I was extremely interested in learning about No Child Left Behind this week in class. It has always been an elusive subject, as I always heard about its pros and cons, but never really what IT was all about. I attended a suburban elementary school that was not Title 1, but after working at Club Boulevard Elementary in Durham, I have realized the need for its implementation in schools. It was enlightening to learn of all the benefits and critiques of the program because I realized that it is still a work in progress. It is refreshing to know that the “higher-ups” are constantly working to better our education system.
In my student teaching experience, I have definitely seen interactive reading and writing in action. My cooperating teacher incorporates at least three or four read alouds in her instruction each day. She asks the students questions about the pictures and asks them to make predictions about what they think will happen next. She explained to me the importance of reading to children, even if the books seem too easy for them. Just hearing your voice and following along as you go through the process of reading helps instill a better foundation for their literacy development. The spelling word system in my class is also very interactive. Students are asked to choose four “core words” from that week’s unit and then they choose four words from their own writing that they are having trouble with. I think this is a great way for students to have personal input into what they are learning in the classroom. It also helps to improve their writing. By the end of 2nd grade, students are expected to be able to read silently and independently for 20 minutes. Although our class has not quite reached this goal, my cooperating teacher is doing all she can to make sure her students are reading books that interest them so they can discover a love of reading. If students are truly engaged in a book, they can pay attention for longer and will realize that reading isn’t so bad after all (:
I am a little concerned about the literacy development of a few of my students. Some of them are reading at very low levels and are obviously uninterested in reading at all. 2nd grade is a crucial time to catch students up in their reading level. Some say that if students aren’t reading on grade level by the end of this year, they will never read on grade level. I don’t know if I believe that, but it is my goal to do everything I can to improve these students’ reading and foster a love of reading in them as well.