Monday, May 2, 2011

Parental Involvement

According to research children whose parents share in their education tend to do better in school. Some benefits of parental involvement in a child's education include:
Higher grades and test scores
Long term academic achievement
Positive attitudes and behavior
More successful programs
More effective schools

In this complex world, it takes more than a good school to educate children. And it takes more than a good home. It takes these two major educational institutions working together.
Dorothy Rich, author of MegaSkills®

There are many ways to get parents involved in their child's learning. Getting parents involved in a child's reading development is very important. Ways the classroom teacher can help get parent's involved in their child's reading development include weekly reading materials for students to read with their parents,guest readers,have other syblings help the student,send home information on what the child is reading and learning at school,and send home information on how to help your here to read more about parental involvement in reading development

Using Reading Programs Effectively

In this picture I am using outside resources to aide my lesson on sight words.
I created a smart board lesson to review a phonics lesson from the reading program
Reading programs come and go. Reading programs are constantly changing. When using reading programs it is important to provide your students with additional resources. Reading programs should be based on the needs of your students. When teaching students to read teachers must focus on the five reading components. A complete reading program should provide students with whole group instruction and small group instruction. A quality reading program should provide students with instruction, practice,and application. When using a reading program provide you students with additional resources for learning. A program should be a teacher's guide not a crutch. While teaching in the field this semester I used Reading Street. This program was adopted by the entire school. The program provided materials that aided the lessons. When using the program I provided my students with additional texts. The students also where provided time for independent reading in which they read materials from the library or class library.

Guided Reading/Small Groups

Each day students meet in reading groups for reading instruction. The reading group is lead by the teacher. Students are placed in reading groups according to reading level. Groups are kept small and usually contain readers that have the same instructional needs. The reading materials are determined by the groups reading abilities. Each group meets for 10-30 minutes a day depending on the instructional needs of the group. Usually the group with the most instructional need meets for the longest amount of time. While in reading groups students will receive reading instruction and support on a text. Each student has to read the entire text. The teacher uses this time to teach the students reading strategies,monitor fluency, and teach the five reading components to the students.

This semester I was able to teach guided reading on a number of occasions. While teaching in small groups I was able to work with students one-on-on as well as a group. During this time I was able to focus on the needs of each particular group. I had to differeniate instruction based on the groups reading levels. Each group had their own plan of instruction to meet their instructional here to view a full lesson plan of my guided reading groups

Assessment Section

This semester I had the opportunity to work with a struggling reader. While working with this student I used many assessments to aide my intervention. When I began working with the student the first assessment I gave was a Dominie assessment. Using this assessment I was able to find out what reading level the student was at. Over the course of the semester I administered several assessments. I took running records while the student read aloud. Running records helped me examine the progress my student was making. Running records also helped me check to see if the texts were matched to the student's needs. I also used a dibels assessment to assess the student's reading rate. I also administered an alphabet knowledge assessment to find out which letters and letter sounds my struggling reader was having trouble with. There are many different assessments available for teachers to use. I used a variety of assessments on my struggling reader so the students would be assessed in numerous different ways.

Below is a summary of my experience of working with a struggling reader:

This semester I worked independently with a struggling reader. This student had trouble with blending, phoneme segmentation, and had a poor alphabet knowledge. The student also had a hard time staying focused. He was very easily distracted. This student did not have an IEP when I began working with him. After Christmas an IEP meeting was set up to help individualize his instruction. When I first met this students I took a reading interest survey. I learned more about the student’s interest and background information. The survey helped me choose materials based on the students interest. I also assessed the students reading level with a dominie assessment. From the dominie assessment,reading survey,and information from the classroom teacher I concluded the student was on a instructional reading level of 1.
After giving the reader an alphabet knowledge test, taken from the red book, I was able to assess which letters and letter sounds he needed to work on. The reader knew almost all letters and letter sounds. The reader knew how to properly hold a book and turn the pages. The reader was able to locate the cover page of a book. The student could locate the title and knew what an author and illustrator were. The students also read from right to left. The reader needed to work on blending and phoneme segmentation. The reader also needed additional practice with alphabet knowledge.
To help the student with letter knowledge I used letter magnets,alphabet cards, and alphabet charts to aide the student. I assessed the readers alphabet knowledge with sources from the red book three times when working with him. This helped me monitor his progress. To help the struggling reader with phoneme segmentation I used Elkonin boxes. The Elkonin boxes helped Terrance practice segmenting sounds. I also used a white dry erase board on which I wrote words and had Terrance break the sounds by first, middle, and ending sounds. I had Terrance identify and repeat phonemes in words I would say to him. To help Terrance with his sight words I used flash cards. I also had Terrance come up with sentences that used his sight words. I had Terrance use his finger or a pointer when reading to learn one to one correspondance.
I worked with Terrance almost everyday. The main focus of our lesson was blending and phoneme segmentation. I used materials from reading street and dibels. At the beginning of each lesson I would reveiew the letter of the week with Terrance. I would use alphabet cards to review the letter. I would also review the phonics and phonic awareness section of the reading street lesson. Next I would have Terrance blend words from the decodable reader. I would also review sight words with Terrance. I would help Terrance read decodable texts and complete cold reads with the student.
Terrance has improved so much. He can blend a lot more words now. If he can’t blend the entire word he can at least get the initial and ending sounds. Before I began working with Terrance he sometimes could not blend any sounds of a word. Terrance’s dibel scores have improved so much. He can read more words and recognizes most sight words. After Christmas Terrance had an IEP set up. He began being pulled from the classroom for idividualized instruction. .
From working with Terrance this smester I have learned that when working with students each child needs to be given instruction based on their needs. Students should be assessed many times and varied ways to find out where they are and where they need to be. When working with students you may need to differintiate instruction. Students may need induvidualized instruction and intervention.

Teaching Math with Children's Literature

Counting Crocodiles
Book: Sierra, Judy. (1997). Counting Crocodiles. New York: Gulliver Books Harcourt Brace & Company

Mathematical Topics(s) or Theme(s)
• Counting to 10 up and down

Appropriate Grade Level(s): K

A clever monkey uses her counting abilities to outwit some hungry crocodiles. The monkey is on an island and has eaten all the fruit from the trees. The monkey spots another island with banana trees. The monkey counts the crocodiles in the sea that stand between her banana tree.

Suggestions for Implementation

Assessment: The story can be used as an assessment activity with small groups of children as they begin a unit on counting to ten. Reading the story with young children will give the teacher a measure of a child’s number sense, and counting ability prior to formal instruction. The teacher can assess the children's knowledge of counting when reading. While reading she can ask the students what number comes next for each page.

Problem Solving: The story can provide a problem solving context for young children. The students can count the crocodiles on each page in the story to figure out how many crocodiles stand between the monkey and the banana tree.

Counting to ten: The book uses counting concepts to tell a story. The book counts up to ten and down from ten.
Additional questions to pose:
a. How many crocodiles would there be if we added one more to ten?
b. Ask the students as you read what number do you think will come next?

Extension: Have the students create their own counting book. The students can write the numbers 1 to 10 in the book. One page for each number. Then the students can draw a picture to represent the number on the page. For the number one they could draw one monkey and so on. Then the students could read their books for review. You would be able to see if the students could write their numbers, and correctly represent the number with pictures.

Teaching with Technology/Art

Above is an image taken from a math lesson I completed with my kindergarten students. I used a smart board and had students create a t-chart of who liked jelly beans and who did not like jelly beans. Each students was given a post it note to writ their name on. The students placed their post it note on either side of the t-chart. As a class we reviewed the results. I was able to use technology to teach a math concept. The smart board allowed the students to interact with the lesson. The student's also were able to record results using technology.

All students have different learning styles. When teaching students we must create lessons that are suited for each learning style. When teaching math when can integrate it with other subjects to develop a more meaningful lesson. Using art and and technology when teaching math allows students the opportunity to learn using other learning methods and techniques. Teaching math with art and technology provide additional resources for your students. Students use hands on experiences and are engaged in their own learning.
click here for additional information about teaching with technology and art

click here for a list of helpful websites on teaching math with art and technology

Working with Struggling Mathematicians

This semester I got to work with a struggling mathematician. Before I began working with Michael I gathered background information from Michael and my cooperating teacher. I learned Michael's interest and what he was struggling with in math. Michael was having a hard time with one-to-one correspondence. I met with Michael several times during the semester to work with him on this. To help Michael better understand one-to-one correspondence I used manipulatives. I also worked with Michael on physically touching each manipualtive as he counted. I used multilink cubes and counters when working with Michael. I assessed Michael with a number knowledge test. I used flash cards with numerals and dots to represent each number and had Michael name the number for each card. I worked with Michael on solving addition and subtraction problems. I gave Michael a set of counters to help him complete the problems. I think Michael learns better with visual representations of the problem. I gave Michael a page of addition problems to solve that had pictures to represent the problems. I suggested to Michael that when he is given a problem that does not have pictures he draw his own pictures to help him solve the problems.
Working with Michael this semester has helped me understand that students may need induvidualized instruction. All students learn differently so as a teacher you must alter your teaching to meet the needs of your students. You should use many varied teaching methods to teach a lesson. Still some students will need additional idividaulized instruction. As a teacher you must provide this instruction to your students.