Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Guided Reading or Reader's Workshop

I've just finished attending the most fabulous Reader's Workshop professional development that I've seen in quite awhile. Conducted by the Teacher's College of Columbia University, the focus was on teaching reading and writing through the use of the Reader's and Writer's Workshop. I have used both in my classroom for quite sometime, though the emphasis in the district where I am employed is focused more towards the Guided Reading approach, there can be no denying that the Reader's Workshop works. By looking at the amazing gains that this school has made because of the implementation of this system and the informal research I have conducted within my own classroom setting, it is clear to me that the better approach is the Reader's Workshop. I will be posting information on how to implement the Reader's workshop in the classroom setting within the next 2 weeks. Those using it already- PLEASE- leave your comments!!
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Readicide

My thoughts so far- WOW- Kelly Gallagher has put into words what I feel districts and schools are doing to reading by implementing these "systemic" changes to the way we teach reading. We can no longer enjoy books, educators (some, of course, NOT ALL) dissect every little piece of the book until you no longer remember the book that was read but the minuscule lessons that were pulled from each page and picture, extracted by the most eloquent of educators! Let us no longer kill books, let's just read them just to enjoy them sometimes.... Just read! Check out his podcast by clicking the link.
http://www.stenhouse.com/html/readicidepodcast.htm

Welcome...and needing some advice...

I am an educator by birth! I've always known that I was meant to be a teacher. I've just finished my 12th year in the classroom; the grades I have taught have ranged from teaching first grade as an interim teacher to Drop out prevention 4/5 split, to gifted and talented learners. I've even spent a year instructing K-5 in a science lab but as this year closes out I look forward to a change in direction. A position as a Learning Team Facilitator awaits me at 2 different Title 1 schools. I will no longer have a classroom of my own. My poor daughters (2 of them)!

Most of my career has been spent in both 3rd and 4th grade classrooms, and (if your an educator in Florida as I am) typically preparing students for the dreaded FCAT. I do- in some ways- believe in some form of standardized testing, however felt an immense amount of pressure to focus on my students who were not performing at grade level standards. I'm sure there are many teachers out there who feel the same way.

What I am curious to know.. is the following.....

*Transitioning from a classroom to a more "coaching" type of position, what should I expect? (I'm feeling a bit 'bittersweet' about my move...)

*How many teachers/educators out there are unsatified with their jobs because of the pressure that administration places on 'us' because of state standardized testing?

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