Language and Literacy Journey

My first reading club facilitation, a few years ago, I was excited to introduce a group of fourth and fifth graders to the world of reading.  Every Saturday for two hours, we read the adventures of Felicity and her love of words.  To connect the kids to the story, we talked about places they lived or visited, made rhymes out of the words and even made a song using the words learned. Two things I learned from my first session: the children enjoyed word association and the games we played as we read the book; and lastly, to keep the boys engaged I needed to find books that showcased their interests.

When I started the project for the language and literacy journey, I had no idea what direction I would go.  I decided to let the writer in me decide.  Lavy starting off with strong language and literacy skills until an infection left her hearing impaired. Lavy also was born to naturalized parents from Ecuador and Jamaica.  Throughout the project I also envisioned Lavy with strong reading skills.  Her problems were more related to speech, along with low self-esteem.  In the project I presented an action plan that involved music, reading and full participation from her father, her extended family , her speech and hearing specialist and her teachers.  By the end of the project, Lavy had successful overcome many obstacles and her speech had improved tremendously. In retrospect it would have been nice to actually researched and observed Lavy’s overall performance from grades 1-4, that included how well she mastered other social skills, math, science and social studies.

Although Lavy was a character of my imagination, there are hundreds of children that experience her same dilemna everyday.  The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA, 2016)  recommends that therapists and teachers incorporate the following interventions: motor skills planning, sensory cueing, linguistic and rhythmic and providing more than one or a combination of theories and practices.  As an advocate for reading, it’s important to remember that literacy encompasses speech, writing, phoenics, vocabulary and comprehension.  All of these skills are required not only for academic success but success in life.

What I’ve learned from this course is invaluable.  Parts of these discussions and assignments I will carry forward as I continue to advocate for reading clubs and programs throughout my county and school district.


American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). 2016.  Childhood Apraxia of Speech.  Retrieved from

Lloyd, Natalie (2014).  A Snicker of Magic. Publisher: Scholastic Press.




Author: Felicia Farrwk4assgnfarrf-extension_harwellresponse


I have a little boy who is bilateral deaf (hearing impaired in both ears).One ear can hear about seventy percent of words spoken while the other ear is completely deaf. My language and literacy journey has been difficult when it comes to hearing impairment. Cochlear implants seems to cure all unless severely deaf. To continue, […]

via Sharing Your Language and Literacy Development Journey with Your Community of Practice — Educator Expecting Excellence Journal

Language and Literacy Development Journey

The subject of my language and literacy development paper is Lavy, a first generation child born in the United States to an Ecuadorian father and Jamaican mother.  Lavy has two older brothers, one who developed language and cognitive disabilities from a car accident at the age of three.  For the first two years of Lavy’s life, she was target, meeting her developmental milestones within the appropriate age guideline in accordance to pediatric recommendations, NAEYC and state guidelines.

  Before her third birthday, through a series of observation, her parents and teachers noticed signs which signaled there was a problem with her hearing.  Lavy was officially diagnosed with more than thirty percent hearing loss in one ear.  With a team of specialists, doctors and teachers in place, Lavy and her parents follow the individualized curriculum set for her to master language and speech skills needed to be school ready and continued academic success beyond her primary education.

As I have no classroom experience I am building my study based on research and conversations I have had with mentors and friends, who are educators.  My concerns are am I on target with the situations that I have created for Lavy; the pitfalls, concerns and developmental milestones she has achieved at the toddler, preschool and elementary school age.   Attached is my introduction of Lavy and the toddler section which introduces her disability.  The toddler section is the most instrumental piece as this is when children begin talking.

My second concern is ensuring that I have developed the proper support in developing her secondary language of Spanish, with both parents and brothers speaking both English and Spanish in the home.  I welcome all comments.Wk6AssignHarwellL IntroductionWk6AssignHarwellL ReferencesWk6AssignHarwellL Toddler stage

I’m still evolving

July 2013

Perseverance. Believing. Everyday there is a lesson to learn and I’ve learned quite a few. I started this journey towards obtaining my master’s last fall. The beginning of 2013 had me questioning my choice. Was I pursuing the right dream or had I simply pushed too hard? So in March, I withdrew from my classes and took a deep breath. When I came up for air, I found my purpose was still intact but simply took another direction. It’s July and I’m feeling renewed. I’m still on the road to obtaining my master’s in education. Only now my focus is Early Childhood Studies. I believe in the proverb of “it takes a village to raise a child”. I can’t wait to get started and be able to share my journey with you.

June 2016

July 2013 was my first personal blog entry as I entered the Master’s Program at Walden University.  Last June I completed my studies and am actually walking in a few weeks. What a journey it’s been so far.  There’s a little bit more gray in my hair, yet I continue to press forward in my goal to make a difference in the lives of our youngest generation.  As I continue my educational journey, I’ve found that advocating  is becoming a passion.  Working with children on reading and literacy issues is a joy.  I continue to work with a local before/aftercare program in developing reading and language platforms.  I am a firm believer that the earlier children can find and apply their voice, the better success they have at school and in life.

I’m fascinated by how the pieces connect.  The importance of prenatal care.  How brain research helps us understand cognitive, behavioral and socio-emotional development.  The more information I learn, the more engrossed and engaged I become.  This journey is far from over.  Drop in from time and time and share what I learn.

Trauma, Stress and Early Childhood

Over the past several weeks, Dr. Leeson and several of my class colleagues discussed the affects that trauma, whether slight or severe, has on young children and their ability to process, cope and survive traumatic situations.

Strolling through my collection of articles, today I ran across a post from NEA Today Express entitled How Trauma Changes Children’s Brains.  Researchers are discovering that continued stress and trauma can change the makeup of a child’s intellect and thinking (Flannery, 2016).  As educators it is important for us to include conversations about stress and traumatic events weekly with our students.  Presenting a calm environment for them to openly discuss issues and concerns where their peers and teachers can provide avenues of how to handle different situations. Do you agree or disagree?     All comments are welcomed.

I’ve included the link to the article here.


Flannery, M.E. (2016) How Trauma Changes Children’s Brains. NEA Today.  Retrieved from

3 Questions on Personalized Learning for Every Educator — Evolving Educators

The April 30, 2016 #satchat conversation was about personalized learning and it led to an active chat. The US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology (@OfficeofEdTech) co-moderated as educators from all over the world and of all titles participated. As I reflected on the chat, three questions came to mind about personalized learning […]

via 3 Questions on Personalized Learning for Every Educator — Evolving Educators