books.  As I was going to buy them, I was aiming for Great works!  But then I thought that these books are not for me but for a 5 year old, a 7 year old, a 2 year old, a 4 year old and a 17 year old.  I bought what they like!  Diary of a Whimpy Kid Series, Junie B, Dora, Dr. Seus, Spyderman, Barbie Stories, etch.

I started a library in my home of ALL kinds of books for my nieces and nephews.  I have a project in mind: to start a monthly reading night at my church where I can read to children…not just bible stories but animated stories. We pride ourselves in being a multicultural community center.  Let’s see if I can find volunteers for this cause.   For students who have parents like mine, it is important that we as educators go the extra mile to read and spark the joy of reading because this is a way for students to embark in a infinite journey of possibilities in exploring what they read and reflect on it!

How did you start reading?


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tlc4women
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 18:40:10

    I don’t remember a time I wasn’t read to or didn’t read. We read more than we watched TV. We read the daily paper, we read books by fourth grade we were reading adult novels. I had a HighLights magazine subscription when I was really little and it went from there all the way to Teen and Tiger Beat as a teenager.

    Each Sunday afternoon, we’d all sit in the family room and read and talk about what we were reading. Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, NY and LA Times, The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, The Bonfires of The Vanities, To Kill A Mockingbird, anything Beverly Clearly, anything Judy Blume and the list goes on.

    Our motto, not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers. I don’t know where the quote came from but it was instilled. When I became a mom, I read to my children in the womb, Curious George, Dr. Seuss, Peter Rabbit, The Little Engine That Could, LIttle Red Riding Hood etc.. By the age of 3 they were reading simple words and by kindergarten they were reading at a second grade level. Reading is fundamental. Develop a love of reading and nothing is off-limits or far off.

    I am glad you are developing a library. I can’t imagine my life without the written word. If you want to keep someone in slavery you deny them education. Books are that education!


  2. kingsview
    Jan 23, 2010 @ 10:50:56

    “Our motto, not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers. ” Love that!

    My challenge is helping my family develop a love for reading. I myself am barely in its initial stage. I have to confess that before high school, I never finished an entire book. I was a 4.0 student who knew how to skim read and produce A papers.

    Along my adult life, people like yourself and college professors did not tell me about their passion for the written word but show it to me as I heard them speak about what they were reading or reflecting. It sparked so many internal questions. I began to read and boy did I find answers.

    I tell Brenda to start with the kids right now that they are toddlers. I help Iris by buying the kids books and taking the time to read to them since they are not at their reading level.


  3. Trackback: Skilled Skim Reader « Wings In Motion

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