Turning around an entire school in just 20 days is possible!
Teaching every child in your school to read in twenty days is not only radical
but saves thousands in program cost. Turning the reading establishment on its
head and saving a lost generation is a radical idea. Spending education budgets
on great literature for students, instead of reading software, basal readers,
reading intervention programs, and teacher in-service training is a radical idea.
Insuring that all students have a real future is just a pipe dream if we stay on
this path of chasing reading rainbows. Teaching ten years in high-poverty
schools, with over 85% of the students at risk, has taught me we have lost
our way and the establishment is broken. We buy into every program that
comes down the pike promising success, yet here we are failing our most
needy students. Putting great literature, poetry, and books in children’s hands
is the foundation of Reading Boot Camp, not predigested workbooks, endless
teacher-made work sheets, and needless teacher made busy work. Reading
Boot Camp is back to basics with a sledge hammer to the outsider.
Students find it rewarding and fantastic!
Why Not Try Something New
Giving students books that are three or four years above grade level may seem
counterintuitive to what you have been taught yet students know the words in
auditory memory. Most students come to school with almost 2,000-5,000
words in auditory memory. By intermediate grades they have 5,000-10,000
words in auditory memory. Learning 2,000 words in 20 days seems to be
virtually impossible until make connections between auditory memory and
words on the page. The see and say method from the 19th century holds true
today. Reading Boot Camp all reading activities are reinforced with auditory
cues from the teacher, students, or audio books. They just need to practice and
practice decoding them and hearing them. We focus on all aspects of good
reading skills but always in the context of great literature.
Building on Fairy Tales, Fables, and Classic Children’s Literature Students get
board very easy and finding literature that keeps them coming back for more
is a challenge. Stories like the girl with no hands perks up even the most ardent
critic of reading and books. Reading Boot Camp is more than rote decoding
drills, word analysis, comprehension, reading strategies, vocabulary, word
attack, and journal writing. It’s giving students a profound foundation in
wonderful classic literature. Students read Aesop’s Fables, The Brothers
Grimm, The Blue Fairy Book, Alice In Wonderland, and even Chinese Proverbs.
Students that still turn their nose up at even the best literature are given
individualized fairytales. I take a classic fairytale and personalize the stories just
for them. I always pick one that is very tough to get the most out of the reading.
Learning Vocabulary Indirectly Children learn the meaning of most words
indirectly, through everyday experiences with oral and written language--e.g.,
through conversations with adults, through being read to, and through reading
extensively on their own. Students learn language by listening and making
connections and struggling readers need those audio cues even more.
Struggling students sitting silently with a book will get very little out of the
experience without the auditory component. Students always have the
ability to listen to a model reading. When I read, the students read, or the
computer reads, students always have the text in front of them. Learning
Vocabulary Directly Children learn vocabulary directly when they are
explicitly taught both individual words and word-learning strategies through
reading engaging literature. Reading Boot Camp is designed to build
automaticity of the 2000 most-used, written words in English. Fluency
drills and accuracy drills reinforce the connections to word meanings the
students already possess in auditory memory.