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What Works with African American Learners?
Often, teachers and administrators express that they are puzzled by the task of effectively teaching literate practices to Black students. While it is true that each school must be understood within the broader context of the educational ecology and the sociogeographic landscape within which each school is located, research shows that the teachers within schools are the most important factor in school-derived literacy learning (Bond & Dykstra, 1967; Gadsden & Wagner, 1995; Wray et al., 2002; Lazar et al., 2012). While, arguably, the findings of literacy research in general can (should?) be applied to teaching and learning with Black students, there has been some (not nearly enough) research conducted with African American learners specifically in mind.
Listen to their teachers' voices: Effective reading instruction for fourth grade African American students (Perkins, 2001)
J. Helen Perkins, in her study with teachers, identified the following "effective reading methods":
-Independent reading & writing
-Phonics & vocabulary
-Modeling (e.g. scaffolding, gradual release of responsibility model during literacy instruction)
-Multicultural education via a range of multicultural texts
-Use of and building of prior knowledge/schema
There are several other studies that report effective ways to teach literate practices to Black students (the above only focuses on reading), but this is one good example of what research reports. If it sounds familiar to you, it should.
Book trailers are a great way to introduce a new book to readers in an engaging way. Check out one I created for a primary grades (K-2), Coretta Scott King Book Award picture book.
Book Trailer from Marcus Croom on Vimeo.
Book trailer for primary grades picture book "The Secret Olivia Told Me" by N. Joy