Reading First... anyone with information???

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by melissa74, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. melissa74

    melissa74 Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2005

    At our faculty meeting today, our reading specialist brought the idea of doing a grant with the Reading First program... is anyone familiar with it??? I would like any information that you could provide... thanks!
     
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  3. steph1daisy

    steph1daisy New Member

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    The school I am at right now is part of the Reading First grant. This is the second or the third year they have had it here. Everything you bring into the classroom related to reading must be a researched based program. When you are choosing your program make sure you know every facet of it before going into it. There is a lot of paper work that is required of all of the teachers to upkeep this grant.
    I would say that this grant has probably helped the school I am currently at with more than just curriculum and helping bring up test scores. As part of the grant comes other resources that you may purchase that help in the classroom such as computer programs, materials needed in the classroom, leapsters, etc.
     
  4. melissa74

    melissa74 Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2005

    Did your school buy into a reading series to help with the grant... I am completely against basals or anthologies.... and our reading specialist says we must buy into a series for this grant... this is what concerns me the most...
     
  5. AZKinderTchr

    AZKinderTchr Comrade

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    I also work for a reading first school. There are times when it is intimidating because the reading specialist and Reading First coaches are on site a log and watching and reviewing your work. BUT I think our kids have really benefitted from the extra training and the push to do more we have received as a staff.

    We do have a reading series -- Harcourt Trophies. This is district wide, not just reading first. I hated the idea at first, but it's been great for my kids. They are really making a lot of progress in reading and I think that I am a better teacher because using the program keeps me on track. We do other things in addition to the book but everything (like the prior poster said) has to be research based.

    As with any change, there are pros and cons. But I can say IMHO it has been a great thing for our kids.
     
  6. pam1212

    pam1212 Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2005

    I work in a Reading First school. We are doing the Voyager program. It has 6 or 7 levels ranging from phonemic awareness to comprehension and vocabulary. This is seperate from our disrict wide reading program. We have to attend meetings and workshops as well as complete online tests. Our students also have to be tested and all this has to be documented. I just started last week so I am feeling very overwhelmed. I have a lot of catching up to do!!!
     
  7. pam1212

    pam1212 Rookie

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    Where in NY are you located??
     
  8. 1stferg

    1stferg Comrade

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    Dec 13, 2005

    I was in a Reading First School. Fortunately I was able to move to another school this year.

    Yes, you have to use the basal, the whole basal and nothing but the basal.

    No, you can not supplement ever unless it is approved and written into your grant.

    Your school or district, which ever is under the grant, must adopt a format as well as a basal series. Our district adopted Learning Concepts. It is similar to Four Blocks but a lot more strict on time and involved in lesson planning. We no longer wrote objectives but instead we wrote essential questions. E.Q.s have nothing to do with the story you will use but instead focus on the comprehension strategy. The aquisition lesson must last exactly 30 minutes because research proves that 30 minutes of teacher directed instruction benefits children. 28 minutes is not research proven, 31 minutes is not research proven.

    In the beginning it took the average teacher at our school 15+ hours to write lesson plans for one week. That does not include the time it took to prepare materials. I finally got my plans down to where I could do it in 6 hours by the end of the year.

    We, the first grade team, had to change our lesson plan format six times in the first two months of school. We were really trying hard to do it correctly but the grant makes it very difficult.

    This grant is designed especially for schools with Title 1 support. Our school did not have Title 1 so that added another degree of difficulty.

    Do you want to know why children seem to succeed with this grant? It is because of the low standards. Before the grant our school used the WV standards to benchmark students. A very good example is the standard for fluency. The WV standard for first grade is 60 words per minute. The DIBELs standard for first grade is 40 words per minute. When you lower your standard by one-third of course it will look like the children are doing better.

    I am sorry it seems like I ran on and on. But I hated it and I thank God everyday that I am no longer in a Reading First School!
     
  9. AZKinderTchr

    AZKinderTchr Comrade

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    Dec 13, 2005

    In response to your message:

    There is no change to the lesson plans required at my school or any of the other 5 or 6 Reading First schools in my school district. The format/requirements we had before Reading First are the same as now.

    We can and do supplement the reading program with many things. We do this outside of the 90 minute mandatory block of time. We have also learned many research based practices that we are allowed to substitute inside the block of reading time. Alot of the suggestions are things people do anyway, they just knew it worked for kids and didn't necessarily know it was research based.

    I am also offended by the statement that the children are not actually being successful but instead the standards are being lowered. We use the DIEBL testing BUT we also do our own assessments and our students are succeeding and it's not due to our lowered standards. They are succeeding because their teachers are more consistent, using proven teaching methods, receiving additional support, additional materials, and getting more reading training on a regular basis.

    I am sorry that it was a bad experience for you, but the grant itself is not bad, nor does it lower expectations for student achievement.
     
  10. readingisgood

    readingisgood Rookie

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    My school isn't Reading First, but I work pretty closely with other literacy teachers in the district who are at Reading First schools and all I can say is that it seems to be a direct trade of money for freedom, as in you give up your freedom in exchange for a lot of money. Those schools are all incredibly well funded (to give some idea, we recently write and recieved an unrelated grant for $9500 to establish a leveled book room at my non-Reading First school. We were thrilled, but when I mentioned it to a couple Reading First literacy teachers, their response was "That's all?" The Rigby rep we dealt with had a similar response. She said, "So this isn't Reading First money, then?"), but they (the teachers) have very little control over how they do things.

    Our system recently adopted the Harcourt Trophies series. I was teaching K and absolutely hated it. I used the materials in the kit to augment what I was already doing, but otherwise did not embrace the Trophies' program (a 30-page Big Book for Shared Reading that is read one day and not looked at again for two weeks is a silly way to do things. I'm not sure what research this was based on, but all the research I've read disagrees.) At my school, using the kit in our own way was fine, but the Reading First schools were required to follow the program to the letter or risk losing funds.

    It's a tough call, I think. The freedom to make your own judgements about the right way to teach your children is important, but doesn't do much good if you can't afford materials to make it happen.
     
  11. 1stferg

    1stferg Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2005

    I am sorry I offended you. However I would like to have your opinion on this circumstance. Before the RF grant when we had 60 words per minute as a fluency benchmark for first grade at the end of the year let's suppose 75% of the first graders met that benchmark. With RF the new benchmark is 40 words per minute. Now we have picked up an additional 20% of the students. 95% now meet benchmark at the end of the year. Did the children actually improve in reading because the standard was changed or did the new standard just include a greater portion of the population as being successful?
     
  12. 1stferg

    1stferg Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2005

    I thought of something else. In my old RF school the reading block is not 90 minutes. It is 120 minutes and it must be uninterrupted. So our teachers asked for a definition of "uninterrupted". It means no restroom breaks for two hours, no visits to the library for two hours, no writing for two hours. Those are guidelines set by the RF grant. On the other hand, schools in our district that do not have the RF grant must have a 90 minute uninterrupted block for reading. And we are allowed to have students write during the reading block. We are encouraged to use the basal as it was intended, a guide for the teacher.
     
  13. AZKinderTchr

    AZKinderTchr Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2005

    I would say that in your school, if you dropped your expectation for benchmark then yes of course the grant has sort of "cast a wider net" and captured data showing more children who were successful. To see if the grant helped, you would have to pull data from the previous year and look at the new percentages to see if it still would have been 95% (I think that's the number you gave) at benchmark. You do have to compare apples to apples. The top kids who were benchmarking at your old level would of course not be expected to be higher with the grant, the important thing is to look at the lower kids. If 40 wpm is the goal, were 95% making 40 wpm the previous year??

    You are right about the 120 minutes. In addition to our direct instruction time of 90 minutes, we have an additional 30 minutes of level specific reading intensive intervention each day. What isn't true in our school is the definition of uninterrupted. My morning looks like this -- 9am-10am -- direct instruction from the reading program. 10-10:15 recess. 10:15-11:00 literacy basket rotations. Activities are specifically designed to reinforce and provide practice for the skills being taught in the reading program. 11:00-11:30 Intensive level specific intervention.

    As far as bathroom breaks -- I always encourage my students to use the restroom before school, at recess, at lunch. Reading First or not -- that's valuable instruction time they miss when they are wanderiing the halls. However, of course if they have to go, they have to go.

    We do not do writing during our 120 minutes -- it is scheduled for its own time later in the day. And library and all other special classes are in the afternoon.

    Hope that clarifies some things. I think you are right, the grant is designed for Title I areas. The kids that come into my classroom may have never held a book before school started in August and we need all the help we can get to have these little ones be successful. Maybe that's a big difference too?

    Sorry if I was overly defensive, but I really do see great things happening in our school.
     
  14. AZKinderTchr

    AZKinderTchr Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2005

    Oh, okay one more thing -- sorry I just can't shut up this morning! :)

    Try to remember that DIBELS isn't a test that is meant to show the best of the best today but is supposed to be an indicator of success for the future. So maybe the numbers are different based on that factor. A child who reads 60 wpm is a superstar, no doubt, but maybe the test is just saying at least 40 wpm you will still be successful.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    One of the morals of this discussion, I think, is that programs work when they have buy-in from those affected and they don't work, or don't work as well, when they don't have that buy-in. Another is that, as in so many other areas, there isn't just one best way to teach reading to everyone. It's fairly easy to research a specific intervention with a specific and relatively homogeneous population and then generalize those results to a larger and much more heterogeneous population without checking to see if that generalization is appropriate - the medical community, after all, has been doing that for years, which is why those of us who aren't 180-pound males may find that the standard dosage of an over-the-counter cold medicine either wires us or knocks us out.
     
  16. melissa74

    melissa74 Rookie

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    Dec 14, 2005


    I am in upstate, past Syracuse!

    Thanks to all that have contributed... I am really torn.. we have to decide by MONDAY!!!!! if we want to do this and we were just given information on Tuesday!!!!!:confused: :confused:

    I feel what is being done in my classroom is great right now.. the problem is our faculty hasn't been on the same page for awhile and I know that as a whole we need something...

    but i also feel that the students I have should guide their instruction... I don't want to feel that I am bound by some "script" that will control that...

    THanks again!
     
  17. KYgirl

    KYgirl Rookie

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    I teach in a Reading First school, and I can't say that I think it has been beneficial. Part of it is because this is my first year teaching and I still don't really know what is best. Another part is that my school is pretty unorganized. The worst part is the reading program my school chose to implement- Direct Instruction (Reading Mastery). This is a VERY scripted program that takes up most of the day and is clearly NOT helping students succeed- especially my LOW kindergarten students.

    I feel a lot of pressure to make sure everything is approved by the grant, and I do have to do things a certain way. Because of this grant, I have changed my schedule around probably 4 times since the beginning of the school year.

    There are people constantly in my room (aside from the people observing me for my teacher internship) watching to make sure I am teaching what I'm supposed to and the thing about it is that (at my school at least) there's really no clear cut definition of specific things and times when they should be taught. We're working on changing some things, and a lot of it is probably my school, but right now it is not a positive thing.

    I don't mind having a guideline of what to teach (ie. a reading program), but I do not like being told exactly what to teach day in and day out. You are allowed to teach other things, but there's not much time left for that.

    I don't know if this helped much, but it's my perspective on things.
     
  18. 1stferg

    1stferg Comrade

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    Melissa, are you able to give suggestions to your principal and have him or her honestly consider it? If so perhaps you could suggest Differentiated Instruction. That is what my new school is doing. It is designed to meet the ever changing needs of children. I still have an official 90 minute uninterrupted block but I make the decisions of how and what will take place during that block. My actual reading "time" is much longer than 90 minutes because there is no way you could do it all in that amount of time. I do incorporate writing into my reading block because I believe reading and writing go hand in hand. My students write in response to stories. They write sentences using their vocabulary and spelling words. They fill in graphic organizers. My writing workshop is not part of the reading block. It is directly after the official block and I often draw ideas from the reading block for the writing workshop. I still use my basal, but not exclusively. If I feel I have a story that would teach a particular concept better than the one in the basal than I am free to use my own material. Hope that helps.
     
  19. Teacherpam

    Teacherpam Rookie

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    I am in a Reading First school. It is very difficult. Everything is scripted and yes the "Reading Police" are in and out of the room constantly. If you are not on pg 33 at 10:00 you are written up as not adhering to the curriculum in your evaluation. We have the Open Court reading series. There is no room for anything creative. We are only allowed to teach Reading and math. Social satudies and Science must be used in conjunction with the reading series and integration time.....45 minutes along with ALD and ELD. It is frustrating to the teacher and the students. Good luck. This type of teaching is not what I left corporate for.
    PJ
     
  20. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Every states reading first grant is different. One of the Keys is a core reading program. We have both SRA and Basal for this component based on what grade you are in. We are asked to go beyond just the basal we use a lot of authentic literature in our classes. The kids seem to be learning more now than they did before the grant.
     
  21. Celenia

    Celenia Rookie

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    Dec 28, 2005

     
  22. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    We are in the 2nd year of a 3 year grant. It has pretty much taken over our whole day (even though it's supposed to get only 2 hours and 15 minutes) and we have to scrounge to find enough time for the kids to even go to the restroom. Thank goodness my students are good @ Math. Otherwise it would be totally impossible to teach them the skills necessary. We keep telling ourselves... one more year and we can actually be able to teach again. The grant was written so specific that we aren't even allowed to teach grammar (because it isn't actual reading) within the Reading block, therefore grammar has been relegated to the 15 minutes between lunch and recess. Like I said... one more year... one more year.
     
  23. leighj

    leighj New Member

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    When our school first started with Reading First I hated it, but I have seen the difference - a very positive difference in our kids.

    You do teach from a scripted basal and some stories are pretty dumb, but most are very cute and good literature. And yes you can bring a creative spin to it. Reading First "police" do not want you spill info like a robot, they want to see those tweeks while remaining loyal to the program. There are teachers that have taught many years and did a great job teaching reading. But many teachers needed the extra support to make sure all kids were getting a thorough curriculum.

    Now that I am used to the program, I feel very at ease with it. In fact, there isn't much planning (beyond the first year) because all materials should be at your finger tips. Our scores and reading accuracy/fluency rates have jumped in the one year we have been doing this program (we started last January). In fact, our school increased the wpm students need to read at and our percentages meeting this requirement have increased as well.

    Also, you can have "reflective writing" during 90 minutes. Students can write having something to do with whatever they are reading from the basal.

    I just wished there was a Math First program.

    It is crazy a year ago I would not have said this. I now am totally in love with it.
     
  24. Teacherpam

    Teacherpam Rookie

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    I am happy others have had success. We have too in fluency. However, comprehension is still very low. Thanks for all your positive input. I am hopeful that it will get better. It is our fifth year.

    Teacherpam
     
  25. tarad716

    tarad716 New Member

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    Hi,
    I am in a Reading First school. This is the 3rd year of the 3 year grant. We are hoping and praying that the grant is NOT renewed. Every single teacher at my school has a problem with the grant. We are using the Open Court series. We are constantly told to teach the basal to fidelity but at the same time we aren't allowed to. Let me explain what I mean. I am told to take the OC basal and teach directly from it and don't leave anything out and don't add anything in. I'm ok with that. However, I teach 2nd grade and our 2nd unit is Kindness. The last story of the unit is Cinderella. Well, in order to wrap up the unit, it says to watch a version of the Cinderella movie. It's IN the OC manual to do that. Well, when we all asked if we could watch the movie, we were shot down by our Reading coaches. Now, you tell me, if I'm supposed to teach to fidelity, how can I if they are telling me that I can't teach what the basal says. Another example, in some units it says to take your children to the library or have a librarian come in and talk to the kids. We asked if we could do that. It was said that we could but it would have to be OUT of the 120 minutes. WHY? The basal says to do it. It should be part of the program. It's those things that I can't stand about the grant. OC could be a good program if they would let us teach it like it was intended. I hate being in a reading first school and I can't wait to get out. It really bites!!!
     
  26. Teacherpam

    Teacherpam Rookie

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    I have the same complaint. Our reading coaches say the same thing. On top of that I am in a masters program that goes against everything they are making us do in Reading First and Open Court. I hope younger teachers can make it work. A lot of experienced teachers in my district are trying to get out of teaching. It is a dismal situation for students and society.

    Teacherpam
     
  27. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    AMEN tarad and teacherpam... exactly the same here... ***SENDING UP PRAYERS that we survive the 3rd year of the grant.***
     
  28. retiredteacher

    retiredteacher New Member

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    I am a retired teacher, and I have just begun to mentor a first grade teacher in a Reading First school. This program was initiated after my retirement so I needed to inform myself in order to be a help to the teacher I am mentoring. Your replies to the thread have been very enlighting. In my search for information I ran across this...Resolution to Reading First Initiative from the NCTE. I have copied it for you since I could not get the URL to show up here. I feel so badly for the frustrated teachers in this Reading First Initiative. One must remember that nothing lasts in the field of education.......don't lose hope.



    On the Reading First Initiative



    2002

    NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia


    Background


    The Reading First Initiative of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 makes available to states $900 million for the teaching of reading. And in passing this Act, Congress has affirmed NCTE's commitment to helping all students become more powerfully literate. However, states can only obtain these funds by committing themselves to professional development of all teachers of reading, based upon and limited to the view of reading instruction embodied in the Reading First Initiative. Therefore, the No Child Left Behind Act attempts to impose a centrally mandated "one size fits all" method of reading instruction upon the nation's children and their teachers.

    This Initiative is the culmination of a recent trend, as the federal government has increasingly attempted to define what reading is, to limit what counts as research on reading, and to dictate how reading should be taught in our classrooms. As a consequence, the government is channeling education funding to a few corporate purveyors of a limited set of methods of reading instruction. As a professional community actively involved in literacy research and instruction, NCTE has systematically opposed these mandates, partly through resolutions (1997, 1998, and 1999) on government intrusion into professional decision making.

    We believe the Reading First Initiative is potentially harmful to children for several reasons:

    Individually unique children suffer when they are subjected to a national, single, uniform model of reading instruction.



    Children are deprived of sensitive, responsive precision in teaching when a rigid methodology is imposed on teachers.



    Teaching that is based upon a limited, inadequate research base risks miseducating children about reading.

    Some of the weaknesses of Reading First stem from its dependence upon the National Reading Panel report (2000) as its research base. Mislabeled as an assessment of "the" scientific literature on reading and reading instruction, the National Reading Panel report is incomplete, narrowly focused, and flawed. The research examined does not represent the full range of scientifically valid research methodology, but appears to have been chosen as selective support for a preconceived notion of what constitutes best practice. Furthermore, the Summary booklet, the most widely distributed and widely read version of the National Reading Panel report, does not accurately represent the findings of the full report (Joanne Yatvin, "Babes in the Woods: The Wanderings of the National Reading Panel," January 2002, Phi Delta Kappan).

    States applying for Reading First grants have been advised to choose from a "short list" of commercial programs that claim to be more scientifically based than alternatives. In reality, alternative approaches to instruction have not been compared with the approaches of commercial programs as to their overall effectiveness. The professional community raises many areas of concern with respect to available commercial programs:

    The appropriate balance among components of reading instruction has not been adequately researched.



    The sufficiency of those components has not been determined.



    The appropriate amount of time allocated to and among the components of reading instruction has not been determined.



    Research does not support the sequencing in which instruction occurs.

    Teachers are finding, too, that some of the mandated scripted programs are crowding out of the curriculum the time needed for reading aloud, independent reading of enjoyable and informational texts, writing, discussion, and in-depth exploration of literature. In short, the Reading First Initiative seeks to remove professional judgment and decision making by educators and to replace it with packaged materials marketed by corporate publishers. This process imposes a standardized methodology upon teachers and children, which is an inevitable recipe for failure.

    NCTE asserts the responsibility of literacy educators, collectively and individually, to speak out about the limitations of the assumptions behind the Reading First Initiative. When our federal government attempts to narrow literacy teaching to a focus on a few isolated skills, we must protest. We object to the federal government's unprecedented co-opting of American traditions of local control of curricula. Our responsibility as educators compels us to develop and communicate to federal, state, and local policymakers specific suggestions for revisions to the Act itself and to policies related to it. For example, we need to call for revisions in the evaluation plan for Reading First. The Initiative must be evaluated by knowledgeable professionals free from commercial and political relationships with the programs, research base, and agencies being assessed. Such evaluation must invite, entertain, and facilitate a broad critique of the Initiative, including its research base. Be it therefore

    Resolution


    RESOLVED, that the National Council of Teachers of English support the tradition of local and state control of English language arts curriculum, instruction, and assessment and oppose the use of the No Child Left Behind Act to mandate a "short list" of professional development providers or commercial products in reading.

    Be it further RESOLVED that NCTE call upon Congress to commission knowledgeable, independent professionals to critique the currently promoted research base for the Reading First Initiative, specifically the National Reading Panel report.

    Be it further RESOLVED that NCTE call upon Congress to ensure that the five-year evaluation of the Reading First Initiative required by the No Child Left Behind Act be conducted not only independently of the U.S. Department of Education but also independently of the influence of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, other federal agencies and officials, and corporations that have produced the commercial programs used to implement the Reading First Initiative.

    Be it further RESOLVED that NCTE call upon Congress to expand the five-year national evaluation of the Reading First Initiative of the No Child Left Behind Act to include

    implementation of diverse kinds of scientific research, including teacher research;



    determination of whether the "essentials of reading instruction" required by this legislation are sufficient as a comprehensive program for the development of reading;



    study of how implementing the Reading First Initiative affects the development of students' writing, their understanding and appreciation of literature, and their oral communication skills;



    comparison of the effects of the isolated skills approach to reading instruction underpinning this legislation with the effects of more complex, integrated approaches to developing literacy; and



    study of the long-term effects on students' reading achievement, behaviors, and attitudes.
     
  29. Celenia

    Celenia Rookie

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    I think this is a problem with the way that the program is implemented and not with the program itself. I think any program can work if teachers are able to tailor it to the needs of particular students. The Reading First grant represents a dumbing down of the teaching profession.
     
  30. 1stferg

    1stferg Comrade

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    You just hit the nail on the head!
    The R. F. Program can never be tailored!
    It is a cookie cutter, one size fits all, no room for individuality, no room for creativity program.
    That is why good teachers who know what to do in a classroom hate it so much.
     
  31. teach for fun91

    teach for fun91 Rookie

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    I agree with both of you!!

    This is my first year teaching at a reading first school and we have dealt with all the changes and expectations that have been expected of us by our administation, our principals, our coach the state Reading First committees. We always go to conferences and are told something different. We get used to doing one way of doing things and then have to change. Then we are told we can have non-cert staff to help, but next year only cert. We are told we can have an indep group and 2 other small groups, now we have to have direct instruction for the whole 90 min. with 25 kids and limited cert staff. It is very frustrating. We have also been told we cannot have indep reading, now it is important, but how do we do this when 90 is supposed to be direct instruction for all students and you only get help for 40 for pushin help?
    I admit I have been pleased with the growth of the students. It has made me proud, but if the expectations wouldn't change so much it would be so much easier. :confused:
     
  32. teach for fun91

    teach for fun91 Rookie

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    Apr 19, 2006

    read #30
     
  33. teach for fun91

    teach for fun91 Rookie

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    Were your teachers formally evaluated with the first year's implementation of your reading first program? Also, if yes, was it noted that it was a first year program in the evaluation? What about veteran teachers? Were they evaluated harshly due to their lack of knowledge of the material in reading first?
     
  34. teach for fun91

    teach for fun91 Rookie

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    I am interested in your literacy basket rotations. What do they entail? We were recently told that we have to teach all 25 of our students with direct instuction. That means we get 45 min of help in our 120 intervention/literacy block and have to teach intensive, strategic and benchmark kids using direct instruction. Now I teach my whole class templates, shared literature and then the phonemic awareness skills for 45 minutes, then my pushin person comes and she takes a group, I take a group and there is an independent group. Or somedays, I have a rotating group that reads to me. When they finish, another group comes to me. They practice the other 5 componants based on what I teach them. My pushin person takes the other group? How does your 90 block look?
     
  35. teach for fun91

    teach for fun91 Rookie

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    I agree. I like alot of the things the program has to offer, but I do not think that one size fits all. I have students that have different needs and may not have to practice the sould the script says. I usally change questions to the shared literature according to my kid's needs or ask additional questions to our weekly story or I will add on additional sight words to do with templates or sounds my students need to work on to fulfill their needs. The general lesson map does not fit all students needs, I feel it is ok to tweek things according to your child's needs.:angel:

     
  36. teach for fun91

    teach for fun91 Rookie

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    This has also been my first year teaching reading first and it has been crazy. I admit having the people in and out has been crazy and unnerving for me. I also have a wierd schedule of different people on different days popping into my classroom. Some people have never taught reading a day in thier lives and I fel like I had to teach them too. I prepare my own work, work for them and if time allows talk to teammates. Also, the requirements change constantly for what we are supposed to do in the classroom. At first we weren't supposed to have silent reading, now we are told it is important. We are told we couldn't write, but now we can dictate. We had non-cert staff helping for 40 min of pushin and now our understaffed school is no longer allowed to use these resources. We were also told that we could have an independent group during the 90 min after whole group time and now there has to be 90 min of direct instruction for all 25 of our students the whole time. Also, our admin has not been leniant our first year and did not indicate on our formal evaluations that it was our first year of reading first and expected us to know how to do lesson maps and everything else about the program.
     
  37. teach for fun91

    teach for fun91 Rookie

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    Hey are you written up in your walk through evaluations? Or your formal evaluations? Were you a veteran teacher before this and now have problems on your formal evaluation?
     
  38. AZKinderTchr

    AZKinderTchr Comrade

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    I don't know how other schools do their reading block but here's a little glance at ours.

    9am-10am -- Direct instruction, whole group from the Harcourt Reading Program.

    10:15-11:05 -- Literacy basket rotations. The first 5-10 minutes I spend introducing any new baskets, previewing the seatwork for the day, and reviewing the basket rotation procedures.

    11:05-11:25 -- Reading Intervention -- Small homogeneous groups working on specific reading skill interventions or enrichment.

    Literacy Baskets --
    5 baskets are done each day by each student. The students are grouped heterogeneously and each basket it done for 6 minutes.

    Activities vary from week to week, but are 4 hands-on practice activities reinforcing the skills in the reading program and 1 sheet of seat work matching the skill taught that day in direct instruction.

    The baskets change weekly or bi-weekly depending on the students' level of engagement and mastery of the skill.

    The baskets I have this week are: Seatwork, Write The Room, Ending Sound Puzzles, Beginning Sound Clothespins, and High Frequency Word Playdough.

    I can give you more examples of the basket activities we use if you are interested. Good luck :) It's a ton of work to put together all the activities for our baskets but my kids love it -- it's one of their favorite things during the day.
     
  39. teach for fun91

    teach for fun91 Rookie

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    Thank you so much for the info...I agree with it completely!!
     
  40. teach for fun91

    teach for fun91 Rookie

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    Does any of this 90 include push in support? Do some kids get extra help because they may not understand the baskets? Your baskets sound like a great idea. I do not mind the work, I just want to know how you determine what the baskets will be about weekly.
     
  41. teach for fun91

    teach for fun91 Rookie

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    I also use the Harcourt Trophies program. I teach 1st grade.
     

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