Sunday, April 26, 2009

Overwhelming Time of the Year

This is the most overwhelming time of the year for someone in a job like mine.   We are winding down our guided reading plus groups.  My first graders should be at DRA2 level 16 in order to be considered 'meeting expectations' in reading.   My Kindergarteners should be reading at a level 3 in order to be considered 'meeting expectations' in reading.   So far 100% of my Kindergarteners have met or exceeded that goal.  First grade on the other hand is still struggling with only 68% meeting expectations.   We will continue Guided Reading Plus groups in First grade as long as possible.  My data must be complete by May 19th.   The DRA2 will be administered the 2nd week of May - I hope to see a significant gain in 'meeting expectations' by then.  (most of the first graders at the 'below expectations' are on the bubble - at a DRA2 level 15)   I worry that the reading levels.. for my first graders will not have enough padding in them to last over the summer.  Most educators understand that children regress over the summer.  (What are your thoughts on full year school?)  

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Can Your Child Skip? If So, Your Child Can Probably Read!

Research has shown that reading readiness/ability goes hand-in-hand with a child being able to skip.   But skipping isn't the only thing that will help.   If your child can cross the mid-line (an imaginary line running vertically through your body) he/she will have a much easier time reading. 

Here are some links to many mid-line and brain stimulating activities for children. 

Brain Gym

Reading involves many cross mid-line activities, such as tracking words from left to right with their fingers (see below post involving creepy hairy fingers) and return sweeping (from right back to left again) to the next line of text.  

I have found that many of my girls have an easier time with these tasks simply due to the fact that (whether we like it or not) girls tend to involve more skipping in their play than boys do.   In your household and at your school, the stigma of skipping as being a "girlie" thing to do should be removed and replaced with it being a "smart" thing to do!