I don't know about you, but I would much prefer the former choice. However, I think I'm going to choose the latter. I'm not happy about it, but I need to feel some success, so I am going to choose to move onward and upward.
This morning, I had a great meeting with Katie (Creative Literacy) and Mary Lee (A Year of Reading) about the presentation we're doing together at NCTE in Philadelphia in November. Without giving away the whole presentation, I will say that this moment of utter frustration, 5 minutes ago, made me reflect back to our conversations this morning. We were talking about some global topics, but a teacher's reality in the beginning of every school year is that we need to spend some time reflecting about what our students know, and what we plan to do with that knowledge.
Cutting to the chase, it means:
- We will give spelling inventories to students and then analyze them to see how we can best help them with their spelling in their writing.
- We will interview and observe our students in a variety of ways to learn how they interact within our classroom learning environment. If we discover that a student has a difficult time choosing a "just right" book that they are interested in, we need to plan how to best help them learn more about themselves as readers. There are multiple things we do each and every day; things we do because of our observations of students.
- We will give Developmental Reading Assessments to each of our students and spend hours analyzing what the students' strengths and weaknesses are. This also lets us know how to help each child with his/her reading through strategy groups or individual conferences.
- We will thoughtfully structure lessons in a way that starts to build a community of readers / writers / thinkers / learners in our classroom.
- We will look at the data that was compiled before the students got to us. Is there a clue in that data that will allow us to help each student grow?
- We will prepare interims to allow parents to know where their child stands in all subject areas half-way through the first trimester (**ok, I would do this if the system would let me in**)
- We will prepare careful, thoughtful conference notes about each child because we know that a solid working relationship with the parents will only assist us in helping each child grow.
- We will write detailed lesson plans, that will changed on a moment's notice, when we see that the group already understands a concept, or they just didn't grasp what we wanted them to learn. We need to figure out new ways to reach our students.
Thanks for reading my rant tonight. I just needed to get it off my chest.