February 2014 | Peace, Love, and First Grade

What I Learned from Reading Recovery-Series Introduction

Years ago, I mean YEARS ago...
I had the opportunity to be trained as a Reading Recovery teacher.

I have to tell you, it was the best literacy training I have ever received!

Don't get me wrong, my alma mater has a wonderful reputation for preparing teachers!
I slight them none.

At the time, we Americans just weren't aware of the phenomenal literacy practices taking place in other lands, specifically New Zealand!

The year I spent learning all the ends and outs of Reading Recovery was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding years in my teaching career.

I had the chance to meet Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell,
AND... Marie Clay herself attended my RR graduation.
Here's a pic just to prove it.

Not the best or most flattering pic, but the only one I have with Marie Clay!
Yes, those are shoulder pads!
I was wearing stockings, too.
Cream colored panty hose and cream flats.
Oh, 1994!   

Marie had just shaken my hand!
If you are a teacher nerd like me, you get that!! 

Moving on, it's been quite a while since I returned to the regular classroom,
but the strategies and beliefs of Reading Recovery have stayed with me.

I'd love to share with you what I learned from this incredible program!

Today, I'll just hit the highlights of a Reading Recovery Lesson.

In the posts to come, I'll break down each part of the lesson and share how I use them in my Guided Reading lessons.

 Components of a Reading Recovery Lesson

Reading Recovery lessons last 30 minutes.

The first ten lessons in RR are called Roaming. They give you a chance to get to know the child and his/her strengths and weaknesses. More on this next time!

1) Familiar Reread-RR lessons begin with re-readings of familiar books. The child reads 2-4 familiar books depending on book level and time.

2) Running Record-The last familiar reread is the book introduced the day before. This is where the running record is taken each day.

3) Teaching Points-After the running record, the teacher chooses 1-2 teaching points based on what she observed. Maybe 1 critical and 1 smaller point. Nothing overwhelming.

4) Word Work-We all know what word work is. Break out those magnetic letters!

5) Writing-In this part of the lesson, the child constructs a short "story." This is actually a sentence, but children like to call it a story. This is where Elkonin Boxes come in!

6) Cut-apart Sentence-After the child constructs his/her "story" and reads it aloud, the teacher records it on a sentence strip and cuts the sentence strip apart for the child to manipulate.

 7) New Book-The last part of a RR lesson is the new book. The teacher and child take a picture walk as the new book is introduced. Then the child reads the book for the first time, putting into practice new word solving strategies.

Wow! That's a lot!

And, this was just a skeleton of Reading Recovery.
Later this week, I'll post on Roaming and Familiar Re-reads!
Happy Sunday, friends!

By the way, Check out Marie Clay's books!
She is truly a wealth of information!




DonorsChoose! in the Classroom

Do you have a classroom Wishlist?
Materials you want in your classroom but don't have the funds to get??

Well, let me tell you about a wonderful way to get what you need
without blowing your bank account!

My Story in a Nutshell

My classroom had 2 desktop computers at the beginning of the year.
I decided we needed more technology-specifically 6 Kindle Fire HDX 7s.
Enter DonorsChoose!

How Did I Get Started?
I contacted a few of my blogger friends who have funded projects through DonorsChoose.
Some have received thousands of dollars worth of supplies! 

It's super easy to set up an account, and the website walks you through each step of your proposal! If you have any questions, I'll be happy to help you out! 

So, what did I ask for?

1 Kindle Fire HDX 7, stylus, and protective cover. The cost was $358.

I have a goal of 6 Kindles for my classroom.
So far, we have funded and are using the first 3.
The fourth one is $119 away from funding,
and the 5th and 6th projects are ready to submit. 

So excited to open our package!

 Kindles in Action!

If you have ever thought of submitting a project to DonorsChoose, nows the time!!
What do you have to lose?
All projects are posted for 4 months, plenty of time to get needed donations.

I sent a letter to my parents to let them know what was going on. I wanted to make sure every parent was aware of the project. I also wanted to ensure they knew EVERY dollar counted!

Helpful Hints
1) Know what you want before you get started.
2) Keep your projects small. Break large projects into a few small proposals. 
3) Get the word out! I posted the project on my facebook page and my class webpage, emailed parents, and sent out weekly project updates. We're even adding our projects to the school website!

I would love to hear if you decide to give DonorsChoose a try!

Now! On to the next Bright Idea!!
My sweet friend, Christina from Sugar and Spice, has some great ideas
for using Post-it notes to build fluency!
Click on her button to keep hopping!
Have a great week!!