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

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.

Awards & Honors

2015
Article of the Year, The Geography Teacher

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

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

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

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

Engaging families in early literacy development
Roberts, K. L. 11 2014 Family & Community Engagement Symposium

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

Flourish followed by failure: Professional development as situated practice
Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A. 12 2014 annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association

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.

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

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

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.

Examining the efficacy of comprehension strategy instrcution 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

Common Core State Standards on writing in action: Elementary
Roberts, K. L. 3 2011 Michigan Reading Association Research Pre-Conference

Common Core State Standards on digital media, text, and sources 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

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

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

Getting the bigger picture: Children’s utilization of graphics and text
Norman, R. R., *Roberts, K. L.* 2015 Journal of Visual Literacy 34

Reading relationships: The power of parents
Roberts, K. L., Rochester, S. E. 2015 ASCD Express

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

Navigating maps to support comprehension: When textbooks don’t have GPS
Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A. 2014 Geography Teacher 11

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

Timelines: An opportunity for meeting standards through textbook reading
Brugar, K. A., *Roberts, K. L. 2014 The Social Studies 105

Evaluating texts for graphical literacy instruction: The graphic rating tool
Roberts, K. L., Brugar, K. A., Norman, R. R. 2014 The Reading Teacher 68

Bringing them in and bringing them back: Strategies for improving family participation
Roberts, K. L., Rochester, S. E. 2014 Colorado Reading Journal

Not just pretty pictures
Norman, R. R. & *Roberts, K. L.* 2013 Educational Leadership 71(3)

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

Comprehension Strategy Instruction during Parent-Child Shared Reading: An Intervention Study
*Roberts, K. L.* 2013 Literacy Research and Instruction 52(2)

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)

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

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)

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)

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

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

Comprehension in the primary grades: A review of the research
*Roberts, K. L.,* & Duke, N. K. 2009 A comprehensive look at comprehension

150 years in the heart of Detroit