Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Read Aloud Across America - Every Day

Read Across America Day on Monday kicked off the month of March. Can you believe it! During our faculty meeting that afternoon, I enjoyed sharing my picture powerpoint of the extraordinary efforts of Titan Teachers demonstrating the GRM or Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. Here are a few more examples of GRM in action: Michelle's science class presents creative ways to learn such terms as "soluble" via a cool kat song and dance.
And Larry's class works diligently on Global studies issues to share.
Another endeavor in my new role, besides taking pictures of you at work, is reading. Reading about reading. Besides reviewing websites, wading through research and working through reading strategies, I have been taking a class at Western Oregon University called Reading Assessments for Instruction. I, along with twenty or so elementary teachers, am looking for better ways to help teachers help struggling readers. My reason for joining the class was to gain insight into how reading is being taught in early grades and to understand why some students continue into high school without learning to read. A huge reason may very well be, as blogger Jen Robinson puts it, that 13 million children under 6 are going to bed every night without a bedtime story. Little children need to hear our refined language read out loud early on to develop fundamental phonemic awareness. She suggests that Oprah put out a plea or that President Obama declare it a national initiative - or that we roll out a public information campaign.

"Reading aloud is one of THE most important things that parents and teachers can do to promote the happiness and future success of children. Please help spread the word!"

Go to Jen's Blog to see endless list of ideas for spreading the word. Susan, Barb and Ressi can also give us some ideas.
Susan and Barb share interesting nonfiction books such as RATS that will be displayed cover out when new gutter bookshelves are installed. Grant thanks to WSHS Academic Booster Club. Ressi installs a gutter bookshelf for displaying books face out. Grant thanks to OSFedCrUnion.
Speaking of reading, for about a month, a charming WSHS student has been reading aloud to me for twenty minutes twice a week. She initially told me she hated reading. Then I introduced her to Liz B and Liz B introduced her to the Vampire Kisses graphic novels. Now on volume two, she even has me hooked, well kind of. (Sometimes she reads ahead - without me - and then summarizes voluntarily (authentic purpose!) - so she won't feel guilty that she left me behind in the plot. At least the vocabulary is quite advanced, like - ghouls, geeks, temptations, dissections, pallor, attraction, deprive, lineage, conservatory, scrimmage, and even quadratic equations - wow, vocabulary across the curriculum along with the vampire verbage. When she read to me the first time from a story I supplied, she stopped at every three-plus syllable word. Three weeks later she is pushing herself and succeeding at decoding these words. Why the new effort? She got to choose. Thanks, Liz. By the way, I see that volume three is out - have you ordered it yet?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sandra, what a great posting. Here at RIF we love to see those words "got to choose" in reference to books with children and young people. At RIF distributions we believe in children choosing on their own the books they will keep...books that are often long-term prized possessions. And thank you for helping to spread the word about the need for early reading to children as well as reading aloud to and with young people!