Reading is my JAM!
I was born into a family of readers, it came naturally to me. It wasn’t until I started teaching upper elementary that I understood how difficult reading comprehension really can be for some kids. When I first started teaching it was to very young children in Title I schools, some that were from families that spoke no English, came from broken homes, were in foster care, or were expected to “parent” themselves at a young age. When a younger student struggled in reading it made sense why. Being fairly new to the profession, I just assumed that after a few years of practice, they would catch up to where they needed to be. After moving onto teaching 4th & 5th graders a few years later it became very apparent that reading just “clicking for kids” did not happen for all. There were students in my class that could even read on a first-grade level. Shocked wasn’t a word to describe how I felt for my kids, there has to be a way to get them to learn. What they did not realize was that reading was everything, and they were missing it. I dug in deep with my kids using reading strategies and saw growth with my class. Some very little growth, some at the very end of the year, but it was clear that using strategies was key for kids.
SIMPLE READING STRATEGIES
Keep it simple is key!
I spent much of the beginning of the school year discussing reading strategies. I used the saying “When we READ we take a TRIP”. Trip should for, T= THINK, R= READ, I= INQUIRE, P= PROVE. I would explain to my class how to use the reading strategy in whole group, I would do the lesson in small groups, over and over. If a student didn’t use their strategies they couldn’t turn in their paper. It eventually stuck with the children in my classroom, and this is when results started to show.
The Good Ole' Reading Passage
Most kids grunt, groan, roll their eyes, fake like they fell out of a chair ( I have seen it ALL!) when a reading comprehension passage is mentioned. They are such a powerful tool for a teacher though. When used with reading strategies this is the perfect visual for a teacher to see where a student struggles.
I understood that if I wanted my students to love reading, I had to provide them with material that was actually enjoyable to read. Writing reading passages has become something I am very passionate about, but secretly it is because READING is my JAM!