Reading Without Limits

Maddie Witter

The Home Stretch

It’s that time of year again…

The sun is shining, the kids are changing and we are imagining a classroom sadly (and a little bit not sadly) without our dear little ones.

With less than one month (ish) of teachable lessons left, here is my advice…

Don’t teach any new standards.

Take a second, and go back through everything you’ve taught.  Ask yourself

– what did they rock?

– what didn’t you teach well? (why?)

– what confused them?

Then, create one more unit around everything you just listed.

For example, here’s what went well (and didn’t go well) in my classroom:

Went Well

1.  The kids are really, really good at writing essays

2.  The kids can read a book in four days- their reading rate has really improved

3.  The kids kept good notes on most (but not all) of the books they read this year

What I Didn’t Teach Well

1.  We didn’t spend enough time on the purpose of why we chose the 4 class novels we taught

2.  I didn’t spend enough time allowing them to talk to their partners to get new insights

3.  I was bogged down with TOO MANY STATE TESTS and because of that, the kids didn’t have enough time to do book clubs

What Confused Them

1.  The kids still when making insightful statements about books tend to speak stereotypically

2.  The historical setting of Things Fall Apart

3.  Poetry

Moving Forward

What I plan to do in my last month of school is:

1.  To analyze the purpose behind each of the class novels we chose, and how connecting to that schema can help them become better readers

2.  Celebrate their writing success

3.  Do more partner books (we can’t do book clubs because we don’t have enough books)

4.  Connect their thematic understanding to poetry and memorize those poems so that they can connect to them whenever possible in high school

5.  Read current gender and cultural theory with the kids to broaden their perspectives past their stereotypes

My moving forward list isn’t too daunting- and it will be a nice end of year unit.  Maybe I’ll call it “Clearing Up our Confusions” or “Wrap Up”… Suggestions?


One comment on “The Home Stretch

  1. Pingback: Teaching Reading At Home From Birth On

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This entry was posted on May 3, 2009 by in Reading Assessments, Reading Lessons and tagged , , , .

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