Friday, June 20, 2014

Reading Intervention Curriculum

I stopped into school today to get a picture of the curriculum we use for reading intervention.  Have a look...
These are usually open and available for immediate use.

Of course, all the books have been returned and boxed up for the summer, where they'll wait for some special kids next fall.  These are stored in the intervention room I showed in my last post.  When you take off the lid, you see it's full of hanging plastic files, which are numbered.  The curriculum is such that you begin at the level the student is currently reading independently.  Each file folder has four copies of a book.  The back of the book shows the guided reading label and the number of the lesson.  We recorded many items on the lesson planning pages we used (each teacher has her own set in a binder labeled with her intervention students' names).  Included would be the lesson number, the date, and then the lesson plan portion. 

Lessons are planned in sets of two, twice a week (four days total).  So on the first day, the students are given a book two or three levels below their current level.  Hopefully, students have learned from their classroom teacher how to take a picture walk.  If not, this is the time to model it.  I have found so many students just looking at the pictures without thinking about the story, that this year I began to call it "walk and talk."  I model this a lot in my classroom.  Anyway, after walking through the book, the student reads it.  If I have two students together, we have a group conversation as we walk through the book, and then they wear headphones while reading.  I listen to each student, noting their strengths and struggles.  Hopefully, this being a lower level, they'll do a great job.  That gives me an opportunity for praise!

Next in the lesson will be some word work.  We might do this on chart paper, individual white boards, or with magnetic letters.  We also have orange sand on plastic trays, which they love to write on!  The teacher manual gives several suggestions for the word work.  We might be working on adding endings, word families, sight words, etc.  This usually sets us up for the second book, which will be a new book at their just right reading level.  The teacher provides the book introduction as we walk through the story together.  Then the children put their headphones on and read this book.  This is when I take most of my notes.  I can tell who is confusing "was" and "saw," who is ignoring punctuation, and who rereads after figuring out a tricky word.

This ends the lesson on the first day.  Students are given the first easy book from the lesson to read at home.  They all have special small book bags that snap shut.  A reading log is kept there too, so that parents can record when the children read.  Students who read and record on the log get a sticker the following day.

When the second day's lesson begins, students show their reading logs and get stickers to put on their empty 100 grid.  We had several first graders in intervention last year who reached 100!  After the exciting sticker portion, the kids reread the second book from yesterday, the one at their just right level.  This is a second read, and they've not taken it home for parent help.  During this read, I take a running record on one of the students.  The other student is reading the book again too, but I'm focusing on just one student right now.

After both students have finished reading, we move on to do some writing.  Each student has a magazine box for his/her books, along with a bound writing journal.  The LLI curriculum provides some written sentences for you to read to the children.  They use their best writing skills, especially yesterday's word work, to write the sentences about the story.  We work on capital letters, forming letters correctly, punctuation too... not just spelling.  Finally, the kids put the just right level book into the bags to take home.  The easy read book goes into their box.  

Let me sum up...

Day One:  Picture walk & talk on an easy book.  Read the book.  Do word work.  Teacher introduces a just right book.  Read the book.  Take home the easy book.

Day Two:  Stickers!  Reread the just right book, taking a running record on one student.  Journal writing. Take home the just right book.

Of course, you alternate which student you take a running record on, which allows you to get one per student each week.  I like that it's just four days each week, because it seems like there's always something getting in the way of intervention, like field trips, assemblies, etc.  I think most teachers at my school teach intervention Mondays through Thursdays, skipping Friday.  I preferred to skip Mondays.  Kids are so tired after busy weekends, and so am I!

Some other interesting notes:  The files are in numeric order, INCLUDING the easy read books.  You do not have to find your own books for instruction!  Also, if you are less than stellar at taking running records on blank pages (as I am) there are preprinted pages that you can copy and use.

Here is a link to learn more:  Leveled Literacy Intervention

Good luck with your own reading intervention next year!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Closing Up for Summer and Reading Intervention Room

Finally!  Happy summer to all my teaching friends!  I have been out of school since 7pm on June 11th.  It might seem silly to put the time, but that is how late I stayed to clean up and put everything away after the kids left at 12:40.  Some of my teammates had to go back the next day to finish the job, but I was determined to go home and STAY home!

My school is the main elementary building used for summer school (we have air conditioning), so we literally have to put EVERYTHING away.  That means we condense everything into our cupboards, drawers, and bookshelves, then cover all our bookcases with butcherpaper, put plastic bags over our Smartboards, lock everything that has a lock and key, put zip ties on our cabinet doors, and cover our bulletin boards (or take them ALL down).  It's a ton of work.  I mean a TON.  I got the most depressed feeling ever as I looked around before walking out the door.  You would never know that this room was a wonderful, dynamic place to learn and play for twenty-one kids and one teacher.  It looked barren.

Two days later the summer school team was scheduled to move in.  They bring all their own materials.  I never know who will be using my room for the summer, I just know that it's hard to get back in there in August, because none of our rooms have been cleaned for the fall yet.  I'd love to go back and start getting ready as soon as summer school is out at the end of July, but there's no point since the custodians have to move our things around to shampoo the carpets.  At least they put it back for us though!  We leave a little map on one of our bulletin boards for them, so they know where we want everything.  I've often wondered if slipping one of them a $20 would move my room to the top of the list.  Ha ha... NO.

So, on to the reading intervention room...

  Small group room used for reading intervention throughout the day

This is the view when standing in the doorway.  As I said in my last post, we meet every 5 or  6 weeks to determine intervention groups for our grade.  Because our school does not qualify for Title I funds, we do not have a budget for reading intervention teachers.  Each teacher on the team takes a turn teaching a round of intervention.  When it was my turn, back in February, I was slotted to work with two girls from other classrooms.  We have an intervention curriculum that is fairly scripted, so it was simple to plan our 30 minutes together (4 days a week).  I enjoyed my round, so when we met again, I volunteered to continue for another round with one of the same girls and a boy from another class.  After a few weeks it got to be too much, and I was looking forward to the end of the second round.  A teammate who taught back-to-back rounds the year before agreed that we shouldn't do double rounds.  It's too hard on our classrooms, because when we leave the room to teach reading intervention, a paraprofessional has to teach our students.  I was able to make it fairly simple, where the para led the morning meeting, calendar routine, shared reading, and brain break.  Then I'd return in time for the readers workshop mini-lesson.  I had a special lesson plan form I'd fill out for her each week.  Some teachers on my team would teach during recess.  Students who missed recess would get 20 minutes once a week in the gym with the PE teacher and ride around in the empty gym on those little square scooters.  They loved it!  Teachers who chose that option had less planning to do but also lost an hour of prep time each week.  

Coming Next... Reading intervention curriculum