Reading AIS

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Sluggermel, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Sluggermel

    Sluggermel Rookie

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    Aug 29, 2007

    Hi all,

    I am a new reading teacher in a middle school and I am beginning to panic. I just had orientation this week and although it was a bit helpful, it left me feeling very overwhelmed and stressed. Reading teachers do not have a curriculum to follow and help guide instruction. Although this may seem nice since I won't be under constant pressures to meet guidelines, but I always need something to help guide my instruction. I am basically on my own in terms of what to teach. I have mostly small groups of 7th graders. I do have a couple 6th grade groups, but mostly 7th. That kinda leaves me not knowing where the heck to start. School starts in a week and I know the first couple days will be ice breakers, and then I will start assessing the kids to find out what level they are at. I know I would like to teach important reading strategies to use, but I know that won't take up the whole year. Is there anybody that is a middle school reading teacher that may be able to offer some suggestions, advice, or words of comfort? I would appreciate the help! Thanks!
     
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  3. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Aug 29, 2007

    This is my third year to teach middle school reading. I am certified in English but not Reading, per se, and do not have the extra formal instruction, so I've learned to teach basic reading strategies like before, during, and after reading with lots of graphic organizers, teaching the importance of bold words, titles, headings, italics, etc., using a variety of picture books to illustrate meaning, ideas, characters, etc. (the visuals help the lower readers a lot), and a lot of SSR. We also STAR test and use Accelerated Reader levels, monitoring what students are reading and making them push up their levels instead of lowering their standards. My state has pretty clear expectations on what is taught in reading, so the curriculum is lined out nicely on what to teach, but not necessarily on what to use. Our students are pretty low on reading scores (lots of English Language learners) so we make them read a lot in all classes, not just reading and English. Oh, and I like to have them read aloud a lot. We use "popcorn" but with rules. They really like reading a prescribed amount aloud, then passing ("popcorn") it on to classmates. They seem more willing to read aloud when their classmates call on them then when I do. It's also important to include some type of writing along with reading so that they can "digest" what they take in, learn to respond appropriately, and connect to what they are reading. It's not all about fiction...use a variety of genres, grade levels, subjects, etc. And show them how to read a textbook. Many students (even at the college level) don't know how to read a textbook.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Sluggermel

    Sluggermel Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2007

    Wow, thanks for all the ideas. Things are pretty crazy right now because we are spending so much time testing. I have around 50 kids total and my district just purchased the QRI to use for assessing. The STAR was given in previous years but felt that it did not give a good calculation of comprehension and fluency skills. With the QRI, it takes around 45 minutes to do one kid, times 50, so that's taking up all my time right now. When I eventually finish with that, then I was thinking of doing a study skills unit, which will include organization, time management, SQ3R, reading a textbook, notetaking, etc. I thikn that would be a good place to start. Then from that point on, I'm not really sure. I definitely will do a lot of practice on state assessments with them since that is basically the reason they are in AIS. I will probably teach several reading strategies (re-reading, taking notes, writing ideas down, making connections), and then implement a novel study to apply the strategies. I want to try to make this class fun, but these kids are SO unmotivated and no matter what I give them to do, they seem bored and it's forced. It's just a struggle to try to get them to enjoy doing anything, especially when there are behavior issues involved. I am flying by the seat of my pants here, so I'm not really sure what else I plan on doing. I guess I'll just have to take it one day at a time...
     

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