Okay, so I have not been a good blogger so far! I really do want to do better, and will try to be more regular. Interaction on the blog will help me to be motivated, so please feel free to respond, ask questions, share sites, etc...
I would like to share some information with you about what we are doing with our literacy instruction. The way that we instruct students in literacy is changing. First of all, you will be hearing terms like Reader's Workshop, Writer's Workshop, Daily 5, and CAFE in relation to literacy time. What all of this means is that the instruction and practice opportunities for students is very individualized. Students are spending a lot of time reading independently at their level. During this time, they are working on the skills that they need to work on to improve their reading. The reason that much of this is done independently is that our students are not all reading at the same level, and they do not need to work on the same skills. So, we are moving away from whole group lessons on reading skills and having students all read the same book. Instead, our teachers are using assessments to find out where are students are in their reading abilities and what skills they need to refine in order to advance. They are helping students find books at the appropriate level and they are conferencing with them individually or in small groups to guide them and provide them with instruction on specific skills. Our students are engaged in literacy activities like the ones I have described for 90 minutes each day.
Our students also have an additional 30 minutes per day to work in intervention groups. This time is used for intensive work on specific reading skills for students who are not meeting the grade level benchmark. These students will be in small groups working with other students who have similar needs. The rest of the students are in larger groups working on enrichment activities to help them advance their reading levels and deepen their thinking about what they read.
What can you do as a parent to support our literacy instruction? Encourage your child to read for enjoyment. This means that they are reading whatever they are interested in- the newspaper, magazines, graphic novels, chapter books, etc... Talk with them about what they are reading and ask them questions. It is also wonderful when you read with your child. When children listen to reading, they are still working on important comprehension skills. Encouraging your child to write is also very beneficial. You can purchase a journal for your child to write their thoughts and feelings, or just to record what they do each day. You can also encourage them to write letters or e-mails to friends or family.
As always, we appreciate all that our parents do to support the education of our Prairieland Cougars!
It's a GREAT day to be a Cougar!