Friday, October 30, 2015

Teaching Reading

Reading instruction is something that I am passionate about. It is a crucial skill! It is the foundation of EVERYTHING! I recently attended an incredible conference put on by The Colorado Department of Education about the READ Act which is Colorado's "solution" to reading difficulties. This was an incredible conference and one of the best I have attended. They flew in literacy experts from around the country and it was FREE.

One of the topics over and over was how important literacy instruction is and that reading groups are not use throwing a leveled text at a small group and calling it reading instruction. I feel that often that is what reading is as perceived by a lot of teachers. This conference really focused on the areas that needed to be instructed before you can affectively teach reading. Those components were phonics, vocabulary and reading comprehension strategies.

It is easy enough to say these things but some buildings and classrooms do not have all of the tools needed to do this. Adopting a reading program and phonics program is a huge task. I have come across some great free resources that can help you in your classroom.

The first resource is the perfect place to start when looking for your reading centers. Florida Center for Reading Research is a comprehensive site for reading resources. There is a huge amount of information to help you learn more about reading and skill specific resources for you to bring in to the classroom. You just need to print and make them. There are so many resources on this site you will find at least ten things you can use in your classroom tomorrow. This resource was cited over and over at READ Conference.

The next resource is one I have just recently started using. Read Works is a great stop to build reading comprehension. There are tons of reading comprehension texts to monitor and test your student's comprehension skills. You can choose texts to target specific skills or to test a variety.

The last tool is something that I found that compiles all of the different reading measure scores into one place. You can use this to see where your students fall on the most common reading assessments. I found this to be very helpful because the majority of my reading training is using the DRA 2 scores and now my building is putting more emphasis on Lexile scores.

Since attending this conference I am really trying to put what I have learned in to daily use in the classroom. I am building on my previous vocabulary and phonics instruction. I hope this helps you build reading instruction in your classroom. If you have any great reading resources please share them in the comments.

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