User Name forgot?
Password

      Readin' + Writin' + 'Rithmetic + So Much More


Theraputic Ramblings!

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
J.Elaine
Senior Member
 
J.Elaine's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,431
Theraputic Ramblings!
Old 08-30-2006, 04:55 PM
  #1

As incredible as it may seem, we are having our first inservice on Friday, September 1. Some teachers haven't even started teaching yet, and here we are heading off to an all-day meeting. I'm not complaining, though, because we will still have a 3-day weekend to look forward to. Actually, I like having shorter weeks to get the school year up and running. It just makes it easier for the students to get used to a regular routine after being kind of loose all summer long.

As I blog, my mind races ahead of me thinking about how things are going in my classroom. The other 4th-grade teachers in our school don't actually grade math homework. They go over it in class, give points for completion, and take grades on in-class assignments/quizzes after 2 or 3 lessons. So far it has simplified my life greatly. We took our first little quiz today, however, and many students did not score very well. The good thing about it is that it gives me a chance to see where certain students need extra help before we get all the way to the test. I am going to pull together some small groups tomorrow to do some reteaching. The challenge is always how to keep the others meaningful involved and challenged while working with the small group.

We are having the first session of a new book study our principal is heading up. The book is called Literacy: Helping Children Construct Meaning by J. David Cooper, published by Houghton Mifflin. I can't help but wonder where he got the idea to choose this book. It is actually a textbook that you'd see in a college literacy graduate class. There are many pages and chapters that are devoted to stages of literacy development, a partial history of reading and literacy, schema theory, and many, many more pages written about literacy in primary classrooms. Now, keeping in mind our school has only 4th and 5th graders, I'm again wondering why he picked this particular text. We are supposed to read to page 79 in a text that has 564 pages total. I love book studies where we are able to read relevant material and are allowed time to discuss what we've been reading. But . . . I just can't get very excited about this book study. I greatly fear that those of us who are Fountas and Pinnell, Caulkins, Routman, and Robb followers will find this book study troubling at best. I am optimistic enough to hope I'll be pleasantly surprised as the study unfolds, but . . . Too many buts.

I have to say that I find it very theraputic to be able to lay out my thoughts here on my personal blog page. That alone is a pleasant surprise!

More later . . .
J.Elaine is offline   Reply With Quote
BookMuncher
Senior Member
 
BookMuncher's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,202
book group
Old 08-30-2006, 05:20 PM
  #2

I've never heard of that text you mentioned... I hope that it turns out to be worthwhile for you, but it does sound a little grim. Does everyone participate or is it optional? I hope you know how lucky you are that the principal actually would even THINK to head a book study group! That would never happen in our district. I personally don't think the principals are close enough to actual instruction. That's why I ask if everyone does it... if it's just part of working at that school, that's a little trickier. I'd like to think that an administrator could open nsomething like that up to anyone and still have a lot of takers.

Last year we started our own Debbie Miller study group just among teachers, but it was hard, b/c we were all so intertwined in the classroom and the teacher leading it was overloaded with paperwork. Needless to say, we only had about 3 meetings before it died.
BookMuncher is offline   Reply With Quote
J.Elaine
Senior Member
 
J.Elaine's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,431
Book Study
Old 08-30-2006, 08:24 PM
  #3

First of all, the book study was optional (maybe required for the first year teachers -- not sure about that). Any teacher could choose to be part of the study. We are required to write a Professional Development Plan every year and the book study is what some of us have chosen to use for our plan. I guess you are right about being thankful my principal is open to heading up such a study. I have to be careful how I say this because I really like him very much, but I don't always agree with his opinions on literacy. He said he thought ability grouping in reading was the best way to go for students, and I just can't go along with that philosophy. Sometimes it scares me because it feels like we are going backwards in our thinking about what's best for students in terms of instruction. Did you happen to read that post on either on the Bluebonnet Room about the "Reading Walk?" If not, go check it out. So far, I'm the only one who's responded. You may have something to say about the topic!

I am sorry to hear about your book study dying out. It's a shame. Our district administrators seem to want us to develop professionally, but then we are kept so "busy" that we don't actually have time or opportunity to collaborate with other teachers.

I don't have answers to all these problems. I guess it's just my job to bring them up, complain about them, and then go on about my business!!!!
J.Elaine is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

 

>
Readin' + Writin' + 'Rithmetic + So Much More

Thread Tools



Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:32 PM.


Copyright © ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net