Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Favorite Things

Hi, Everyone!

I'm trying very hard to keep my New Year's Resolution and blog more often.  Now that I'm back at work, it's hard to find the time.  We're working on our mid-year assessments right now and of course, all of the other mid-year stuff:  Personalized Education Plans, parent conferences, intervention meetings, and my Professional Development Plan (due on Friday...sigh...).

I just came across this fun Linky Party hosted by Teaching Trio, so I decided to share a few of my favorite things about teaching reading. As many of you know, I teach second grade this year and most of my career I've taught first or second.  I taught Reading Recovery for one year, as well. So teaching kids to read is kinda my thing.

1)  I love reading aloud.  Today, I began reading Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. This is one of my favorite chapter book read-alouds.  It's such a heartwarming story with so many great conversation starters. While I was reading it, my normally wiggly, talkative second graders were totally engaged.  I asked them what they thought about the beginning and then, half-jokingly said, "I'm sorry, but there are no pictures in this one."  Several voices hastened to reassure me that it was okay - they could make pictures in their minds.  How's that for a visualization lesson!

2)  I just love to listen to the kids who love to read aloud.  You know which ones I mean.  The dramatic ones, the ones who read like they have an audience even when they are reading to themselves.  When I teach fluency, they take every tip to heart.  I can usually hear them giving it a try during reading time. The one drawback: I'm always having to remind them to whisper-read!

3)  One of the great things about teaching in the primary grades is the amount of progress these kids make in a very short amount of time.  When I think about my poor babies who had limited concepts of print, letter identification, or sight word knowledge at the beginning of first grade, but left me with the ability to read at a level 16, 18, 20...Wow!  This year, I am so pleased with my kids' fluency scores.  All but three made the benchmark and only one was well below expected growth. And those three have all made progress since the beginning of the year. Watching these kids become readers is one of the joys that keeps me in this profession.  I love knowing that I had a part in their progress.

So, there you have it: my favorite things about teaching reading.  What are yours?

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