i have about 4 struggling students. Recently, it seems to me like they have been doing much better. They have been able to complete workbook pages indepenently (phonics or sight word fill in the blank sentences), during small group reading lessons they are self correcting more frequently and working more independently overall. BUT, i recently gave them each a running record using a book 1 level higher and they STILL were not at 90% or above. What more can i do? Am i wrong to think that maybe the running record does not tell everything as far as progress? Am i crazy to think that i've been seeing improvements? How do i get them to move up a level independently? They can read a book at a higher level with some support from me during guided reading lessons. Has this happened to anyone else where they have seen progress in reading but not in the actual assessment?
I love my little cuties this year. I have 13 kids. Our numbers are low because I teach the Title I class and they all need such intensive help in Reading and Math. This year, I had to realize that I need to celebrate small steps and not worry so much about percentages, etc... You mentioned that they are completing more work independently. Wonderful! Celebrate this with them and it will boost their confidence to keep going! You also mentioned that they are self-correcting more. Awesome! Good readers do this. Those who are just word calling don't have the comprehension to even know what needs to be corrected and why. You are doing something right with these kids! Keep it up!! You are not crazy to think that you are seeing improvements. Every day I have to remind myself that it is my job to take my kids as far as I can take them in the short amount of time that I have them. I am constantly employing the help of any and all teaching assistants that come in and out of my room to pull kids one at a time and give them special attention. It helps, even though they only take small steps. I'm positive that the teacher these kids get next year will criticize me for the job I've done. She always does. However, in my heart I know that I'm doing what is best for these kids and providing a loving and nurturing environment where they feel they can take risks and be sure that I'll love them even if they aren't perfect. Why would I expect that when I'm certainly not!! Enjoy your class.
In 10 years of teaching first grade, I have never seen progress in my classroom like what has taken place since implementing The Daily 5 and Cafe. I'm not sure if you're familiar, but WOW! I began the year with nearly half of my class below level and now only have the one child that is LD and one that is receiving intervention services through Title. Their morning is spent doing a ton of reading (to themselves and with a partner) writing, and word work practice with hands-on materials. I don't have workbooks. In my opinion, the running record would be the most accurate if you were comparing them with the workbook pages. I always felt as though workbooks allowed that chance of either looking at another child's paper or just making really good guesses. With running records, the kids are really reading. I wish you the best of luck. It is disheartening when children aren't making the progress they need to. You obviously care a lot about them.
If you have or could get a copy of "The Continuum of Literacy Learning." We received it with our RRR kits and were shown grade level specific charts for each level. It describes in detail what we need to do as teachers to teach thinking beyond the text. Next question is, how are these students performing on their comprehension and sight word identification? I have two struggling readers who made significant progress from August to December, then when they were tested in February, they hadn't made any progress. I referred them to our school based team for interventions. If you need the ISBN number, PM me. Good Luck!
I am in my 21 year of teaching. I have a lot of tricks in my bag at this point, but I began Daily 5 and Cafe this year and the results are blowing me away. It is worth it to buy or borrow the books and give it a try. I am no longer making center and grading nonstop, instead I am doing 1-1 and small group lessons that make a difference. Teaching and learning feels effortless this year. I started with 11 below benchmark in September, now I have 3. All others are at or beyond-way beyond benchmark.
I understand the earlier posters, and what they were trying to help you with. But...there is not enough time left in the school year for those interventions to work with the stragglers. Here is what I would do:
Get 3-5 copies of readers on the next level. (The level you thought they were at.) Really pick apart these levels and notice similarities they contain. Teach these similarities to those kids. It may be contractions, compound words, endings, hard phonograms like igh etc...
Look back at their running records and identify their errors , and use these as a teaching tool. Are they:
self correcting? rereading when it doesn't make sense? looking all the way through the word? using several different strategies when the first one doesn't work?
Are they using visual cues (sounding out, chunks)
Are they using meaning cues (What makes sense?)
Are they using syntactical cues (How we say things in English )
I would have them reread familiar books at least 15-20 minutes every day in addition to reading group.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!