Mon Nov 28, 2011 19:08 (XFF:

During my SSR time, each student has a bag and they have their recording sheet, notebook, and question stems included in it. Each time they read, they have to record the date, title, and pages read. We have just began using the notebook. Our school is now requiring us to write down a question for students to answer during SSR on what they are reading. The question goes along with whatever reading skill we are going over that week.

The book baskets are divided by genres and color coded by picture books, chapter books, and nonfiction books. In the baskets, the books are covers facing out so that students can see the books.

I also have conference sheets for each student. However, I have really been slacking on conferencing. I know that this is so beneficial and I need to do this. However, sometimes I do not get around to it. This is something I need to get better with.

  • Response to Readings about Writing - koppenhaverd, Mon Sep 26 12:59
    Focus here is on any and all of your readings related to writing instruction. Respond here with your thoughts, insights, connections to kids and your classroom, questions. Take your cue from... more
    • SSR - atkinssh, Mon Nov 28 19:36
      Because I teach in a resource classroom, I don't have a lot of time to offer my students to engage in SSR. However, for my students that I see for longer than 30 minutes each day for reading, I do... more
      • Re: SSR - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Sun Dec 4 13:59
        I like the idea you have about having students to write one sentence about the book that they read. This is something that my Kindergarten students could do after we read a book aloud. It allows you... more
      • Re: SSR - beasleylm, Thu Dec 1 22:19
        I really like to allow my students to write about what they have read during SSR. We do some kind of reflective journal every day after SSR. I think it really helps students connect!
    • SSR - beasleycm, Mon Nov 28 19:08
      • Re: SSR - fayk, Sat Dec 3 12:28
        I think it is a great idea that your school has come up with to have you write down a question for students to answer during SSR time. I know it creates more work for you... but it lets you know who... more
    • SSR - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Nov 27 19:18
      In my opinion this chapter has been more thought-provoking than any other. It really made me look hard at what I'm doing in my room and how simple it would be to tweak these things to get to... more
      • Reply to SSR - beasleycm, Mon Nov 28 18:59
        SSR conferencing is also something that I need to make time for. Actually I have the time, but I do not always do it.
    • SSR - Stacy Durham, Fri Nov 25 23:24
      During SSR my students select their own books and read for about 20 minutes each day. I gradually increase the length of time the students read. At the beginning of first grade, expecting students to ... more
      • Re: SSR - beasleylm, Sat Nov 26 19:39
        I like the idea of you reading short segments from books to peak your students reading interests. I need to do this more often in my own classroom because it is amazing how children really want to... more
    • SSR - beasleylm, Tue Nov 22 07:22
      SSR is really big in our school and our county. We have 30 minutes daily for SSR. Students are reading on their level and what they want to read. Our school has AR and I know there is a bad rep for... more
      • Re: SSR - fayk, Fri Nov 25 19:06
        SSR is not something I do as a kindergarten teacher as the book explains or how many of others have explained. However, when I have transition time or just an extra 10 minutes during the day- I love... more
        • RE: SSR - williskl1, Sun Nov 27 22:59
          As a kindergarten teacher also, I too do not do SSR time like talked about in the book. I do something similar to what you do in your classroom where any extra time we have, a couple minutes here or... more
      • Re: SSR - simmonskn, Fri Nov 25 17:47
        In our school we do reading counts which is similar to AR. I teach second grade and this is the grade that they start taking the test for RC. My students really seems to enjoy taking these test. They ... more
        • Re: SSR - Stacy Durham, Fri Nov 25 23:34
          I agree that starting students out with fewer minutes for SSR at the beginning of the year is the way to go. Letting them build reading stamina instead of forcing them to read for longer than they... more
    • SSR question - langem, Mon Nov 21 18:24
      Some of my students don't seem to really read during SSR (look at pictures or flip through the pages.) What do you do in your classroom with those students to get them to really read?
      • Re: SSR question - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Nov 27 19:22
        Maybe you could introduce Tar Heel Reader to these particular students. This may be more interesting for them and pull them into the SSR time. Just a suggestion.
      • Re: SSR question - beasleylm, Sat Nov 26 19:41
        I have a few students like this, but the one I shared about in my case study was very bad for this. I tried to find books that she was really interested in and made sure she was reading on her... more
      • Re: SSR question - Stacy Durham, Fri Nov 25 23:42
        I encourage those students to partner read. My students use Flip cameras a lot. So, if they know their partner is going to ask them comprehension questions on camera, they seem to read more... more
      • Re: SSR question - lockwoodre, Mon Nov 21 18:31
        I let them read with a partner. They talk about what they are reading. They also create posters about what they are reading.
    • SSR - lanierrm1, Mon Nov 21 17:58
      In my classroom we read for 20-30 minutes self selected each day. Students are given a specific day on which they change their books. During this time they are selecting their own books but within... more
      • Re: SSR - Stacy Durham, Fri Nov 25 23:49
        I agree that it is important to be open and try different things. It can be hard sometimes to release control but ultimately we need to find what works best for each student. I need to incorporate... more
        • SSR - lockwoodre, Sat Nov 26 22:42
          Stacy, I agree with you that it is difficult to release control. I know you have Garage band on your school computer because we are in the same school system. I'll show you how to read books onto... more
    • Self-Selected Reading Chapter - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Sun Nov 20 14:25
      The Self-Selected Reading Chapter really got me thinking about how students struggle with picking a book that is appropriate for their level. As a Kindergarten teacher, most of my students cannot... more
      • selecting books - lanierrm1, Mon Nov 21 18:10
        In my classroom I talk with my students independently about what books they should be choosing why it is important to select appropriate books for independent reading. In my classroom it isn't to... more
      • SSR - trivettec, Sun Nov 20 21:48
        I also love the idea of conferencing with the student in order to help them pick an appropriate book! I don't know why I haven't been doing this the whole time. I conference with the kids during... more
        • Reply to SSR - beasleycm, Mon Nov 28 19:02
          I think that an interest inventory is a great idea. This is something I want to try. It would give me so much insight on what my students would be interested in reading.
      • Re: SSR - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Nov 20 19:15
        I too see some of my second graders struggling to pick appropriate books. Our media specialist teaches our students a "Gimme 5" tool to use when picking books. The students are supposed to go to a... more
        • Re: SSR - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Sun Dec 4 13:48
          I like the idea. I am going to try it after Christmas. My students are just now beginning to read their own books! I think that some of my students will really benefit from this strategy.
        • SSR - redingerj, Sat Nov 26 07:58
          I like the 5 fingers, Elisabeth. I also enjoyed reading about SSR. I do 10 minutes of SSR/day in pre-k, however it looks a lot different than what was described. I choose every book in my classroom... more
        • we do this - lanierrm1, Mon Nov 21 18:12
          We do this as well. I use it in my classroom and in the library. It helps them select when they don't have our classroom coding there to assist them.
    • Self-Selected Readings - williskl1, Sun Nov 20 13:31
      I enjoyed reading the chapter on self-selected reading in the textbook. While I was reading it, I thought about my own classroom and how I struggle with my children choosing books to read. Since I... more
      • Re: Self-Selected Readings - langem, Sun Nov 20 21:24
        Like most, I struggle in my classroom with my students selecting the best books to read independently. I think that my students, third graders, like to pick the harder books or chapter books because... more
        • Re: Self-Selected Readings - Stacy Durham, Sat Nov 26 00:11
          I also found the mini lessons in this chapter useful. It was especially helpful to have the book titles to go along each. The list of websites was also informative and had many electronic texts which ... more
        • self-selected - lockwoodre, Mon Nov 21 18:13
          I have a huge variety of books for students at 5th grade level and below to third grade level. However, I do struggle with text for readers at 1st and 2nd grade level. The covers are so influential... more
          • interest survey - lanierrm1, Mon Nov 21 18:22
            I did a reading interest survey part of the way through last year. I meant to begin with it this year and forgot. I may do it here soon because it does give you good insight about what interest them... more
            • Re: interest survey - redingerj, Sat Nov 26 08:09
              I like the ownership and seeking of information that an interest survey can convey. This is something I could do with each child in my pre-k clasroom- or send home as "homework" to find out more... more
            • i meant - lanierrm1, Mon Nov 21 18:23
              Some of them might find some of them to little kidish for them but some of them don't and are good books.
        • SSR - masonvf, Mon Nov 21 17:57
          I teach first grade and I struggle like most others with the selection of texts for silent reading. My young readers tend to aspire to read the more interesting chapter books rather than the less... more
    • Connor - lanierrm1, Sun Nov 13 19:51
      As I read the articles about ASD and literacy/reading comprehension I thought of a student I had several years ago. He was not labeled with autism or an ASD disorder. He had many characteristics... more
    • ASD Articles - beasleycm, Fri Nov 11 10:17
      I thought these articles were easy to follow. I have had one student that the readings reminded me of. This student did not have trouble with comprehension. He also was extremely smart with math. For ... more
      • Reply to ASD articles - atkinssh, Mon Nov 14 17:34
        I also thought these articles were helpful. Because we work at the same school and I serve the student you have mentioned, I agree that this student is extremely smart in math and in reading. He does ... more
      • ASD articles - fayk, Sun Nov 13 00:28
        When I taught pre-k I had children in my class who were on the autism spectrum. I also have a good friend whose son shows many of the same characteristics of Connor in the one article. I was not... more
        • Re: ASD articles - redingerj, Sat Nov 26 08:07
          You said it, Katie! Setting a "purpose for reading" makes sense for kids- especially those with ASD or who have characteristics of "the spectrum." I also liked reading about how his teacher was able... more
        • ASD - trivettec, Sun Nov 13 19:15
          I can't imagine how hard it would be, as a parent, to deal with your child having these issues. I know that you would accept the situation and do the very best that you could, but my heart just... more
    • ASD (I posted in the wrote spot!) - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Mon Nov 7 18:20
      These two articles really made me think about reading comprehension in all students, not just students who have ASD. I really thought hard about things I am doing in my classroom to help students... more
      • st. comprehension - lanierrm1, Sun Nov 13 19:25
        I also do not have any students with autism or autism spectrum disorders. I have not had any students with these labels during my 5 years teaching but I also have students who struggle with making... more
      • Comprehension - williskl1, Fri Nov 11 16:30
        As a Kindergarten teacher myself, these articles made me think about my students' comprehension as well. I started wondering if they too have difficulties with comprehending what is being read to... more
      • Re: ASD (I posted in the wrote spot!) - redingerj, Fri Nov 11 11:55
        I, too, thought of students I have in my classroom currently and have had in the past. I definitely see the comprehension difficulties noted for ASD students as being the ones noted in the articles... more
      • Response to ASD (I posted in the wrong spot) - beasleycm, Fri Nov 11 10:22
        Some of my students also struggle with making text connections. It does seem to help a bit more to think about this before actually reading. It also helps to model all of this, which you do.
        • Re: Response to ASD (I posted in the wrong spot) - Jennifer Ridenhour , Mon Nov 14 17:58
          It does seem to really help when I model a text to text connection that I have with the book. The children then begin to think of their own connections that they have with the book.
      • Re: ASD (I posted in the wrong spot!) - Stacy Durham, Wed Nov 9 18:46
        I also thought about reading comprehension in all students while reading these two articles. My first graders are also working on making text to self connections. This is easy for most of them but a... more
      • Re: ASD (I posted in the wrote spot!) - beasleylm, Mon Nov 7 18:59
        I would agree with you that it made me think about reading comprehension in all students. Some students in my 4th grad classroom have problems connecting, while some of them do great with it!
    • ASD - beasleylm, Mon Nov 7 07:46
      I found this article to be very interesting because I have a student this year who is autistic. My autistic student does not really struggle with comprehension. He made a 3 on both reading and math... more
      • Reply to ASD - atkinssh, Mon Nov 14 17:04
        I also have a student who has very clear characteristics of ASD. Although he is does not qualify for EC services under Autism, he has a lot of the traits that students with Asperger's have. Like your ... more
    • Gaskins - ginger.mason, Sun Nov 6 22:45
      Time is a big issue for me in my classroom. I feel that we are constantly being asked to implement a new program into an already packed schedule with little or now professional development support. I ... more
      • Gaskins - lanierrm1, Sun Nov 13 19:10
        We are constantly being given new strategies to try and some instructional support but not as much as needed sometimes. I too try to pick and choose what works best for my students. There is no one... more
      • Re: Gaskins - Stacy Durham, Wed Nov 9 19:14
        It's so good to hear that you are picking and choosing instructional strategies that work best for your students instead of trying to pack everything in at once. I agree with you and find that it's... more
    • Autism - ginger.mason, Sun Nov 6 22:40
      I have never worked with a student that has been diagnosed with Autism, but I have had a few in my class that I feel fall somewhere on the spectrum. I agree that comprehension tends to be an issue... more
      • Re: Autism - Stacy Durham, Wed Nov 9 18:52
        I have never worked with a students that has been diagnosed with Autism either. I also feel that maybe one or two of my students fall somewhere on that spectrum. It is interesting to me when students ... more
    • ASD - langem, Sun Nov 6 17:34
      I have never had a student with autism or even worked with anyone with autism (with the exception of the student I had for a week at the beginning of this school year.) Even though I was not able to... more
      • ASD - williamsj, Tue Nov 8 11:43
        I can be like ELL at times. I feel we must work on building up meaning behind phrases and words and work on not using them as they will be confused. I also feel that we must use different... more
      • ASD and ELL - williskl1, Sun Nov 6 21:44
        I hadn't thought about this connection before, but it really makes sense. ELL students are a lot like students with Autism in the way that they don't always understand vocabulary or phrases that we... more
    • Autism and Comprehension - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Nov 6 15:51
      Even though I have never taught a student with ASD I found these articles very easy to follow. I found that some of the suggestions to teach comprehension skills reminded me of Montessori concepts... more
      • Reply to Autism and Comprehension - beasleycm, Fri Nov 11 10:36
        I had not thought of Montessori concepts until you mentioned it. I also like the idea of peer tutoring. My students enjoy "acting like the teacher" and really take this seriously.
        • Re: Reply to Autism and Comprehension - redingerj, Fri Nov 11 11:58
          I am entertaining the concept of peer tutoring for preschool. Half of my bunch is fairly high with their letter/sound recognition skills. They would be good for pairing with my lower group for some... more
          • Re: Reply to Autism and Comprehension - fayk, Sun Nov 13 00:31
            I think that's a great idea Josey! I do a lot of ability grouping now in kindergarten... but when I have the opportunity I love to pair them up and do this. The "higher" students love helping the... more
      • Re: Autism and Comprehension - Stacy Durham, Wed Nov 9 19:03
        I also thought the articles were easy to follow. I enjoyed reading the suggestions on how to teach comprehension. I did not make the connection to the Montessori concepts until you mentioned it but... more
      • Re: Autism and Comprehension - beasleylm, Mon Nov 7 19:02
        It is great to springboard off of interests. My autistic kid does great with things he is really into, as does all of my students. The peer tutoring works good on some days and some days it does not... more
    • Cognition and Literacy with Autism - williskl1, Thu Nov 3 22:47
      I found this article interesting becasue it shed some light for me on some of the students I have had, specifically one. Nickolas was a child who was very smart and by the end of the year we found... more
    • The Benchmark School - beasleylm, Mon Oct 24 17:46
      I enjoyed this article and the part where they revised their writing on computers. We are now starting to get trained on Haiku in elementary schools were there will be a lot of collaboration on this... more
    • Gaskin's article - beasleylm, Mon Oct 24 17:41
      I enjoyed this article and was also very interested in the time part of the article. As teachers, and I am sure everyone would agree, is there is not enough time to get everything in that needs to be ... more
      • Re: Gaskins article - Stacy Durham, Wed Nov 9 18:33
        I agree there is not enough time to fully teach everything that needs to be taught and planning time is not built into many teachers' daily schedule. Staff development is usually beneficial and... more
    • Gaskins- There's More... - williamsj, Mon Oct 24 14:15
      really enjoyed this article. I liked learning about what they think are the four main elements and two being things I don't feel we classroom teachers get. A big one that I feel we don't get enough... more
      • Re: Gaskins- There's More... - fayk, Sat Oct 29 18:04
        Time is always a struggle for me. We are suppose to include reading, writing, social studies, science, math and phonics into every day... not even thinking about enhancments and a program our... more
    • Gaskins Articles - beasleycm, Mon Oct 24 12:30
      I enjoyed the article about the Benchmark School. I think that it is great that the school focuses on what students need. I also like that they provide staff development to stay on top of new ideas... more
      • Re: Gaskins Article - Stacy Durham, Wed Nov 9 19:52
        I also believe that the Talk to Yourself Chart would be beneficial to use. I think that if the teacher modeled what the process looked/sounded like this would help. I thought about possibly having... more
      • Re: Gaskins Articles - beasleylm, Mon Oct 24 17:42
        I agree about the word section of the article. I really liked the idea and the use of strategies for word developent. I think it would be very beneficial for my students during our word build time... more
      • Re: Gaskins Articles - redingerj, Mon Oct 24 16:01
        This reading was interesting in that the "goal" was decoding and word recognition. The common thread in many of our readings is research for best practice, reflection, and "now what?"- much like our... more
        • Reply to Gaskins Articles - atkinssh, Mon Nov 7 17:58
          I agree; I think that talking and collaborating with colleagues should be top priority. In my EC resource job, I rarely have time to actually collaborate with my students' regular education teachers. ... more
        • Re: Gaskins Articles - fayk, Sat Oct 29 18:08
          I completely agree Josey about time to talk with fellow teachers and reflect on what we are doing in the classroom. I feel like I try and reflect on what I am doing daily- but I feel like I am always ... more
    • Teaching Reading to ASD - lockwoodre, Sun Oct 23 22:50
      As I read this article I thought about my many students who have struggled with literal interpretations. I never really knew how to teach other than define what the author meant by using figures of... more
      • Re: Teaching Reading to ASD - Stacy Durham, Wed Nov 9 19:21
        I think that Anticipation Guides are a great idea. I have not tried this strategy with my students but I think that if I could make them a little more simple, my students would also benefit from this ... more
      • Re: Teaching Reading to ASD - beasleylm, Mon Oct 24 18:02
        I agree that DRTA's are a great thing to use during reading time for all students. My students also struggle with literal interpreatations. I have not started using DRTA's in my room, but I think it... more
        • Reply to DRTA - atkinssh, Mon Nov 7 17:28
          I have used DRTA with one of my fifth grade students that I see for reading comprehension. This has turned out to be an excellent strategy to use with him. He really has trouble with literal... more
      • Reply to Teaching Reading To ASD - beasleycm, Mon Oct 24 15:22
        I also did not know that peer help could be successful for ASD children. I do like using DRTA's because like you said, they provide scaffolding.
    • BM School - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Oct 23 13:51
      The Benchmark school sounds like a model every school should be following...planning the instruction around every child's needs. However, we know how challenging this can be in real life. I found it... more
      • Re: BM School - fayk, Sat Oct 29 18:12
        I think this is great that you have such a good amount of "uninterrupted" reading time. My whole day is interrupted by so many transitions that I don't feel like we are getting quality learning time. ... more
    • Gaskins - Stacy Durham, Sun Oct 23 13:42
      In the second Gaskins article, Procedures for word learning: Making discoveries about words, I loved the figures. Figure 3 is a talk to yourself chart. It provides great language to help students... more
      • Re: Gaskins - beasleylm, Mon Oct 24 17:58
        That is so neat about you using a flip camera during your reading time; especially for 1st grade! I think it would be great to use during word development and I could see great things coming from... more
      • Reply to Gaskins - beasleycm, Mon Oct 24 15:27
        Stacy, I love your idea using the flip camera during reading, as well as with word study. I think this would be great for students as a learning tool.
      • partner conversations - williamsj, Mon Oct 24 14:04
        I loved the model figures as well...I think we must teach our students how to have conversations and interact with one another. So many do not get these opportunities and we have to give them the... more
      • Gaskins - lockwoodre, Sun Oct 23 22:31
        I like the ideas presented in the Gaskins articles. I have a student in my fifth grade classroom on a preprimer level. I will be able to use some of these with her. (talk to yourself chart) I love... more
        • Re: Gaskins - Anonymous, Mon Oct 24 13:57
          I also liked the idea of the taping comprehension conversation! I think I could learn so much from the taping that would help me even more than the kids. I am not sure about what tools I could use... more
          • I'm anonymous! - williamsj, Mon Oct 24 14:00
            WOW forgot to sign in first this was mine! I also liked the idea of the taping comprehension conversation! I think I could learn so much from the taping that would help me even more than the kids. I... more
      • Re: Gaskins - langem, Sun Oct 23 18:35
        Thanks for the idea of the flip camera. Great idea!
      • Re: Gaskins - williskl1, Sun Oct 23 18:28
        I like your idea of having kids use flip cameras during partner reading and word study. I think this would be a great motivator for students and a great way to see what is happening in partner... more
      • Re: Gaskins - simmonskn, Sun Oct 23 18:12
        I really liked the charts that had the students involved with making new words. I thought that this was a great way for students to work together and use words. I love your idea of using the flip... more
    • The Benchmark School - Stacy Durham, Sun Oct 23 12:41
      The Benchmark School provided evidence that many students who are in need of a reading program, are actually in need of more than just remedial reading instruction. I enjoyed reading about their... more
      • Re: The Benchmark School - beasleylm, Mon Oct 24 17:52
        I agree with you about many students in the need of a reading program. I also really like the idea of students revising their writing on computers. I think it would be great for students to do their... more
      • Re: The Benchmark School - redingerj, Mon Oct 24 16:04
        This article reminds me very much of a cartoon in which some wild warner bros. created creature is in a boat and the boat gets a leak. The character immediately plugs the hole and another leak shoots ... more
      • Re: Stacy - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Oct 23 13:57
        I totally agree that students are reluctant to publish their work only to correct a few mistakes. For the first time last week I allowed my students to publish with Microsoft Word. They loved it! I... more
        • Elisabeth - langem, Sun Oct 23 18:33
          My students also used Microsoft Word for the first time this week. They really enjoyed using the laptops to publishing thier poems. One student commented on how much fun it was to type their poem.... more
        • Re: Benchmark School - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Sun Oct 23 16:04
          I love the idea of letting students publish using a computer. It will make them more eager to write!
          • publising reply - lockwoodre, Sun Oct 23 22:35
            My students are currently into publishing in kidspiration for math and science topics. We also are using Wordale and Comic Life. One of my current favorites is Comic Life. Students can incorporate... more
    • Benchmark School - williskl1, Sat Oct 22 14:06
      I found this article really interesting. Benchmark school sounds like what each of us want to be able to do for our students in our own classrooms. The curriculum completely focused on the needs of... more
      • Re: Benchmark School - Stacy Durham, Wed Nov 9 19:32
        I also think that the Benchmark school sounds like what we all would love to do for our students. The staff development and research part really stood out to me too. I think that I turned green with... more
      • Re: Benchmark School - beasleylm, Mon Oct 24 17:55
        I agree that there is too much time and focus on new assessments and not on the actual needs of our students. If everyone could be like the Benchmark school, there would be so much more sucess in our ... more
      • Reply to Benchmark School - atkinssh, Sun Oct 23 18:39
        I agree with what you are saying. This sounds like the ideal school where any teacher would want to teach. Schools need to pay more attention to what research says about teaching reading and stop... more
        • Reply to Benchmark School - beasleycm, Mon Oct 24 15:25
          I also agree. We need to go with what research says works and stop guessing.
      • Re: Benchmark School - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Sun Oct 23 16:07
        I completely agree! This is what each of us wants for our students, but sometimes the school system gets so caught up in different ways to assess that they forget about the needs of every individual... more
        • Re: Benchmark School - langem, Sun Oct 23 18:41
          The staff development that these teachers received seemed to be beneficial towards their teaching. It seems like the staff development I have received lately was not beneficial and I was not able to... more
          • Re: Benchmark School - fayk, Sat Oct 29 18:00
            I agree with the need for GOOD staff development! I am sorry- but I feel like 90% of it is such a waste of time. If it is not something I can use in my classroom or to help my students- I just don't... more
    • Gaskins articles - Jennifer Ridenhour, Sat Oct 22 13:50
      The article about Making Discoveries about Words really opened my eyes to how I am teaching my Kindergartners to decode words. Some students are naturally going to pick up on it, but other students... more
      • Re: Jennifer - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Oct 23 13:54
        I too thought the "word detectives" idea would work wonderfully! It kind of reminds me of a K-2 version of the "Word Wizard" idea we learned from Dr. Frye in Block 2!
    • Phonics - beasleylm, Mon Oct 17 17:48
      I really enjoyed the article on phonics. I was able to make connections with this article because since the beginning of this school year I have began using word study in my flex groups. We begin... more
    • Phonics - ginger.mason, Sun Oct 16 23:21
      It was interesting to read about the different approaches to teaching phonics this week. I use a program called Fundations for whole group phonics instruction and word study for small group phonics... more
      • word instruction vs. phonics instruction - koppenhaverd, Mon Oct 17 11:40
        Hey, Ginger, your point about word instruction at all grade levels is well-taken. The question is what kind of word instruction. We seem to do reasonably well teaching phonics (one kind of word... more
    • Phonics - Stacy Durham, Sun Oct 16 21:44
      It was interesting to learn more about the issue of whole language versus phonics. I was glad that one wasn’t superior to the other, especially because I do not use one more than the other in my own... more
      • Re: Phonics - redingerj, Tue Oct 18 06:45
        and i think you hit the nail on the head, stacy- that using any ONE singular approach that will work with all children. as you have stated, we reach more students when we try to teach the same... more
    • Phonics - atkinssh, Sun Oct 16 20:55
      I really enjoyed reading the articles on phonics and writing instruction. There are so many ways to teach phonics, but I have found in my EC classroom that using word sorts to help my struggling... more
    • Phonics - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Oct 16 20:10
      I have always been very confused when it comes to phonics. I have heard many conflicting views from how you have to teach phonics to teach children how to read, to how we shouldn't teach phonics at... more
    • Phonics - langem, Sun Oct 16 18:11
      Reading the phonics article reminded me of all of the phonic rules/strategies I already knew but have forgotten. It was a nice reminder of some things I learned in undergrad. I also learned some new... more
    • Phonics - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Sat Oct 15 16:29
      I really enjoyed the Phonics article. I have always known that there are various ways to teach phonics and the main goal is for students to develop phonological awareness, but the quote in the... more
      • Re: Phonics - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Oct 16 20:47
        I can't imagine teaching kindergarten and laying the phonics groundwork! I was in kindergarten for block one and the teacher I work with did phonics for almost two hours every day. She was awesome at ... more
      • phonics - trivettec, Sun Oct 16 18:15
        My son is in kindergarten and they do Letter Land which I'm sure is very similar to yours. He Loves It!! I am amazed at how fast he has picked up on the "sound tricks". He is already sounding out... more
        • Re: phonics - fayk, Sat Oct 22 16:35
          Carrie- Letter Land is awesome! I just went to a training on Friday and learned so much more about it! It is a great phonics and reading program- I just wish I had more time in the day to do more... more
      • Phonics - fayk, Sun Oct 16 17:39
        I completely feel overwhelmed when it comes to phonics instruction. There are just so many different ways to teach it- and I struggle with which is the most valuable for the children? We use... more
        • Reply:phonics - williskl1, Tue Oct 18 22:34
          I agree with you and have this conversation with other teachers all the time! I feel so overwhelmed by all the different ways to teach phonics and figuring out which way is best and trying to get... more
        • Portable word walls - Jennifer Ridenhour, Mon Oct 17 18:00
          I love the idea of portable word walls. I am looking forward to borrowing your idea in my own classroom!
          • word wall - lockwoodre, Mon Nov 21 18:38
            I want to use portable word walls too. I really don't do word walls for 5th grade and now I realize how important they are.
        • Re: Phonics - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Oct 16 20:51
          Do you create the portable word walls for your students? Or do you just have an alphabetic outline and add the words as they learn them? Do YOU actually write them on the portable WW for them, or do... more
          • Re: Phonics - fayk, Sat Oct 22 16:26
            Elisabeth- I use my portable word walls for writing time with my students- both with whole group and small groups. Each child has their own "Word Wall" that is passed out during writing time. This... more
          • Katie-portable word walls - koppenhaverd, Mon Oct 17 11:45
            I'm with Elisabeth. I'd love to hear more about what you're doing with word walls, especially portable word walls, with such young kids, and why. We've always used portable word walls only in... more
            • word bank response - fayk, Sat Oct 22 16:32
              Dr. Koppenhaver, These word banks actually save a lot of time for me during writing because I don't have every child raising their hand to ask me how to spell something :) As I replied to Elisabeth-... more
        • phonics - trivettec, Sun Oct 16 18:18
          Cute ideas, Katie! I love the idea of a portable word wall. I am totally going to use this--several of my kids are removed during "reading clinic" time and sent to the library for some reading and... more
          • Re: phonics - fayk, Sat Oct 22 16:33
            It works really well during my acceleration time when I have small group writing time and some are removed from the classroom. Hope you can use and it works well for you!
          • portable word walls - redingerj, Tue Oct 18 06:58
            I like the idea as well- am looking forward to being able to do more of this type of individualized literacy instruction later in the year! thanks, katie!
      • Reply to Phonics - beasleycm, Sun Oct 16 02:31
        It sounds like you are doing a great job teaching your students. I know that there is so much more phonics instruction in Kindergarten. It seems that you do many different activities to engage your... more
    • Phonics - simmonskn, Sat Oct 15 14:16
      I thought that the article was interesting. It discussion many different kinds of instruction and I had heard about each one, but not in that much detail. I grew up learning whole language. I... more
      • Reply to Phonics - atkinssh, Sun Oct 16 21:14
        Like you, I was taught using the whole language approach at school. I remember having to make all these booklets and write all these creative stories. I don't remember much about phonics being... more
      • Re: Phonics - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Oct 16 20:58
        I have just started teaching phonics skills in my guided reading groups! Most of my students pick up the skill quickly, but since I have the two lowest reading groups, I hit phonics there too. I am... more
      • Re: Phonics - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Sat Oct 15 16:18
        I feel the same way that you do about teaching phonics. I did not learn a lot about phonics until I was in my college courses and sometimes I find it difficult to teach phonics!
    • Phonics Instruction - beasleycm, Fri Oct 14 10:47
      I found the articles about phonics instruction very informative. I did not realize how many different ways there were to teach phonics. In my opinion, phonics instruction is extremely important for... more
      • Phonics - lockwoodre, Sun Oct 16 21:23
        I read the the articles about phonics instruction and I also think they were very informative. I have 20 minutes a day for word study. We do Words Their Way. I think word study is very important for... more
      • Reply to Phonics Instruction - atkinssh, Sun Oct 16 21:17
        I like the idea about the snap, clap vowels and consonants. How do you use this in your class and what does it look like? Most of my kids are kinesthetic learners; this sounds like a good strategy to ... more
    • Phonics - williskl1, Thu Oct 13 15:16
      I found it really interesting to read about the different types of phonics instruction in the article. Its amazing to me how many different approaches to phonics there are out there. Phonics... more
      • Reply to phonics - beasleycm, Fri Oct 14 10:51
        I agree with you. There are so many different ways to teach phonics and I wonder if what I am doing is the correct way. However, if we are giving our students phonics instruction and doing all we can ... more
        • modify the question - koppenhaverd, Mon Oct 17 11:52
          I would argue that there is no one "correct way" to teach anything. The important issues are whether you are teaching kids to read and spell words with increasing independence in ways that they... more
    • Teaching and Writing - beasleylm, Tue Oct 11 22:12
      As I said before in another post, I really like giving my students the opportunity to have free writes and choose the topics they want to write about, but that is not always the case when you have... more
      • Re: Teaching and Writing - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Sat Oct 15 16:31
        I feel the same way about setting our students up for failure. It is proven that students enjoy writing more when they can select the topics that they want to write about!
    • Jake - beasleylm, Tue Oct 11 22:09
      The videos about Jake are very interesting to watch and see how he can progress with the right pencil. It is very amazing to know that if you find the right pencil for someone who has a disability,... more
    • Graham and Perin Article - ginger.mason, Sun Oct 9 23:38
      I would agree that writing is one area that I feel I don't devote enough time for each day. I am working hard to change this. Our schools focus for the last two years has been on reading, and writing ... more
      • Re: Graham and Perin Article - redingerj, Tue Oct 18 07:00
        I have realized that I need to give my 3 and 4 year olds time to write in journals. I look forward to implementing this when 2nd quarter starts! It makes sense that, in the end, if I want them to be... more
    • Teaching Writing - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Oct 9 22:41
      This is exactly what I needed to read this week!!! As many of you know this is my first year teaching and it became clear VERY quickly that writing is the subject I am finding most difficult to... more
      • Re: Teaching Writing - fayk, Tue Oct 11 23:50
        I have been feeling the same way in my kindergarten classroom regarding writing. It is my first year in kind. and I am really feeling the pressure to get this children writing! Yet- I need to let... more
    • Jake - williskl1, Sun Oct 9 22:19
      The videos and notes about Jake were pretty amazing to me. I can't imagine what it must be like to go through life unable to communicate with the people around you. It was amazing how finding the... more
      • Jake - fayk, Tue Oct 11 23:47
        I completely understand the factor of time... I'm sure we all do :) It is so hard to reach every child when there is only one of us. I'm sure you did an excellent job!
    • Jake - simmonskn, Sun Oct 9 21:11
      Watching the videos of Jake are simply amazing. I think it is great that there are tools/pencils like this to use. I never knew that these tools existed. I see how helpful that this was for Jake and... more
      • Jake - ginger.mason, Sun Oct 9 23:44
        I was amazed at how quickly Jake picked up on how to use the symbols in the first video. He was clearly excited about the prospect of being able to communicate with his teacher and his mother. To see ... more
      • Re: Jake - fayk, Sun Oct 9 22:06
        I completely agree! I had no idea there were these tools out there. I am so interested in finding out what else there is to help children who are not able to communicate by speaking or with a pencil... more
    • Reading and Writing - jkwilliams911, Sun Oct 9 19:51
      I enjoyed the articles on reading and writing. I too thought about students in my classroom with disabilities. I do not have any with extreme disabilities but I know now that when I do I need to... more
    • Jake - fayk, Sun Oct 9 12:49
      Wow! This was really neat to watch and read about Jake! It is so clear and evident how important and crucial it is that every person be given the opportunity to learn how to communicate. It is hard... more
      • Re: Jake - beasleylm, Tue Oct 11 22:13
        I totally agree with you. It is very important for us teachers to always remember how big of an impact we have on students lives!
      • Re: Jake - atkinssh, Sun Oct 9 22:33
        I agree...this was really awesome to see how Jake can now communicate his basic wants and needs with the use of technology. I also thought it was really cool to see his expression when he called out... more
      • Re: Jake - langem, Sun Oct 9 19:37
        I couldn’t help but smile as I was watching Jake’s videos. The progress he made over time is awesome. We just need to give the students resources to learn and they will run with it and become amazing ... more
      • reply to Jake - beasleycm, Sun Oct 9 12:53
        I agree that he showed so much progress. I would also like to see where he is now in his progress.
    • Watching the video clips on Jake was amazing. From this you can see that there are ways for communication, you just have to find the ones that work. Jake makes so much progress over time. This makes... more
      • Alternative Pencils Reply - trivettec, Sun Oct 9 18:37
        I totally took the part about student choice to heart, also! This past week I found myself giving the students more choice on just about everything we did. Around Thursday, I noticed that I was... more
      • graham and perin - fayk, Sun Oct 9 14:42
        It is so difficult for me right now to have the children write about what is of interest to them specifically every time we have writing because in kindergarten we are using a lot of sentence... more
      • Jake - redingerj, Sun Oct 9 13:03
        Wow! It really was amazing to me, too! You are right- there IS always a way to communicate. The alternatives to pencils, etc. are insightful- however, I am questioning all the work I have done with... more
        • Re: Jake - Stacy Durham, Sun Oct 9 15:11
          I also agree that watching Jake was absolutely amazing. He was so excited and what a wonderful feeling it must be to finally have the pencil you need to communicate. I also think that your idea of... more
        • Jake - fayk, Sun Oct 9 14:39
          You do so well Josey! I know we are so desperate to reach every child- but you have to take it one day at a time! I love the idea of "what will be your pencil today!"
    • Graham and Perin Article - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Sat Oct 8 20:49
      When I was viewing the case study on Jake, I began to think about how amazing it must have been for his family to be able to finally communicate with him. It was apparent to me that Jake really... more
      • Graham and Perin Article - williskl1, Sun Oct 9 22:02
        I agree with you on the importance of creating that firm foundation with learning summarizing teachniques. I also teach Kindergarten and have realized that too often I read a book then maybe make a... more
      • Re: Graham and Perin Article - jkwilliams911, Sun Oct 9 19:58
        I too found it amazing for Jake and his family to finally be able to communicate. I could not imagine myself being able to try to tell others something and have no one understand what you need. And... more
      • Graham and Perin Article - Stacy Durham, Sun Oct 9 15:34
        I agree with you that too much time is being spent teaching the test. I also think that the programs being implemented by some counties (where you read script off the page) is crazy! The scripted... more
      • graham and perin - fayk, Sun Oct 9 14:50
        I too feel that writing has been "put on the back burner" in schools. As a kindergarten teacher I am able to focus on writing a great deal more than other grade levels (from what I have heard from... more
        • Re: graham and perin - langem, Sun Oct 9 19:42
          I have to admit that I have put writing “on the back burner” in the past, but this year is going to be different. My class has already written more this year than my previous couple of classes at... more
      • Re: Graham and Perin Article - redingerj, Sun Oct 9 13:07
        Jennifer, I was thinking the same thing... Even though I teach pre-k, every child could have a journal in order to "write" whatever they want as part of our "morning work." I could even incorporate... more
      • reply to Graham and Perin Article - beasleycm, Sun Oct 9 12:56
        I agree that if you give students time to write and let them have a topic of choice, they will succeed in writing. I also agree with planning, drafting, revising and publishing with students. I do... more
        • Modeling - atkinssh, Sun Oct 9 22:37
          Carla, I think it's super important to model for students. I have seen great success with my students when they are given a model first. I think it also helps them to hear the teacher "think aloud"... more
        • modeling... - fayk, Sun Oct 9 14:53
          I think modeling is so key to so many students. I know as a child- when a teacher modeled for me- it was so helpful for me. I still remember when teachers just threw something out there without a... more
    • response to readings about writing - fayk, Tue Oct 4 23:10
      After reading the articles this week- I almost feel like I have been clueless when it came to helping children learn to write who could not use a "paper and pencil". I taught in pre-k for 7 years and ... more
    • alternative pencils and connections - lanierrm1, Sun Oct 2 21:42
      I found this article to be interesting. I did not realize how many alternative ways there were for students with disabilities to write. It is a shame there are so many opportunities and tools to be... more
      • I also did not realize how many different ways there were for students to communicate and ways to write. I connected with article as well by thinking of my own students. I now know that if I have a... more
    • Alternative Pencils - ginger.mason, Sun Oct 2 21:42
      Writing is an area that I've have been working on in my classroom the last couple of years. I used to choose the topics my students wrote about, but now I give them free choice. I was amazed at how... more
      • Re: Alternative Pencils - fayk, Tue Oct 4 22:50
        Completely agree! Most likely- I wouldn't want to write about something someone "tells" me to write about- why would students? I don't have the experience of students writing in my classroom- but I'm ... more
      • Re: Alternative Pencils - simmonskn, Sun Oct 2 22:21
        Writing is an area I have been working on in my classroom this year. I just feel as if I don't do it justice and that it is difficult to teach when children do not relate to a topic they are given or ... more
    • Re: Response to Readings about Writing - langem, Sun Oct 2 20:41
      The articles really made me think about alternative pencils. Before reading these articles and hearing what Dr. K has said in class, I never realized that one could write without using a pencil. Of... more
      • Re: Response to Readings about Writing - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Oct 2 21:16
        I too only thought of the computer as a tool to publish, not to solely create. All the different "pencils" are amazing! It truly takes dedicated teachers to discover these tools for their students. I ... more
    • Alternative Pencils - lockwoodre, Sun Oct 2 20:32
      I have recently read a wonderful book called Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. It is about a young lady who has Cerebral Palsy and cannot speak. She gets a pencil when she is 11 years old. It's called ... more
      • Re: Alternative Pencils - fayk, Tue Oct 4 22:53
        I love that! I just know you are an amazing teacher! Your students are so lucky to have you!!!
      • book - lanierrm1, Sun Oct 2 21:58
        I want to read this book!! I have heard you mention it several times. I can't image not writing until you were 11. It would be like lacking a way to communicate for 11 years. I can't image that!... more
      • Reply to Becky - beasleylm, Sun Oct 2 20:36
        It is great to know as teachers that we can make a difference in a child's life. I would love to read that book.Sounds like a great one.
    • Emergent Writing/Pencils - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Oct 2 19:10
      Reading this week's set of articles reinforced to me the idea that every child CAN learn. This being my first year teaching I hadn't really formed a firm belief on this idea, but these two articles... more
    • Response to Writing Instruction - beasleylm, Sun Oct 2 17:29
      As a 4th grade teacher there has always been a big emphasis on writing with the state writing test. Since they have changed the writing around, there seems to be some slack in this area. I have... more
      • Re: Response to Writing Instruction - fayk, Tue Oct 4 23:14
        I love that you don't "correct" the children's writing. I feel like I was always an insecure writer due to teachers always picking apart the writing of students in our class. This is such a vivid... more
      • reply - lanierrm1, Sun Oct 2 21:51
        I agree with you. I think it is important for writing to be a way for students to express themselves. I feel sometimes we kill that at school. We place so many regulations and rules on their writing... more
      • Re: Response to Writing Instruction - langem, Sun Oct 2 20:28
        As a 3rd grade teacher, I feel the pressure to prepare my students for 4th grade writing because I know how much emphasis they put on writing. Sometimes this is hard with the reading series we have... more
      • Re: Response to Lori - Stacy Durham, Sun Oct 2 17:41
        Lori, I like your idea of having your class write about events happening within their school. I’m sure your students really benefit from this. Knowing that their peers will be reading what they write ... more
        • Re: Response to Lori - lockwoodre, Sun Oct 2 20:13
          I agree. Students really do become motivated writers when they know they will be published. I helped run the school newspaper in the past. Students would read, reread and ask for help on their... more
    • Alternative Pencils - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Sun Oct 2 14:28
      After reading the Fostering Emergent Writing for Children with Significant Disabilities article, I began to realize how extremely important it is for students, no matter their disability, to write... more
      • Re: Alternative Pencils - fayk, Tue Oct 4 22:46
        Jennifer, It is not that I haven't thought about it before- but not as in depth as now- but I completely and totally agree with you that ALL children deserve the opportunity to write. If there is a... more
      • Re: Alternative Pencils - ginger.mason, Sun Oct 2 19:15
        I worked with a student two years ago that had difficulty writing in first grade. At first I thought he had trouble putting his thoughts on paper, but soon realized that he felt uncomfortable writing ... more
      • Re: Reply to Jennifer - Stacy Durham, Sun Oct 2 17:52
        Jennifer, I have a student in my class who has issues with his fine motor skills too. I also found myself thinking of my student while I read the articles. I have tried grippers and weighted pencils. ... more
        • Re: Reply to Jennifer - redingerj, Sun Oct 9 13:11
          I was thinking the same thing about trying a slanted board for my child with some fine motor weaknesses. Did you try it yet? I was going to begin the slanted board with him specificially tomorrow...
          • Re: Reply to Jennifer - Stacy Durham, Sun Oct 9 15:16
            My student was out sick all of last week. I am still planning on trying this when he returns, which will hopefully be tomorrow. Let me know how it works with your student!
      • Re: Alternative Pencils - beasleylm, Sun Oct 2 17:36
        I also think it is very important to start letting students choose their topics to write about, even it is once or twice a week. I feel like sometimes I am just cramming things on them and worry... more
    • Response to Readings about Writing - Stacy Durham, Sat Oct 1 21:01
      In the article, Fostering Emergent Writing for Children With Significant Disabilities: Writing With Alternative Pencils, the children could write about anything they chose and their writing was not... more
      • The color coded eye gaze is so amazing to me! The children using this have real intelligence to be able to pick up on this concept so quickly and with such ease ( from what we have seen). I too... more
      • Re: Response to Readings about Writing - simmonskn, Sun Oct 2 22:15
        I also thought it to be helpful that we had watched the video about the color coded eye gazed. The article made more sense knowing what this was. I had never heard of it before. I thought it was... more
      • understanding - lanierrm1, Sun Oct 2 21:54
        I agree with your thoughts. The articles have really helped me to understand how many options their are for working with these students. I also had never thought about the way things are step up for... more
      • Alternative Pencil - lockwoodre, Sun Oct 2 20:18
        I have had students in the past use Alphasmarts as their alternative pencils. There is a boy in the fifth grade class nearby why uses a keyboard (like an alphasmart) to do his work. Since I teach... more
      • Re: Response to Readings about Writing - Elisabeth Borowicz, Sun Oct 2 19:25
        I agree with your sentence: "All children need to have an appropriate model to learn from, they all need direction/instruction, they all need time to freely practice without being corrected, and they ... more
      • response to Stacy - beasleylm, Sun Oct 2 17:31
        I also found this article very interesting. I really liked how students could choose any topic to write about and not corrected. I feel as teachers we are so focused on teaching the correct format... more
      • Alternative Pencils - atkinssh, Sun Oct 2 09:54
        I think you are right about the importance of giving all kids the opportunity to write about anything they want. Kids with and without disabilities need the opportunity to write without someone... more
    • Response to reading-Writing - williskl1, Fri Sep 30 21:12
      Whoops! I posted the first one in last week's board.So here it is again... in the right place! I enjoyed reading the articles on promoting emergent writing for students with significant disabilities... more
      • response to reading-writing - fayk, Tue Oct 4 22:34
        I completely agree with you that sometimes as teachers we focus more on the disability of the child than how to expose them and help them to do the same things our non-disabled students are doing in... more
      • Re: Response to reading-Writing - redingerj, Sat Oct 1 14:30
        Yes, the alternative pencils really got me thinking, too! My "case study child" is going to teach me the most this year! He is not deaf or hard-of-hearing, however he is so active and possibly,... more
        • reply to josey - fayk, Tue Oct 4 22:35
          What an awesome idea Josey! I have never thought about that in the years I have worked with children with similar issues! I would be very interested to hear if it works!!!
          • Re: reply to josey - redingerj, Sun Oct 9 13:14
            katie, i haven't gotten any braille yet, but am doing some signing with him. I usually go to my local library a few times a month and am going to check into some braille resources...
        • Re: Response to reading-Writing - beasleylm, Sun Oct 2 17:33
          That would be very interesting to know if braile would work with this student. I wonder if the magnet letters that we used to play with when we were smaller would also help him. He would be able to... more
        • Alternative Pencils - Jennifer Wherritt Ridenhour, Sun Oct 2 14:30
          My case study child is also making me analyze different types of alternative pencils. I am really reading these articles considering which ones may work best for him. I hope you find some success too!
        • Re: Reply to Josey - Stacy Durham, Sat Oct 1 21:32
          Josey, I thought about your “case study child” while I read Promoting Emergent Writing for Students With Significant Disabilities. Did you notice that in the example of an early writer’s story about... more
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