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    Reading instruction
    By bnjeff

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    I have been teaching for a long time and have gone through several different reading programs. I started out with traditional reading groups. Then we moved to a literature based basal (incorporating whole language components into a basal). We stopped doing reading groups and went to whole class instruction with needs based flexible grouping. For a few years we went to a program which had thematic units around a novel and magazine (third through fifth grades). Now we have a balanced literacy basal but we are supposed to also do guided reading and small groups.

    Having survived all of these changes, I have noticed that not everyone learns the same way so I try to incoporate elements from different approaches.

    Last year I had 3 students who had replacement reading with the resource teacher and 6 others who worked several times a week with the reading specialist or the Basic Skills teacher. I felt that this was their small group instruction.

    This year I am going to try more small groups and centers. I have limited experience with centers. When I started we used seat work for the kids who weren't in groups.

    My class does a lot of independent reading. For the past few years, that was the only activity for you to do when other work was finished. Last year, we read over 5,300 books. And these are second graders. There were many times when I had to remind students several times that it was time to move on and the books had to be put away.

    I have also come to find that if a teacher feels comfortable with a program, it is more effective. A teacher using something "old-fashioned" that they feel comfortable using will "sell" it better than someone using something "modern" that they don't like using.

    Sorry this was so long!



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