It was last semester that I was first introduced to literacy awareness. In the course Critical Issues For the Reading Professional (EDUC-L 409) we were educated on ideas such as critical literacy, literacy in the classroom, and literacy techniques for reading professionals. During my time in this class we were made aware of various literacy practices that both students and adults participate in during their daily lives; those which include reading signs, newspapers, comic books, television commercials, websites, billboards, menus, etc. With last semester’s background knowledge in mind, I was fully aware of how…complex… my literacy snapshot logging would be. In only a few days I took part in various literacy activities the revolved around different technologies, texts, and daily living:
Technology (pictures with yellow frames on my poster): Oncourse, Email, text messaging, Facebook, ordering products online, iTunes, television, and video games.
Text (pictures with blue frames on my poster): Various class materials, menus, mail, textbooks, daily readings, magazines, class schedule, and Indiana Daily Student.
Daily Living (pictures with red frames on my poster): Cooking ingredients, grocery shopping, road signs and billboards, daily planner, and To Do lists.
Although my literacy involvement seemed to vary from activity to activity, they all seemed to hold the same purpose: to both introduce and improve oral and visual literacy skills. Let me refer back to last semesters literacy class previously mentioned; In the class we discussed the effect of socio-economic status on literacy development. Although it has been proven that lower socio-economic status typically results in slower and less advanced literacy development, there are exceptions to the concept. Take, for instance, a young student who spends his time after school at a local restaurant while his mother finishes her shift as a waitress. Not only is the child able to observe and hear communication and conversation surrounding him, but he also has the opportunities of “reading” newspapers, magazines, menus, signs, billboards outside, juke box albums, kitchen instruction, product ingredients, dollar bills, name tags…and it goes on. Although this child may not have appropriate knowledge to accurately decode certain words and information, he is being introduced to literacy concepts that, in turn, will later help him while in the classroom. The point of this little side note, of course, relates back to my literacy snapshot activities. Just as a child of low socio-economic status has the opportunity to gain literacy knowledge through daily activities, so do I. While growing up the scribbled letters I wrote, made-up spelling words I created, and stories I told all helped to develop the literacy knowledge and information I have today. The daily activities that I have logged for my literacy snapshot, of course, continue to both educate and improve my literacy understanding.