1st Year Reading Specialist....help!! - ProTeacher Community


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1st Year Reading Specialist....help!!
Old 10-11-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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Hello. This is my first year as the reading specialist at our school. I am struggling with designing lesson that are helpful to my students. Right now I have them reading books at their current reading level.....my concern is how am I supposed to get them up to grade level if they are only reading books that are at a way lower level? Does anyone have any advice? Also, does anyone have any great ideas on how to run my reading groups? I pull out students grades 1st through 5th for 30 min. 4 days a week. I am open to any ideas that you have. I am trying to make the most out of my time, but not sure that I am.

Thanks!


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Fluency
Old 10-11-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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Fluency practice is one of the best activities to do for students who have difficulty reading. Take time 2x a week and have the students read 2 or 3 times a reading selection for 1 minute. Older students could be paired together to time each other. It can be done as a group. I like to time them individually at least once a week to see how they are progressing. Start off with something that students can read ex. if a 5th grader is at a 1st grade reading level then give them 1st. grade material. As they get better at the fluency practice then move them up to a harder level. Have them practice over and over until they are fluent. Other materials that students could use are songs, poems, simple speeches. I found too that if I chart what the students read per minute correctly they get very excited. I use a bar graph and let them color in their # of words/min. I always initial when I timed them individually. I hope this helps, I have 45 min. classes and use it as bellwork.
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:25 AM
 
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I think in order to address the reading problem you need to know what the reading problem is. I think you need to spend some time identifying the specifc problem(s). Reading Rockets has a nice article that discusses reading assessments and their purpose. Use their links to help you find additional resources you can use.

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/14510
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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rdgteach,
How did you become a reading specialist? What degree do you have? (etc.)
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What guidance does....
Old 10-12-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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your district give you? What did the teacher you replace use? I am a reading specialist and I was given some guidelines and curriculum to work with.

I use sight words and letter sounds for K. We use Letter Dashes.
Language and sight word fluency for 1st and 2nd. We use Word Dashes.
Writing, vocabulary and fluency for 3rd.
6 minute solutions, and vocabulary for 4th.

Hope this helps.


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Old 10-13-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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Thank you everyone for your advice! I did assess all of my students prior to me pulling them using the DRA. I also grouped my kids who are not only reading around the same level, but are struggling in the same areas such as fluency, decoding, comprehension, etc. I guess that I worry the most about getting them to be able to be successful at grade level which I believe is our goal. The previous reading teacher didn't leave me any guidelines and didn't explain to me how she ran her groups. Right now, I really try to spend a couple of minutes focusing on the skill that they are struggling with and then we read and write. I guess that I am really looking for some other ideas because they might get bored with this routine at some point.

Our district does not have one set reading program as every school uses something different. Also, our district does not require an endorsement in Reading to become the reading teacher. I am licensed in Elementary Education and Special Education. I do come with a nice background.....but feeling a little lost in this position as it is new to me. I sometimes feel like it is my first year teaching again!!
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i commisserate
Old 10-19-2010, 08:20 PM
 
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I too am new to Intervention position. I feel like I am stabbing in the dark altho I have been getting advice from a literacy coach. I feel like I am making headway and I am teaching every single minute of the day but i feel like I am neglecting--assessment. Every week I add more to my program and make corrections here and there but the RTI books say to assess weekly--and make changes and that is my frustration.

I teach k-5 and am using Reading for Phonics workbooks, Read Naturally, and the fluency 5 Min to better Reading--the kids love the 5 min drill and are responding well to Read Nat too now that they are seeing the progress in their bar graphs. I have read the instruction books over and over to get the programs down right. None of those prgms have a big assessment piece to do weekly. What do I do?

I also am including syllable work, poetry recitation, and we are reading novels in 4-5 and I read pic books to younger ones too. Really, I feel good about the 2-5th program. The K-1 is my big concern. Especially since one teacher wants to know updates daily on her students--and I am feeling a bit intimidated by the lunchtime interrogations. She did a phonemic awareness test on them and she said they only learned a few more sounds and aren't segmenting well--which really makes me feel awful--like a failure. I only have them for 30 min but I feel pressure and responsibility for their failure to learn quickly. I am about in tears and want to avoid the lunchroom.

For the record, I have taught upper grades for 10 years---K-1 is an entirely new path to me. I am learning a lot and am working looong hours to get this right--but I know--NO teacher does it all perfectly the first year. However, I have the perception I am being judged. Teaching is so competitive--it is as if there is no time to learn. Even though we all have to start somewhere. Maybe she thinks as a veteran teacher I should be an expert?
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:58 PM
 
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I'm just a teacher and a primary one at that. I have seen our reading specialist do the Beverly Tyner system. The specialist focused on some sight word fluency, then went into a familiar read on a book, worked on whatever concept needed working on, practiced some dictated sentences on certain word concepts etc..., then produced a new read. She did play a game called not with the students on their sight words. She just placed a few flashcards with the word not written on them. Each student reads their word and keeps their card if they get it right. When a student comes to the word not he/she has to give all their cards they have earned back. Students seem to really like it.
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How's it going??
Old 11-28-2010, 07:45 AM
 
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I read your thread and felt an immediate connection... I am a first year reading teacher, getting Reading Recovery certified at the same time... I am swimming fast but feel quite challenged... what have you found that has been helpful?? One of my challenges is I also have the very highest reading group in first grade and am unsure of what books to use for them... they are on about a level H/I - I'd like to get them into easy chapter books - any title suggestions???

Thanks...
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:20 AM
 
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I am definitely getting in the groove of things here. Our school is changing from RTI to the Instructional Consultation model. Since I am the Facilitator of both of the referral teams I get to go to a lot of really good trainings. I have been using the strategies from the IC model to help in my reading groups. I pull the lowest of the lowest from each grade level. My goal is to get them to be successful in their classroom. I push my students to read harder books than what they tested at. I figure that if I always teach my second graders who are reading at a kindergarten level at that level, than they are never going to catch up to where they are supposed to be. The IC model has research and strategies to make instructional matches for each student. One strategy that I use in every grade level to make that match is to complete what we call a "Word Search" everytime before we read a new book or chapter. Every student gets a 3 X 5 index card that they fold in half. Depending on the grade level we might word search the whole book (if it's a small one), a couple of pages at a time, or a whole chapter. The students have to find the following types of words and write them on each section of their card:

1. Find a word that you can read.
2. Find a word that you cannot read.
3. Find a word that you can read and you know what it means.
4. Find a word that either you cannot read OR you can read it but you don't know what it means.

After each student has written their words. We go around in a circle reading each person's words and talking about the meaning of those words. Each student is not likely to pick the same words so this allows students to learn several words that they could not read or did not know the meaning of. It's amazing how after the word search activity what the students are capable of reading and understanding. It takes some time, but it is well worth it!

I also have a hard time finding good chapter books at that level. Sundance has a couple of chapter books at lower levels....but that's all that I have found. If I run into anything I will let you know!
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