My mission is to provide a positive learning community for both my students and myself every day in every way. I believe each of my students is an individual and has a right to have their needs met academically, socially and emotionally, to the best of my ability. In this class we are proud to do our best every day and in every way!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Getting the Right Book Into Their Hands

Reading is a very personal thing... It evokes different feelings in different people. Getting the right book into the beginning readers hands has two important considerations - In my opinion the first one is to provide them with books they WANT to read. The second very important and often the most difficult part - is getting the appropriate level book into their hands.We would probably not give a preschooler a unicycle to learn to ride a bike- that is unless their parents work for Barnum & Bailey... It is that absurd to give an emerging reader a book they want to read but is too difficult for them. Not that owning these "Want to read but can't yet" books is unwise. I have seen many, many children push themselves to read books that were too hard for them but their desire was soo strong they struggle through it. What I am saying is that in order to read they need to practice reading books they can actually read. These can be a little more difficult when they have a fluent readers support but need to be "at their independent level" when they are practicing alone. (They need to practice alone!)

Here's how you find out their independent level. First (easiest) ask their teacher. Second, if the first doesn't work out for you, (you need a calculator for this) pick out a book that you want to test. Count 100 words (50 with shorter text), then have them read to you. Make a check for every mistake. Subtract the mistakes from the total words then divide that into the total words then you will have the % of their reading that particular book. Here's what that % means:

98%-100% - Independent Level - they can have that book, you can walk away, they can read it for great practice without support.

93%-97%- Instructional Level - Sit with them - listen to them- support them as needed.

Below 93% - Frustration Level - As indicated in the name - Too frustrating to read themselves - read to them until they are ready...

Here's a GREAT site through Scholastic Book Clubs to find tons of books at your childs appropriate level.

Let me know if you have any questions about this and I will be happy to help out!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Top 100 Most Commonly Used English Words

So... you want to learn to read - or teach someone to read? I will be posting some of my ideas to share with families to support their children as they begin in their most exciting educational and personal adventure- learning to read. The first part of the puzzle I will discuss is the importance of the knowledge of a base of sight words. That is - words that you can read instantly. This helps build confidence and fluency which both encourage the student to continue on!
Below is a link to the First 100 Most Commonly Used English Words (also the next few hundreds as well!). A good way to use this list is to start reading them with your student and stop when they make 5 mistakes. Write those words on index cards, put them on a ring, and practice them until they know them for sure! Then back to the list you go...

Good luck and keep me posted on your progress!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Add 'Em Up

Add 'Em Up

It's time to start thinking about back to school! I love this time of year! I've been collecting lots of new ideas to use with my new class...
It's going to be a great year!