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MrsWok MrsWok is offline
 
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Brand new reading teacher!
Old 07-19-2015, 11:47 AM
 
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I just found out that I'm going to be a reading teacher this Fall. I have my Master's in Literacy and have taught first grade and special ed. I still have no idea what to expect. Any tips would be greatly appreciated from other reading teachers.

A specific question that I have is what do you with the groups on the very first few days? I thought of doing a fun board game that I created that has About Me questions that help me learn about their interests or is recommended to jump right in?

Thanks in advance for your tips!


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Lillybabe Lillybabe is offline
 
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:48 PM
 
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I am going into my third year as a Title 1 teacher. My first year I essentially started pulling groups with the students who had been identified as needing to continue in the program. Additionally, I started pulling students teachers were concerned about and doing my own assessments. For me the first few weeks are filled with creating a final schedule, juggling schedule when teachers don't actually want to follow it, assessing students, getting students started on computer based programs and otherwise just getting the ball rolling. I never really found I had time for getting to know you activities. I got to know my students as time went on. I did do some interest inventories my very first year. I found my struggling readers to be extremely reluctant writers. This meant that even a simple interest inventory provided very little actual information because they put very little effort into it. If I were to use an interest inventory again I would ask the questions orally and write down student's answers. That, or I'd find or create one of those online surveys as that might get some buy in. Additionally, online ones may have the ability to be listened to. I have a ten PC lab which really helps in the beginning when I need to do a lot of one-on-one assessments. I put all but one student on a computer based program while I work with the one.

Throughout the year I did Fun Fridays. Students had to earn these so they weren't necessarily every Friday. If we had a lot going on I might skip a Friday or if students had been uncooperative or unmotivated that week. Fun Fridays always consisted of some kind of reading game. This is when I had a chance to chat with students and get to know them better. I occasionally did "fun" activities throughout the week. For example, second grade did a short poetry unit where they read poems several times and then performed them. I picked out the silliest poems I could find and they loved it.

Mostly we spend the whole year working on sight word practice, phonics skills, comprehension strategies and fluency. In a group of six I might have anywhere from two to five different ability groups. This makes it very challenging to work well with everyone. My big goal for next year is to not allow teachers to bully me into taking large groups of students at a time. Some of my groups had as many as ten students last year. Even with some students on the computer this just doesn't work well. The groups that were large were my first and second graders and at that age they require too much redirection for such a large group to work.
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:17 AM
 
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Lillybabe, thank you so much for the response! I love the idea of Fun Friday that they would have to earn. I hope my principal allows that. That would be a good incentive for them to do their work. Good tips for the interest inventories too. Thanks again!!
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