Wow! It’s hard to believe that it is already November, and the school year is well underway. We are excited to be using the A+ program in all of our elementary schools as part of our RTI plan this year. The students are working hard on their prescriptions and making great progress! The teachers are busy learning the program and providing quality instruction in the classroom for all of our students.
Wow! It’s hard to believe that the school year is almost over. We know that you are busy taking care of last minute assessments and working on making sure your Reading Portfolios are ready to send to the next grade level teacher. Your administrators will be sending you a copy of a checklist you can use to make sure everything that is needed is included in the portfolio. Thanks for all of the hard work this year to insure that your students have received the best possible instruction!
Research on vocabulary instruction concludes that most vocabulary is learned indirectly. This is an often underemphasized area in the classroom as most of our focus is on direct vocabulary instruction.
Direct vocabulary instruction is the method in which children aquire vocabulary during formal instruction. This learning takes place through direct and explicit instruction during whole or small group. We do an excellent job with direct vocabulary instruction through our core reading program, but we are limited to the number of words that children can be explicitly taught. The research does state that some vocabulary must be learned in this manner.
When you hear the term indirect vocabulary learning, think about the vocabulary that children hear when they are being read to. Most importantly think about the vocabulary that children are exposed to when reading “Just Right” books on their own. Indirect vocabulary is also the vocabulary that children gain through converstations with adults.
We as educators need to think about ways to increase the volume of reading so that our students can achieve optimal results from both direct and indirect vocabulary aquisition. What are some methods that you are using to increase the volume of reading in your elementary classroom?
We hope everyone had a wonderful and restful Spring Break! We are down to the home stretch now. Keep up the good work!
I just wanted to let everyone know that one of our reading coaches, Janis Costilow created some great Read to Self checklists for students to use with their “Just Right Bags”. She created them for first grade and second grade, and they are now posted on Share Point. I have heard several ideas for using these. Some people are laminating them and putting them in the bag or box. Some people are making stickers with these on them. You might even want to create one on your own. Take a look at this, and let me know what you think. Thanks, Janis for putting these together for teachers!
I just wanted to remind everyone to get out and vote YES today to renew the property tax for our schools. This is not a new tax. This renewal is critical in order to provide for the growth in our district and to keep Shelby County one of the top systems in the state. Thanks for your support!
I just posted some Automaticity Drills for second grade teachers to use with their students relating to their phonics patterns. These would be great to use after the students have developed accuracy with the words. These are posted in the reading folder under Harcourt Resources on Share point. They are in the phonics/decodables folder there. I hope you find these useful. They are word documents, so feel free to change them to differentiate for your students as needed.
I wanted to let first grade teachers know that I posted some new resources on Share point today. These are word cards that go along with the phonics skills from each lesson. They could be copied, cut apart and used for the students to develop automaticity with the words after accuracy has been built.
You can find these in the Harcourt Resources section in either the Phonics/Workmat folder or the Fluency folder. You might even consider putting these in “Just Right” bags as a “have to” choice for independent or even partner reading. Some teachers may even want to send these home for extra practice. Let me know how these are working for your students!
I wanted to let all teachers in grades one and two know that the Workmat/Phonics folders on Sharepoint have been organized so that all of the resources and sample lessons are in folders labeled with the lesson number. Second grade also now has sample lesson plans for your small group explicit phonics lessons. There may be several copies of each lesson because these have been submitted by various teachers and schools. I hope everyone will continue to share their lessons. Remember, these lessons are just a starting point. You will still need to differentiate based on your student’s needs. We hope this will make locating these materials easier for you and support you in your planning. Please let us know what we can do to support you and your students!
We all know that children need to have a bag or box with “Just Right” books to use during independent choice time in reading. Many teachers are frustrated because students are not spending enough time and haven’t built enough stamina in order to read and reread text on their independent level.
Don’t be afraid to revisit the lessons on stamina so that time in text will be most effective. We also need to think about giving students an order or agenda for the reading they do with their “Just Right” books. For example, first you read your decodable until you are automatic….then you read your sight word passage until you are automatic, etc…..We want students to be able to read the books that they most enjoy as well during this time. Some of our reading coaches and teachers have created a little check list to hold students accountable during their independent reading time.
Here is a link to one source for a “Just Right” bookbag option that many of our teachers really like! There are of course many other options for “Just Right” bags or boxes out there. Please share any ideas that you may have used in your school.