I also brought a copy of this book which is dog-eared and loaded with highlights from my many re-reads.
- I don't really use the Daily 5 as much. I use Read to Self every day, but it is a more Reading Workshop based process now.
- I use Kristin's (A Teeny Tiny Teacher) sight word assessments (see previous post).
- I spend a huge amount of time helping kids find books that work for them. Ones they really want to come back to each day to read and learn from.
- I reflect every single week on what worked and what didn't.
- I accept that I cannot be perfect in meeting everyone's needs, but that I know more about what my kids' need than ever before.
- I need to be flexible with my teaching. I need to do whatever it takes to help kids read and love to read.
One fantastic lesson I keep reflecting on is when I did a mini-lesson on reading non-fiction to get smarter. After the mini-lesson I sent the kids to a carefully selected box of easy to read non-fiction books about all kinds of topics from plants to syrup to monster trucks to leopards. I told them to read and look for one amazing fact to bring back to the class to share. This purposeful lesson did exactly what I wanted it to and was so darn simple. They were so excited during our reading time. I couldn't find one child who needed to be prodded into reading practice. When we met back up to reflect and share, the kids had amazing facts that did in fact make us all smarter. When one child told us that shadows are longer in the winter because the sun is lower in the sky. I said, "hey, let's try it out." I took out a flashlight, we closed the shades and practiced holding the flashlight high in the air and then lower to the ground to watch how the shadows changed. This was an amazing lesson filled with purpose, spontaneity, and learning. I knew the kids got the target and were pushed to find more ways to get smarter when they read non-fiction.
As always, I'm thinking about my craft and how it works with the children I teach. I need more time to reflect and test, but then I'll be back to share. Feel free (PLEASE) to share what works for you.