Growing up, I loved going to the library! It didn't matter if it was the school library or driving ten miles to the nearest town to check out books from the public library, I loved getting to pick out new books to read! It didn't matter what aisle I wandered down, I'd always find a stack of books I just had to read. I've always loved reading, and would rather read a few more chapters than sit and stare at a computer or television screen. Even as an adult I look forward to walking into a library or book store, and can get lost for hours meandering up and down each row.
Sadly, not every student is as much of a book worm as I am. There are many reasons that they avoid reading, but some reasons include frustration, motivation, time, interest, access to books at home, and a lack of a role model reading at home. As an Instructional Coach I've become all too aware of the pressures of improving reading scores - especially since we have to report data out to the state! These numbers make it seem like we only want to focus on reading fluency, or reading fast, but there's much more to reading than that! Like many schools out there, next year my building will be working to improve our reading scores, but above seeing the all important proficiency percentages increase, I want our students to find the love of reading. Knowing we have room for improvement, I began brainstorming ways my building could model and instill the love of reading, while still working towards mandated goals and expectations. What I came up with was a school wide reading theme "Home Run Readers." Baseball is huge in our building, our principal has even gone to Russia to umpire games, and I knew baseball would be a great fit. Once I had the theme, it was time to figure out a structure that would work for our students and staff.
While I have the basics nailed down, I am adding new ideas daily to expand and improve the reading theme for next year. The photos below show the documents I've made and will be sharing with students and staff. I can't wait to share how the reading theme and journey goes! If you'd like me to share any of these resources with you, please let me know!
Here's the structure as of now:
Theme: Home Run Readers
Goal: Promote reading in and out of the classroom.
International Literacy Day is September 8, 2015, and I am excited to announce that several lessons I wrote are featured in the International Literacy Association's Literacy Day Kit! If you're interested in receiving a free kit, full of literacy ideas that allow your students to make global connections, head to #ILD15!
Today another post I wrote for the International Literacy Association's Literacy Daily was published! "Let's Talk Turkey" shared how fourth graders used Blabberize to bring their persuasive writings to life. Head over to Literacy Daily to read this and other posts.
The latest Tech in Focus title is available on the iBooks Store now! This time I choose to focus on Haiku Deck, a free web and app based tool that my elementary teachers and students love using! Head over to iBooks and download your free copy today!
This afternoon our district's curriculum team and Instructional Coaches gathered at our district office for our monthly Instructional Leadership Team meeting. Since this is the final meeting of the school year, we began by celebrating the accomplishments we've made as first year Instructional Coaches. A few highlights on my list included:
Once we finished our list, we had to choose our top three to share out. It was difficult to narrow down my list, but it was neat to share successes. Too often I focus on what's left to work on, so it was great to focus on the positive impact I've had in my first year as an Instructional Coach.
There's still lots to do, and I have a list of hopes and ideas for next year, but for now, I'm happy to look back at the impact I've had and know that I've not wavered from my goal of positively impacting teaching and learning in my building.