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Please HELP!! additional resources
Old 08-02-2011, 04:11 AM
 
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I just discovered this board over this summer and am amazed at the amount of time, energy and support everyone puts in. After my meeting yesterday I knew exactly who I was going to ask for help.

We have a reading program Success For All (SFA), well let's just say in my opinion - it STINKS!! (sorry if you believe in the program) Anyway because our students are not making AYP and have not for the past 3 years we are now required to have an additional 30 minutes reading time on top of the already 90 minutes of SFA. Now my opinion again, if SFA was successful, we wouldn't need those additional 30 minutes, the kiddos would be getting it during SFA.

So my question is what program can I implement for those extra 30 minutes. The school wants us to have students focus on the skill and do worksheets on each skill. I don't see how the students could possibly relate the skill to anything other than the worksheet if we single them out.

Their example: summarize - I was given 5 worksheets with a short reading passage and then 4 questions about summarizing at the bottom. They said we could give the students the worksheet and have them complete it in class and go over at the end of the 30 minutes. No connection to anything except the passage on the worksheet.

What would you suggest? Our school starts in 2 days and we have 1 week to get something implemented!


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Tucker Signing
Old 08-02-2011, 04:36 AM
 
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Do you guys do Tucker Signing? It's amazing!!! The program teaches kids a sign to do with their left hand while they are writing letters and sounds with their right hand (crossing the mid-section) which is considered brain-based learning. At the beginning of the program kids use this to learn how to decode, then as they become proficient they eventually transition into using it in their writing and spelling. It's really amazing to see how it all unfolds. I've used it in k-2.
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Worksheets
Old 08-02-2011, 05:21 AM
 
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I have found that just doing worksheets (our 3rd graders have to do them too - but not that system) do not encourage children to learn. You can, however, make the worksheets more interesting by using cooperative learning. One way to do that, which I have used, is have students sit ear to ear.(They sit backwards from each other - does that make sense?) Student A begins by reading the first paragraph of the selection. Student B asks them a question (based on Bloom's - as the year progresses we move to the higher level thinking questions). Then they switch roles - doing this for each paragraph. They do not do the worksheet questions yet. Once they finish reading, as a whole class we do the questions. Each corner of the room is labeled A, B, C, D (or whatever you need). I read the question and the choices they go to the corner of their choice. They need to tell someone in the group WHY they chose that answer and IF I call on them they need to tell me why. They must also be able to tell me if the question was right there in the story, one they had to look for the answer or was it one between the author and them or an even higher order question ( green, yellow or red(Stop and think question).

Then they can try one independently. It gets great discussions going and they actually learn something. Hope this helps - just one way of making a boring worksheet more fun.

Good luck!

Last edited by harley; 08-02-2011 at 05:22 AM.. Reason: Fill in more detail
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Reading Workshop
Old 08-02-2011, 06:16 AM
 
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The best way to become a better reader is to READ MORE! Students need to have the opportunity to read books at their level that are interesting to them and that they choose. I've found great information from these sources:
-The Daily 5 by the Sisters tells you exactly how to scaffold the beginning of the year so kids can choose appropriate books and you can build a culture of reading in your classroom
-Beth Newingham's Website - just google it
-Beth Newingham and Angela Bunyi's posts on Scholastic - they archive the old ones too
-The Peony Room here on PT (you probably won't want to do all 5 components of the Daily 5 - sounds like you'll want to focus just on read to Self, but it's still a good source)
-The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller
-Igniting a Passion for Reading by Layne
-Power Reading Workshop by Laura Candler

The BEST thing for your situation, from the little I know about it from your post : ), is there will be very little for you to plan for that 30 minute period. You'll start by teaching the kids how to choose appropriate books, conferring with them to make sure they've picked appropriate books, then you'll spend the rest of the time just checking in on a few kiddos a day to make sure they're applying the skills and strategies you taught in your other 90 minutes of instruction to the reading they're doing. You'll be busy during that time, (it's not SSR or DEAR b/c of the conferring YOU do with the kiddos) but you won't have a bunch of worksheets to copy in preperation for it. : )
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Real reading
Old 08-02-2011, 06:26 AM
 
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Could you sneak in a little Book Whisperer time? Teach a mini-lesson (10-15 minutes), then allow the students to read a book of their choice so they can apply the strategy while they are actually reading.


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I'd try to integrate some science
Old 08-02-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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and social studies themed reading into that period. I love the "back-to-back" reading described in one of the posts. One technique I've used is based on the "Everyone read to find out..." strategy. I did this using the same article or book with my students partnered up. Each student had a paper to fill out. On this paper, I wrote several questions with varying levels of difficulty and thinking that listed the page number or paragraph in which the answer could be located or surmised from. The partners were given various amounts of time to survey the reading first (skim/scan), read over the questions first (set purpose), read the selected pages together, reread/recite (find&discuss the answer) and review their thinking and learning. This process is kinda a modified version of SQ3R. Before the partners take off to work on this, I do a very brief introduction of some kind for possible vocabulary terms I don't want the kids to stumble on. After working together,we then get back together as a group. We go over the questions and summarize their learning. Partners are given a sentence strip or index card to write out what they feel was most important to that reading selection. I post these on chart paper. It may take us a couple of days to make it through a book, but the kids love this. For worksheets, I use topic themed ones more often because I love all the text features in them. Two places I get these from are Scholastic's Nonfiction Passages With Graphic Organizers for Independent Practice and Steck Vaughn's Reading Comprehension in the Content Areas. SuperTeacher Worksheets.com, EdHelper.com and Reading A to Z also offer lots of resources.
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worksheets to worthsheets
Old 08-02-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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Could you design your own "worksheets"? It sounds like the school is insisting that you do some sort of worksheet.
But maybe you could design a recording sheet that they can do with their own independent reading book. Two-column charts are my favorite. So if the skill is inferring, they cite the text on the left and their inference on the right. If it's predicting, they write their prediction on one side and why they made the prediction on the other. Tell the kids they can record 2-3 per day and then just read while you confer.

Hopefully this would meet your school requirement of "worksheets" and still give kids time to actually READ!
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