Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thinking Part 2

Time to get back to "Thinking About Thinking,"and chapter 2 of Moasic of Thought.

As a teacher I want to lead my students toward loving to read. What an ambitious statement. If I break it down, what does it mean?

Years ago I was a special education teacher. I took many hours of training in how to teach children to read. I mean, decode. As I spoke with other sped teachers we all agreed on one thing. Teaching children to decode was easy (relatively), but when it came to teaching them how to comprehend we were all wondering how.

Now I'm a first grade teacher. Decoding is fun, exciting, rewarding. Comprehension is what, how, when? So the same questions.

I also work in a district that has not had a basal for 15 or so years. Many of us have been crying this past year, just give us a basal and we will be happy. But that is not in the plan--at least until something is really Common Core aligned.

If we have a basal, will we be able to get the kids to read (and comprehend)? That is what a majority of us thought would happen.

But now I have my own questions about a basal series. The basal will not make me a better teacher. The basal will give me a false sense of security. I need Professional Development in comprehension instruction. I need to know my students and what they need. I need to immerse myself in comprehension lesson design. 

The good news is that I think I am on the right track. I have my group of core teachers that will wrestle with comprehension with me and a plan for next year.

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  1. I don't think the basal is your answer for comprehension (or anything else). Have you read Debbie Miller's books. They are SO good and helpful. Good luck!
    First Grade @ Storybook Cafe

  2. We having been using Rigby readers for several years. We finally got part of a set of basal readers and I think it helped the kids a lot because they were more interested in the stories. We still use the Rigby readers, but more towards the beginning of the year.

  3. I like your thinking! I don't think a basal is the answer, I think it is a crutch. Keep thinking... and reading... and posting about it.

  4. "Mosaic of Thought" is such an amazing book! I second the recommendation for Debbie Miller's books -- especially "Reading With Meaning." It parallels "Mosaic of Thought" and shows how she implemented each of the strategies in a primary classroom. I feel like a lot of the strategies in both books are better geared (or at least better explained) for fiction reading, but there's a wealth of knowledge in those books.

    Happy reading!
    Eberopolis: Teaching Reading & Writing with Technology

  5. I agree that a basal probably not the answer. I HAVE to use ours because the kids are tested on the material covered in it every 5 weeks. I'd much rather not use it. Besides the suggested books, I think you could find some terrific helps from TPT. Good Luck!
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher


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