EDU270 – Lesson 5: Language and Reading

If I knew then, what I know now…My son’s academic standing could have been vastly different.  I am certain of it!

The good news is that I have years ahead of me to make a difference with hundreds more students who will cross my path.

There is no way for me to go back to early childhood and “redo” anything for my son or my students in the classroom.  The only thing I can do is be aware of scientifically-based research that supports methods to improve the language and reading skills of my son and students.

I am particularly concerned at this point with my student’s growth in ability to read and communicate.

I know that before the age of 3 years old, my students needed to hear the language spoken to them frequently (even as early as in the womb).  They needed a lot of words spoken to them, even complex sentences that they may not have understood then, but would definitely understand later on in life.  I also know that they needed adults to expose them to pre-reading skills – such as, picture (flash) cards, ability to group by sound, and sound for meaning.  Playing word games, singing nursery rhymes, reading books with children, asking them to read aloud, and monitoring their overall progress is essential to them doing better later academically and exhibiting a higher IQ.

So that was in the past.  I am tasked with meeting my students in the present and helping them into a better future.

That means, in my classroom, I lead and encourage my students to:

  • Read as many books as possible (at home and during school hours)
  • Share aloud what they have read
  • Expose themselves to longer more complex sentences
  • Make connections between what they see and what they say (letter – sound)
  • Play word games
  • Use poetry and song lyrics to make connections

 

Because the brain is always reshaping based on what the students are exposed to, it is essential to continue to create enriching opportunities that will only enhance their knowledge and keep them sharp as they grow and mature into adulthood.

 

EdA2Z2016 – books, books, books…

I remember a time when given the option, I would choose to read a book over playing with a doll.  I was a little girl that recognized that books were an escape to a world that I could not yet physically visit.  Books provided information that allowed me to have great conversations with others as I grew and matured.  

My first bible was a set of several books like an encyclopedia.  The pictures and stories came alive for me.  My Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries, Archie Comic Strips, and first antique Webster’s dictionary (a gift), The Thornbirds, Flowers in the Attic, and Gone with the Wind – take me back to a time when I was devouring books on a regular basis.

I love reading.  In fact, it was always a dream of mine to have an in-home library.  There is something about seeing books on a shelf that makes me feel comforted.  Perhaps it is the wisdom contained on the pages that are within my reach that makes me feel good.

Once the Amazon Kindle came along, my dream library started to fade away.  I adjusted to the fact that now I can conveniently carry 100 plus books in my purse without breaking a sweat.  I have a much more intimate relationship with my mobile library.  I can touch the screen and stroke the pages that take me where I want to go as I read.  

I am seriously considering donating all of my hard/soft-back books to the “Friends of the Public Library” cause – all except collectibles or those autographed.  I love my books and it will be difficult to part from them, but I want to embrace the new era of eBooks.  This is a part of my effort to de-clutter my home.  Stay tuned…

Reading Literacy from A to Z

As a kid, I loved to read.  Every opportunity I could get to read aloud in the classroom while coming up was golden to me.  I believe it was because I knew I was good at it.  My self-confidence was extremely high in the academic realm because I was such a great reader.

When the teacher asked me to read, I always hoped to be able to read pages at a time.  I use to ask to read the entire story even though my classmates deserved a turn at reading.  Now, as a teacher, I see the students in my class that are the same way.  Although I want to hear from everyone, I love to feed the ego of those who love to read!  I know the doors that will open in the future for that student because he/she is not afraid to communicate.  That’s right – great reading leads to great communication skills!  That’s my opinion and I am sticking with it!

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So, in addition to the A to Z Challenge I am doing on my personal blog, I am going to take the challenge on my education blog this month and blog daily (except Sundays) on reading literacy.

This is going to be fun!

A plan to keep up…

Rio-logo-reflectLast semester I cut it a bit close when it comes to delivering on my coursework.  I procrastinated and paid dearly for it in the end.  Sure, I can come up with many reasons why it happened, but none of those reasons matter in the end.  Just – get it done!

This is my 1st of the two remaining semesters and I will be finished!  Yay!!!

My goal is to stay on task and deliver assignments on time this semester.  Today is day one.  I have four different courses to maintain and a tremendous amount of work to complete to satisfy all the requirements of each.

I am blogging about this experience to hold myself accountable.  Even if no one else reads this – I will have to comply.

My courses are:

  • POS221 – Arizona Constitution
  • EDU256AE – Intern Certificate Student Teaching Lab – Secondary Education III
  • EDU270AB – Secondary Reading and Decoding Methods
  • EDU270 – Learning and the Brain

My plan is to read each syllabus tonight and review all of the assignments.  I will then calendar due dates and read text for this first week.  I am still waiting for a few textbooks.  This is going to be great!

Why p3 Education?

I recently decided to change my career after working in Corporate America for 30 years.  It is my second year teaching 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts at Sacaton Middle School within the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) in Sacaton, Arizona.  I am still excited and feeling positive about my career change!  This year I feel much more equipped to make a difference in the academic lives of my students.  I have set the bar higher than last year to stretch my students.  They know what is expected of them and they are showing me significant effort.

My mission is to educate, motivate and support my student’s reading growth (vocabulary and comprehension skills) significantly by the end of the school year.

Also, it is my 2nd year as a student in the Teaching Internship program at Rio Salado Community College.  Although I previously earned a Bachelors and Masters degree in Business Management, I needed specific courses to be a certified teacher.  So I did what I needed to do to become provisionally certified until I successfully complete the pedagogy curriculum at the college.  I’m in an accelerated program that requires many hours per week in addition to my classroom teaching.  I decided to start this blog to capture and share my experiences and all that I am learning.

Why is this site named p3 Education?  Well, my life story has been about pain, passion, and purpose (p3). There will be more about that in subsequent posts.  However, I will say now that the students I serve in the classroom are fulfilling my purpose.  On many levels I relate to my students and I am passionate about helping them succeed.  I understand the challenges that many of them face today; I want to positively contribute to their lives.

I hope to connect with other teachers on a similar mission along the way.