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Charlove 08-30-2007 01:49 PM

New to Title!

My special education position got cut last year, so now I am teaching title I....the targeted assistance program. It is my school's first year doing this and I am the only Title I teacher. I will be teaching K-2 (not K until about midway through the year though). I will have 18 students max per grade level. At this point, I have no resources...but my principal told me I have money through NCLB (not sure how much though!). Could someone please tell me how the program runs at their school? I am ideally to do push-in because I don't have a classroom...but I may be able to do some pullout. Can anyone give me some ideas of lesson plan formats (mine are 45 min. periods), resources you use or reading programs that I should order through the school. I really don't know where to start. The only resource I have are the regular houghton-mifflin reading texts and I'm not sure if that is what I should be using with my small groups?? My principal is really no help either. ANY advice would be great?? Also, she did not give any information on how to determine the students (I only received a list of high risk students from their previous teachers for each grade). Any easy assesments I can give next week to narrow down my students?? Also, how do you do grading? Do you strictly give the reading grade or are they still responsible for their regular reading classwork?? Sorry this is so long and jumbled with questions. I'm really trying to get a handle on my position and have not had much help from my admin. Thanks in advance!!

seniorsumma 08-30-2007 04:46 PM

Wow, you have alot on your plate and hopefully I can help you with a bit of it. I have been teaching Title I for all 11 years of my teaching career and trust me, every year is a little different depending on the needs of the students.

Right now, I do entirely pull out. I have done team teaching with classroom teachers and they both have benefits. When I was in the regualr classroom , I would work with my small group of students doing the same guided reading lesson as the other students. Of course, I was using different techniques to help them decode and comprehend the text. I also often had one day a week where I would do a special whole class lesson focusing on one aspect of comprehension or test taking skills.

My district also uses Houghton Mifflin. You might look into ordering some of their Leveled readers. The series comes with a classroom set of readers, but they also offer "Below Level" readers that correspond nicely with the skills being taught each week of each theme. They also come with nice teacher resources. That at least would be a good start. I use those along with some materials from Wilson Fundations to pretty much guide my phonics instruction.

As far as selecting students, everybody does it differently. I would look at what scores your school already gets on the kids and try to use that to select them. No use trying to do all kinds of new assessments if the students already were assessed some way at the end of the previous year! We use DRA, DIBELS, and a test the district created.

My students do all the "regular" classroom reading work and receive their reading grade from their classroom teacher. However, I have a progress report that is also sent home each grading period that is basically a checklist of skills and I indicate if I have covered that skill and how the child is progressing. I do a lot of anecdotal notes and running records as assessment on my own.

I am also the only Title I teacher in my building and I understand how isolating and lonely it can get. I hope this helps and please don't hesitate to email me at I would be more than happy to help and share !

LaVerne 08-31-2007 09:46 AM

Hear your pain!
Hello! Welcome!
It is only my 2nd year at this as well, without anymore advice from the 30 year veteran I replaced then "You'll figure it out!"

One thing that helped me last year was to locate my Title I website off of our Department of Public Instruction website...your state may call that something different. It is basically wherever you go to get info on state policies. There were a great deal of quick to read bits of info about Title regulations, etc.

Last year, for lessons, I gave each of my teachers a communication sheet that they filled out weekly and I planned what to do from there. This year I will do the same, but we have a new reading series with leveled readers and that will help with finding things to read with my students. I use their spelling words to work with phonic rules. In my state, I can't do 'homework' with the kids, but I have to work on the same skills but in a different way. I could even use their regular textbooks, as long as presented it differently. The communication sheet was very helpful in giving me direction, but I have to be very quick on the draw for planning lessons. It is different that regular ed in that way. I did write things down but it was far less dependent on a book. Flashcards, games, computer websites, reading together and discussion and thinking reading strategies outloud was very helpful.

You have long time slots....mine only reach 25 minutes with some doubled up because I have too many teachers and not enough time. Perhaps you could operate rotating type of activities with your long slots....sort of like in a regular ed room. First work in a whole group, then have 'centers' for students to rotate through for the rest of the time.

To place students, I need 3 number scores. ( I have grades 3, 4, and 5)
I use the report card score from last spring, the final reading test score in the regular ed room from last spring, and my placement test. We also have STAR reader, part of Accelerated Reading. Used to use that but found out this fall it is not bought by my district, but by SOME title funds so I can't use that anymore. Your Title website should help, or call your Title person on the state level. I did that last year and they were helpful.

Hope this helps....

readerabbit 08-31-2007 11:59 AM

some ideas
With it being your first year and everything tossed at you don't be too hard on your self. I service first grade and if needed other grades. But with first grade see if you school did Dibels for kindergarten. ( not my favorite tool) then do a letter sound inventory check: I 'm thinking there has to be a group of readiness words the students were required to learn check those. Ask how and why these students were selected.
Don't accept the answer oh they were at risk. How, who, what, when, where? Dolch lists are great for all grade levels for individual folders and progress. Think file folder activities. These can be used when you are working individually with other student or even used as an assessment instead of pen and paper. Don't be afraid to ask to borrow something you see in the classroom. If you have to be "push in" the teacher needs to supply you with some type of plan if nothing else what the objectives are going to be. I would check to see what the grade level objectives for all levels and make a binder of such.
Make a folder on each student have a running documentation when you saw that student. <!--misspeak--> Sorry if I started going overboard. Let us know if we can be of help. Title is great but is a different ball game.
1 can be the lonely number but at the same time you are an unique educator with a different set of objectives. Piece of advice be ware when you hear "Oh you have it easy you don't have to deal with a classroom full of kids etc." I don't know how many times I have heard that line.LOL

Charlove 09-03-2007 09:56 AM

THANKS everyone for your responses!! They have helped. Here is the update on my situation...

My principal now wants me to pull out (after I had the push in schedule set to go and the other teachers were on board!). So, now, since I have no classroom, I have to find places to take them:( Anyways, I am looking to purchase some leveled readers. I really like the rigby ones, but they might be too pricey. We do have the Houghton Mifflin readers for the below level, but there is only one per story and I would like more than that for independent reading purposes. I am planning to pull out groups of 6 students at a time (twice a week for 45 minutes). We will use the below leveled readers that go with their text as well as do some phonics skills that coincide with the stories in their regular class. I would also like to have the leveled readers so they can work on independent reading contracts (which cover many skills) while I do assessments. Another question....what organizational system do you use to keep track of ongoing assessments. I will keep running records for the below level readers that go with the stories. Just looking for some ideas to keep everything organized. Thanks again for all the help you have give me!! I'm not pulling kids this week, so hopefully I can get some of the logistics taken care of!

readerabbit 09-03-2007 01:58 PM

We use the Slossom SORT to use as progressive assessment however that test is pricey. If would suggest using the simple Dolch list. There are other high frequecy Fry etc. I would look at their daily high frequency to see how well it matched. This is just a share suggestion. If start on one list ( make a mini folder for the students to take home to study. When each person completes that list ( I usually cut the list in half 10 words at a time and highlight words needed for study) then they receive a sticker on a special name card (I always let the kids write their own names so they feel it is theirs plus you can tell alot from handwriting). That way when I get questioned about a student I can look up at the name plate and it gives me a reminder where that student is at. I have some kids that zoom through and others that struggle but this gives each child ownership in their learning and it is a good assessment tool is how they learn the words. "Do they still know the word that they called out on the list in context?" Hope this helps:D

Ehsmile4u 09-13-2007 02:04 PM

Title I Teacher
I was in your same boat! This is my second year in Title I, but last year I was in your same position. I didn't have any resources and nobody was much of a help. Luckily I started Grad. classes in Literacy and that helped a lot. My advice for a great cheapt resource would be to subscribe to They have guided reading leveled books you can print off, worksheets to go with them and detailed lesson plans. Each level has two benchmarking books for running records, there are a ton of assessments to do to find out what phonics skills your students need help with and a ton of other great resources. Def. check this one out! It will be a lifesaver!

Hope73 10-23-2008 04:56 PM

Reading A-Z
I am a first year Title-Math teacher, but our school uses reading A-z and loves it. I teach in Illinois and we use this model called RTI. According to this we test the entire school using AimsWeb, I think it is just like Dibels, three times per year. After this we progress monitor test every two weeks. How often and what do you use for testing?

We are a K-8 building, having one full time teacher and 3 aids. I believe they pull our four times per week for 30 minute sessions. I see many of them sitting in the halls with groups.

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