Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Learn to Read and Write English in 20 Days!

Learning To Read and Write: Day One AM Schedule!

Up to 70% of my students first language is Spanish!

8:35 Morning Meditation and Pep Talk
“Can I get an Hazzah ”: We start every day by MOTIVATING the kids using
the old fashion method of tales of valor, classic fairy tales and fables. I share
the epic stories of courage, virtue, honor, perseverance, responsibility, duty,
fortitude, chivalry, civility, empathy, sacrifice, and most importantly, an
exemplary work ethic.

8:45 Morning goals and preview:
We set daily, weekly, and monthly goals, with active charting of all data
for a strong visual cue of each student's progress. Class and student
goals are always set at or above grade level, even for students who
are four years below grade level. All class goals are posted in the class
 and updated regularly as students meet and surpass goals. Daily goals
include tasks completed for homework and class work. For
intermediate students, we list at least seven daily goals: 1) I will read,
analyze, and diagram two poems, and select one stanza to memorize for
daily recitation; 2) I will read two short stories and complete vocabulary
comprehension exercises; 3) I will read two chapters from a grade-level
text and write a story map for each; 4) I will write fifteen, kid-friendly
sentences with at least six to eight words each using the review vocabulary;
5) I will write one poem in student-selected cursive in my Book of Memories
( a collection of students best work and cherished knowledge); 6) I will learn
twenty five new words, ideas, facts, jokes, stanzas, phrases, limericks,
rhymes, riddles, antonyms, synonyms, quotes, parables, folktales, myths,
fables, and or fairy tales; and 7) I will learn and have fun! “Try to learn
25 new things everyday at school or at home!”

A Note On Goals: Students will never meet all their goals but they will
meet many of them. Set goals for student that they can earn rewards weekly,
fluency is the best and fastest goal that can used to earn hot cocoa with
the teacher, Chinese noodles with the teacher for lunch, homework passes,
and the kids favorite Mexican Pizza Party. Students who do nothing to meet
their goals are dressed down and read  the riot act using kid logic and parables
to re-teach the work ethic and responsibility.

I eat lunch with my students as they do in China and Japan most days,
so they can share what’s going on in their lives. I invite students who seem
to be lost and have no desire to participate in school to join me for lunch.
I let them know I am going to do everything in my power to teach them how
to read and to keep them on task. I am a tough, no-nonsense teacher,
and letting the kids talk and laugh with me at lunch lets them see me as
someone other than the reading drill sergeant. It helps kids relate and feel
more comfortable in the classroom.

8:50 Short Music and Movement: Sing a fun motivating song with the
students up to 8 times per day to have fun and to help English language
learners with articulation and fluency. I usually start with the Beatles.

8:54 Word Wall Fluency Drills
Word walls are used daily to build phonemic awareness, word attack skills,
articulation, power, automaticity,  and fluency. Students read the word walls
up to ten times per day, as needed, at the start of Reading Boot Camp to
reinforce fluency and word attack skills. The drills are quick, one-time
read-through that take about a minute to read the thirty to forty words. Ask
students to set the pace and use the pointer to guide the class. Students with
attention problems do well with this task. Remember, this is a super-fast
drill to build fluency and word attack

Two words walls are used, one to reinforce key reading vocabulary, and a
second to build academic vocabulary. I have created a speller with the daily
vocabulary to make transitions very fast. My speller is packed with Reading
Vocabulary, Academic Vocabulary, Fluency Drills, Poems, Short Stories,
Glossaries for all academic areas plus many other Literacy Tools.  I also use
my SMARTBoard to make my word walls but a standard blue pocket word
wall will work.

8:55 Fluency drill:
Students use a collection of teacher-made fluency drills to quickly read a
passage and assess a reading fluency rate. Students are trained to complete
the Running Record and monitor, record and prepare a simple miscue
analysis for their peers. Students then switch roles and repeat the Running
Record process. The students calculate, or get help calculating, their own
words-per-minute fluency rate. Extensions: The student then read and reread
the fluency drill to practice inflection, articulation, and expression with peer
and teacher modeling. The first time a passage is introduced, I read the passage
with power and inflection as it would be performed as a recitation for an
audience. We discuss vocabulary and background knowledge to insure full
understanding of the literature.

9:10 Poetry and Prose:
Students can read a quick poems with a reading buddy or come together
for formal poetry readings and student recitation. Formal poetry readings
start with soft jazz music and students sitting with their poetry books in
hand, reading along as a student reads or I perform a selected poem.
Students who have mastered a poem are invited to recite for the class.
We critique the poem for articulation, emotions, and our thoughts and
impressions. Extensions: Jazz and poetry can run longer than the five to
ten minutes that I give it during Reading Boot Camp. Reading collections
of poems from the same author and doing a more thorough analysis is
time well spent and makes life-long readers of poetry. There are many
"aah . . ." and "Wow!" teachable moments in poetry. Digging deeper
into poetry helps teach the hardest concepts in reading, such as
inference, author's view point, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, and allusion.

9:15 Guided Reading:
Students participate in an Oprah-style or as I call it Fire Side Book Club during
Reading Boot Camp and throughout the year. All students (and the teacher)
read the same award-winning chapter book. I usually start with a book that
is one grade above the level I teach to insure a very steep learning curve.
Harry Potter, Hatchet, The Cay, are favorites. Whenever a student or I
read to the class, the students always have the text in front of them. The
students read along silently with the reader, their fingers following word-for-word.
To begin, I read the first few pages (no more than half of the chapter). I stop
frequently to do a 'think aloud' to show my thoughts and opinions. Any passage
that has a teachable moment is seized to help students understand complex
concepts. Background knowledge and challenging vocabulary are explained
and simplified with synonyms and examples. Students have a short breakout
reading session with their peers and reread  what I read to them. Students
are grouped in many ways, from picking groups randomly using popsicle
sticks, to forming groups using student data. Students take turns reading
two pages and then actively monitoring for understanding and decoding.
The student whoearlier with their peers. They review the chapter again,
stopping to write challenging and interesting vocabulary. Then they sequence
important details as they happen in the chapter. Students can use the author’s
words and phrases or put them into their own words, depending on their ability.
Students take turns reading and helping with selecting important content and
discussing what is actually important. Students usually have fifteen to twenty
vocabulary words and ten to twenty sentences in sequential order.

10:54 Word Wall Fluency Drills
See description above

10:55 Quick Fluency drills:
Five minutes: Students reread the fluency drill read earlier to build automaticity
of the content.

11:00 Short Music and Movement:

11:05 Vocabulary Instruction:
Three tiers of vocabulary are used during vocabulary instruction. Grade level
reading/spelling, above level challenge, and below for review. Six words from
each level are selected and explicitly taught. We read, write, define, categorize,
and use in a sentence even making odd sentences to help students remember.
Vocabulary is also, alphabetized, syllabified, categorized (noun, verb, adjective
etc.) and root, suffix, prefix is examined. Students then write one kid-friendly
sentence per word, with at least six to eight words, to show understanding.
I give students examples of strong sentences and weak sentences to model
competent writing. Students can use my sentences to help with the process
at the beginning. Most sentences are given orally to help students with active
listening skills. Extensions: Students who are reading at grade level are
instructed to choose harder words and analyze and write more complex sentences.

11:30 SMARTBoard Read Aloud:
Alice in Wonderland, Chapter One: Students gather around the SMARTBoard
to read and listen to Alice in Wonderland. I load the PDF ebook to display
on the SMARTBoard, select the Librivox audio book, and start the presentation.
I ask for a volunteer to use the pointer to help students follow the text as its
being read by the Librivox narrator. The students relax and listen to Alice a
nd I have time to work with a student or put my feet up and take a breather.
I am lucky to have a SMARTBoard to help with reading instruction and lesson
planning. Before the SMARTBoard, I was stuck using my Aver key and my
TV. The oldest and most expensive is a class set of books and a CD audio
book that the class listers to. I only have The Chronicles of Narnia as a class
set and Audio CD due to my budget.

11:30 Short Stories:
Most teachers do not have a SMARTBoard, so this type of read aloud is
not possible in that format. Teachers can use their computer and/or an
Aver key to do a modified read aloud. Teachers, who do not have access
to technology, can use a student-led reading group to read a short story.
Students select a short story from their anthologies and round-robin read
with their groups. The teacher can join a group, or work one-on-one
with a student who is struggling. Groups should be formed using student
data to insure each group has one strong reader. They read the story,
and if they have time, read a second story, taking turns reading and
discussing important details and interesting concepts.

12:00 Morning Wrap Up :
Quick discussions of morning goals, learning, and methods are critiqued to
improve the learning environment. Exemplary students who demonstrate
excellent manners and etiquette are praised and celebrated.

PM Schedule of DAY ONE Coming Soon!

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