Questions for middle school teachers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by melissa803, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. melissa803

    melissa803 Comrade

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    Jun 13, 2009

    Hi everyone!

    I have an interview for a reading intervention position in a middle school next week. My experience is elementary and adult reading education. I have a few questions for experienced middle school teachers:

    What area of reading do you find students have the most difficulty with?

    What motivates MS students?

    Does your school do pull out intervention?

    How do you support struggling readers in the content areas?

    How do you help struggling readers not be embarrassed amongst peers?

    Any other ideas or MS issues you think are really important for me to think about before the interview?

    I'd really appreciate any insight into the MS world you can provide! Thanks!
     
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  3. Blkjacq

    Blkjacq Companion

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    Jun 13, 2009

    Well I teach science in MS, but I'll try to answer. I taught in 3rd grade for several years and I loved it when I switched.

    What area of reading do you find students have the most difficulty with? I think they have trouble with comprehension. When we read a labsheet, I have to constantly tell them to go back and reread the directions. They may read the words, but it doesn't compute.

    What motivates MS students? Although I'd like for all of htem to just want to do well for the glory, most don't have that motivation. It helps if their parents are involved at home. To be honest, they are motivated by contests and small rewards.

    Does your school do pull out intervention? The kids in sp. ed are pulled out when necessary according to their IEP and we have Math and Reading "Links" classes for those who are low in the areas. They miss a quarter of other electives if they are automatically put into Links.

    How do you support struggling readers in the content areas? well, in science, I may give them a printout of vocab instead of having them copy it all down. Or give them less words. Or make sure to help them on tests, etc.

    How do you help struggling readers not be embarrassed amongst peers? Only make them read if I know they can handle it. Put them in a group of understanding students who will not laugh at them.

    Any other ideas or MS issues you think are really important for me to think about before the interview? Ask how the teachers work together. Are they in teams? How do they manage issues such as late work or infractions? Do all the teachers have the same consequences?

    Good luck!
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 13, 2009

    What area of reading do you find students have the most difficulty with? Comprehension.

    What motivates MS students? It's tough and it varies greatly. Some students--nothing. It only takes a blue Jolly Rancher for others. I think when you build a classroom of readers, most all students naturally want to be a part of the community and will work towards that. This is done by constant encouragement, recognition for the smallest of achievements, supporting each other, etc. Most of all though, YOU must love to read!

    Does your school do pull out intervention? It varies depending on need from year to year. We always, though, have a class of essentially non-readers. They may not be special education students, but they read at the first or second grade level. These classrooms are very small and focus on basic reading skills and not comprehension and other reading core content for the state.

    How do you support struggling readers in the content areas? This is why students fail in content areas so often. They may know the science or social studies content, but can't read the material. It's very sad. You need an awesome regular classroom teacher, support in the classroom either through collaborative teachers or assistants, and you need patience. Kagan grouping also helps.

    How do you help struggling readers not be embarrassed amongst peers? It comes back to creating a comfortable and enjoyable classroom of readers. You make their weaknesses not a big deal. So her fluency is horrible? When she reads aloud you act like you enjoy every drawn out moment of it and thank her when she finishes. You don't rush to finish a word she's sounding out, and you don't let other students do that either. Help, yes...do, no.
    It's just a lot of little things that add up.
     
  5. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Jun 13, 2009

    I previously taught 8th grade science, and I found that many students, even students who were "good readers" when reading novels, struggle with the non-fiction text format of textbooks. Many of my students didn't know how the sections or chapters were set up to support their reading and comprehension, or how vocabulary was taught through bold text and context.
     
  6. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Jun 13, 2009

    Okay, gotta ask... what is "Kagan grouping?" :hijack:
     
  7. touchinglives

    touchinglives Companion

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    Jun 13, 2009

    I agree with what has been said so far, but I can add a couple of things for you.

    The areas/skills of reading that are consistently low in testing results are inference and vocabulary comprehension.

    To help students understand how to read texts, I teach (and test) nonfiction text features, including what they are, where they are, and how to use them as a resource.

    We do not have a pull-out program at my current school, but we do have an additional class period to use for reinforcing needed skills.

    Good Luck!
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 14, 2009

    http://www.kaganonline.com/Catalog/BKCL.html

    This book DETAILS various methods for cooperative learning--true cooperative learning. It eliminates the possibility that one student takes charge while another does nothing. It ensures groups are as heterogenous as possible. It helps build a true classroom of learners. So much to say about it, but that's what it is in a nutshell.

    If you ever have the opportunity to attend Kagan professional developments, go! :)
     
  9. melissa803

    melissa803 Comrade

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    Jun 14, 2009

    Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate your input. That's exactly what I was looking for. I didn't initially think of myself as a MS teacher but the more I think about this age group, the more I want this job!
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 14, 2009

    Good luck, melissa! That was thinking too.
     
  11. melissa803

    melissa803 Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2009

    Thanks, stg! I hope we all have good news soon!
     
  12. melissa803

    melissa803 Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2009

    I got the job! Thanks everyone for your insight!
     
  13. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 16, 2009

    Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!! :celebrate:
     

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