Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Comprehension Strategies

I have been so busy this week! Monday was the last Language Arts department professional development day. We spent a lot of time looking at one another's rubrics for assignments and giving one another advice on changes to make. We also spent some time as a department looking at the content vocabulary that we taught to make sure that we were teaching the same definitions to avoid confusion in the kids across grade levels. 

This morning was rather uneventful. I woke up with a headache so I spent a lot of this morning lying around. Blah! After lunch I even went back upstairs and got in bed for awhile to try to sleep some of it off.

This evening we had our back to school night. Every year my school has a night for parents and students before school starts. Sixth grade actually meets all of the incoming students in their classrooms and goes through a PowerPoint of what to expect in middle school and what the first few days will be like. This helps ease a lot of the transition and first day jitters for those incoming "babies."

The team leaders in 7th and 8th grade also met with the new students to our school and went through their own PowerPoint. At 7pm everyone is moved outside for the back to school bash. We have giant inflatables that the kids enjoy jumping on and sliding down. Every team has a tent set-up to meet with parents. We just check off who stopped by, sell team t-shirts, let them know about supply lists for the year and fundraising events. The kids also get a ticket for a free hot dog or hamburger, chips and a drink. It is great to see the kids and meet the parents in such an informal setting. We also have a DJ that plays music, cotton candy being sold, cheerleaders selling magnets with the school logo, dance team students doing face paint, etc. It is a huge event and a lot of former students even come back to say hello! The whole bash is held out back from 7-9pm.

So I just got home from this and am busy reading up on some mentor texts. I have been pouring over the book Strategies That Work by Harvey & Goudvis looking at ways to help teach comprehension to some of my kids that really struggle with reading. I read through the book my first year teaching, but to be honest I was so overwhelmed with being a first year teacher and going through KTIP (this is a program they do in Kentucky for first year teachers) that I didn't have enough time to really implement the strategies. 

The book was given to me by the reading specialist who was phenomenal! A newer book had just come out and so she passed down this book to me. Now that I am reading it I am also interested in seeing what changes were made to the newer book.

What are some of your favorite books that you have read to help you teach your students?

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