Wednesday, December 10
Friends, one of the most visceral memories I have from my childhood is quaking in my seat waiting to read out loud in my eighth grade English class. Remarkably, round robin reading - the process of having kids go around and read out loud one at a time - is used constantly in classrooms every day. It's happening in my son's classroom. I've used it as a teacher before, too. However, on a gut level I know that it is fairly worthless. The aha! moment I had when I read this excellent article by Todd Finley is that is equally bad for both good readers and poor readers and reluctant readers. So who are we doing it for? It is hard to say. As a really good reader, I hated reading out loud anyway because I wanted to do it perfectly and I was shy. I would be surprised if anyone in the class was actually paying attention to what was happening in the story during student read aloud time. Finley's article gives great alternatives to round robin. I hope you will read it and think about how you could apply the strategies to reading at home. Echo reading, where you read and then they read the same thing, is easy to do. Shared reading where you read together is really helpful, too. Above all, remember that you reading aloud to your child, with all of your great fluency and expression and pronunciation, has been shown to be just as beneficial as your child practicing reading on their own.
Tuesday, December 2
God bless Jodie from Growing Book by Book! She is always putting up quality information and her Facebook shares are great, too. But this time she must've really read my mind. My favorite thing is to find free printable books for beginning readers on all of the fantastic teaching blogs. Mostly because it is a) very hard to find books that are easy enough for beginning readers and b) way easier and cuter than me making them by myself. Plus, I have found that my early readers really respond well to thematic books connected to the seasons and holidays. She has saved you and me time and made a beautiful list all in one place. I love it! Be sure to check it out here if you have a young reader in your house. Thanks Jodie!
Love this article by Ryan Spencer that I saw go by on my Facebook feed recently. I love it because it's a concise way of telling parents how to help their kids right now. I also love that he used the term "instant word factory." Do you ever find yourself doing that? Spitting out each word that your child has trouble with? I've definitely had my moments. Sometimes it becomes necessary, when I notice that a child is in a book that's way harder than either of us anticipated. Most of the time, though, I notice the power in staying quiet and seeing what happens. Sometimes it's harder, but it really is the best thing.