Kathryn L. Roberts

Kathryn L. Roberts
Associate Professor of Reading, Language, and Literature
281 Education

Office Hours: By appointment, please email.

(313) 577-1509

Education
  • B.S., Elementary Education and Spanish, Butler University
  • M.S., Teaching English as a Second Language, Indiana University
  • Ph.D., Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy (Literacy Specialization), Michigan State University

Biography

 A former kindergarten teacher, Kathryn L. Roberts earned her doctoral degree in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy, with a specialization in Literacy, from Michigan State University. Currently, Dr. Roberts is an assistant professor of Reading, Language, and Literature in the College of Education at Wayne State University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focused on emergent and content-area literacy, as well as theoretical foundations of literacy in the departments of Reading, Language and Literature; Early Childhood Education; and Bilingual-Bicultural Education.

Dr. Roberts’ primary research interests include content-area literacy, graphical comprehension, and family literacy. She has authored several publications on literacy education and speaks widely for both practitioner and researcher audiences about various aspects of literacy, such as family involvement, cross-curricular approaches to instruction, and literacy in early childhood contexts.

 

Responsibilities

 Reading, Language, and Literature; Division of Teacher Education

Teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, advising graduate students, research, serving on various committees

Academic Interests

  • Emergent Literacy
  • Comprehension
  • Informational Literacy
  • Family Literacy
  • Graphical Comprehension
  • Authentic Literacy

Area Of Expertise

 Early Literacy
Comprehension
Informational Literacy
Family Literacy
Visual Literacy

Research Interests

  • Early Literacy
  • Comprehension
  • Informational Literacy
  • Family Literacy
  • Visual Literacy

Courses Taught

  • ELE 3320: Teaching Reading I: Emergent Literacy
  • ELE 6340: Teaching Reading: Early Childhood
  • RLL 6700: Second Language Literacy Development K-12
  • ELE 6340: Teaching Reading: Early Childhood
  • RLL 6700: Second Language Literacy Development K-12
  • RLL 7100: Emergent Literacy (online and face-to-face versions)
  • RLL 7200: Comprehension
  • RLL 7300: Literacy Across the Curriculum (redesigned)
  • RLL 8200: Thought, Language, and Social Interaction
  • RLL 8600: Research Internship
  • ED   7996: Directed Research Study

Community Engagement Activities

  • Board Member, Taylor Reading Corps
  • Co-Chair of the Early Childhood Literacy Committee, ACLU Literacy Roadmap Project
  • Co-Chair, Reading by Third Grade Committee, Detroit Area Great Start Collaborative

Awards

  •  2015
    Article of the Year, The Geography Teacher

 

Grants

  •  A Unified Approach to Literacy Instruction
    2015 - 2016
    In this Improving Teacher Quality Grant, we will be engaging in 90 hours of professional development with grade K-3 teachers. We will be studying the effects of a contextually embedded intervention over the course of one year.

 

Presentations

  •  Inquiring minds: Pre-service teachers reading, writing, and researching history through multi-genre projects
    Brugar, K. A., *Roberts, K. L.* 12 2016 annual meeting of the College and University Faculty Association
  • Developing pedagogical content knowledge in content-area literacy
    *Roberts, K. L.*, Brugar, K. A. 12 2016 annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association
  • When textbooks don’t have GPS: Award acceptance presentation
    Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A. 8 2015 annual meeting of the National Council for Geographic Education
  • A hierarchy of teacher needs: Professional development practice informing theory
    Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A. 4 2015 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association
  • Reimagining teacher education. Forming communities of practice across content areas and contexts for learning
    Brugar, K. A., *Roberts, K.L.* 4 2015 the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association
  • Practicing what we preach: Relationships between third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade teachers’ beliefs and practices related to genre
    Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. R. 12 2015 annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association
  • Flourish followed by failure: Professional development as situated practice
    Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A. 12 2014 annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association
  • Seeing is believing: Social studies and visual literacy
    Brugar, K. A., *Roberts, K.L.* 11 2014 annual meeting of the College and University Faculty Association
  • Engaging families in early literacy development
    Roberts, K. L. 11 2014 Family & Community Engagement Symposium
  • Third graders’ interpretations of graphical devices in content-area texts: In their own words
    Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. R. 12 2013 annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association
  • Literacy assessment in k-2: Reaching past the low-hanging fruit
    *Roberts, K. L.* 2013 Michigan School Testing Conference, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Maps, timelines, and tables: Reading graphics in the social studies
    Brugar, K., *Roberts, K. L.*, and McGuire, D 10 2013 Michigan Council for Social Studies, Lansing, MI
  • Fantastic family literacy workshops: Please do try this at home!
    *Roberts, K. L. * 11 2013 National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, D.C.
  • The relationship between graphical device comprehension and overall text comprehension for third-grade children
    *Roberts, K. L.* & Norman, R. R. 12 2012 Literacy Research Association, San Diego, CA.
  • Common Core State Standards on digital media, text, and sources in action: Elementary
    Roberts, K. L. 3 2011 Michigan Reading Association Research Pre-Conference
  • Common Core State Standards on writing in action: Elementary
    Roberts, K. L. 3 2011 Michigan Reading Association Research Pre-Conference
  • Getting the bigger picture: Children's utilization of graphics in text
    Norman, R. R., & *Roberts, K. L.* 12 2010 Annual Meeting of the Literacy Research Association
  • Examining the efficacy of comprehension strategy instruction during parent-child lap reading
    Roberts, K. L. 12 2011 Annual Meeting of the Literacy Research Association
  • Young children's understanding of specific graphical devices in informational text
    Duke, N. K., *Roberts, K. L.,* Norman, R. N. 5 2011 Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association

 

Publications

  •  Facilitating collaboration in online groups
    Stephens, G. E., *Roberts, K. L.* 2017 Journal of Educators Online 14
  • Caught up in curiosity: Genius hour in the kindergarten classroom
    West, J. M., *Roberts, K. L.* 2016 Reading Teacher 70
  • Third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students’ perceptions of practices of strong readers of informational text
    Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. R. 2015 Journal of the New England Reading Association
  • Let’s table it: Using tables to reflect on informational reading
    Brugar, K. A., *Roberts, K. L.* 2015 Oregon Journal for the Social Studies
  • Reading relationships: The power of parents
    Roberts, K. L., Rochester, S. E. 2015 ASCD Express
  • Getting the bigger picture: Children’s utilization of graphics and text
    Norman, R. R., *Roberts, K. L.* 2015 Journal of Visual Literacy 34
  • Relationship between graphical device comprehension and overall text comprehension for third-grade children
    Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. R., Cocco, J. 2015 Reading Psychology 36
  • Bringing them in and bringing them back: Strategies for improving family participation
    Roberts, K. L., Rochester, S. E. 2014 Colorado Reading Journal
  • Evaluating texts for graphical literacy instruction: The graphic rating tool
    Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A., Norman, R. R. 2014 The Reading Teacher 68
  • Practicing what we preach: Relationships between third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade teachers’ beliefs and practices related to genre
    Roberts, K. L., Norman, R. R. 2014 Michigan Reading Journal 47
  • Navigating maps to support comprehension: When textbooks don’t have GPS
    Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A. 2014 Geography Teacher 11
  • Timelines: An opportunity for meeting standards through textbook reading
    Brugar, K. A., *Roberts, K. L. 2014 The Social Studies 105
  • Saturn, science, and cross-curricular literacy standards
    Grueber, D. & *Roberts, K. L.* 2013 Science Scope 37
  • Beyond concepts of print: Development of concepts of graphics in text, pre-k to grade 3
    Duke, N. K., Norman, R. R., *Roberts, K. L.*, Martin, N. M., Knight, J. A., Morsink, P. M., & Calkins, S. L. 2013 Research in the Teaching of English
  • Common Core State Standards on visual literacy: Literacy instruction in the content areas
    Norman, R. R. & *Roberts, K. L.* 2013 Journal of the Connecticut Reading Association 1(2)
  • Not just pretty pictures
    Norman, R. R. & *Roberts, K. L.* 2013 Educational Leadership 71(3)
  • Comprehension Strategy Instruction during Parent-Child Shared Reading: An Intervention Study
    *Roberts, K. L.* 2013 Literacy Research and Instruction 52(2)
  • Diagrams, timelines, and tables-Oh, my! Twelve strategies for developing children's concepts of graphics and comprehension of graphical devices in informational text
    *Roberts, K. L.*, Norman, R. R., Morsink, P., Duke, N. K., Martin, N. M., & Knight, J. A. 2013 Reading Teacher 67
  • The Common Core State Standards on technology: A *SHIFT* in focus for states
    *Roberts, K. L.*, Norman, R. R., & Shedd, M. K. 2012 Journal of the New England Reading Association 48(1)
  • The Common Core State Standards on reading and writing informational text in the primary grades: What are they, and what are the linguistic demands?
    *Roberts, K. L.* 2012 Seminars in Speech and Language Pathology 33
  • Research worth knowing about: Four recently-published studies
    *Roberts, K. L.*, Christ, T., Duke, N. K., Martin, N. M., & Reynolds, J. M. 2011 Michigan Reading Journal 43(1)
  • The genre-specific nature of reading comprehension and the case of informational text
    Duke, N. K. & *Roberts, K. L.* 2010 The international handbook of english language and literacy teaching
  • Writing first: What research says about writing instruction in the primary grades
    *Roberts, K. L.*, & Wibbens, E. N. 2010 Writing research in classroom practice: Applications for teacher professional development
  • Comprehension in the primary grades: A review of the research
    *Roberts, K. L.,* & Duke, N. K. 2009 A comprehensive look at comprehension