Well the year has gone by very quickly. I am getting things more organized and I have made a push to get more results from my teaching. I have been reading alot about the book Mosaic of Thought by Eline Keener and purchased it along with Four Blocks Guide to Guided Reading. Keener's book has been a real eye opener to me. I never really thought about how I read effects my students and teaching them WHAT I as good reader do to help them was very interesting to me.
Keener talks about a lot about making my students THINKERS and not just readers. I have not finished the book yet but I bought another, Reading with Meaning which I read in one day while car was being fixed. It is basically a companion to Keener's book since the person who wrote this book is a colleague of hers. I felt this was also a more indepth look at how I can use Keeners strategies better in my class since it looks at the author's teaching through a year. I HIGHLY recommend both books if you teach reading or a content area that does reading (which is pretty much everything).
I came about these books because my team members and I have not really been collaborating as much as we did last year. I am not sure if it is due to new team member added or what but the feel this year is very different. I saw how three of my team was collaborating together and not sharing what they were doing in their class so I basically said to myself what can I do to make my teaching better? I am the type that gets ideas from others and expands from their ideas. With that basically not there anymore I was really feeling left out and I was struggling with how to do things this year to make myself a better teacher. So instead of just whining about it (which I am good at LOL) I picked up the books above. I am really glad I did. I can't wait to try these new ways of doing the same things I am already doing but in a better way.
Right away I started focusing in on predicting before we read to activate schema. I used various strategies from Four Blocks like Prove It, Anticipation Guides, RIVET, and Think Alouds. In the about 3 weeks before the break I could really see some improvement with the students. They were more engaged with a PURPOSE for reading that is more natural than to just answer questions at the end of a story. I will continue working with schema and start introduce questioning before/during/after reading next. I am really excited and hope that this really helps my students to be better thinkers AND readers.
~talk to ya later!