Blog Post #2 The Power of CHOICE..

Choice.png

Just like I was given choice in this blog I am about to write, it is incredibly both important and powerful to allow as much CHOICE in our classrooms as we possible can each day. We need to give students options and opportunities to learn and also to show that learning within the classroom. Student-led choices should be occurring all day long and also specifically within your literacy block. Giving students choice in which books they get to choose and also which media they use to read is a critical aspect of getting our young readers to LOVE reading now and forever. This may be a variety of choices such as listening to reading on a tape, reading a story on a laptop or iPad, reading a story with a partner, reading a newspaper or magazine article, or simply choosing the spot in the classroom where the student will read independently. As an adult, we all love choices in our day and it makes us feel like we have control. It is a powerful way to make students feel important and powerful to be able to make some of these daily academic choices on their own as well. This is also an essential way to build classroom community and a rich literacy based environment.

Daily 5 is a literacy structure that allows different literacy activities to be going on at the same time by different students. This includes listening to reading, independent reading, reading with a partner, working on writing and working on word work. I used to assign which station my students would be at and when they would be there… but I quickly learned that if a student wants to read first and then write… LET THEM! Sometimes teachers just need to give up a little bit of control and allow students to jump right in and make an independent choice, while still keeping them accountable.

LET THEM CHOOSE! Allowing students to explain their thinking or learning from what they read in different ways is also important in a classroom. Not all students will be successful showing their understanding in the same way on the same day. We need to provide an abundance amount of opportunities to “show off” their new learning. We all love choice! So it is time to embed more student-led choice in ALL grade levels, no matter how hard it may be for some adults to do! 😉

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Blog Post #1- K-12 Literacy Leaders

Why I Read

Reading is the ground work for just about everything that is done in any school, institution or career setting. The video linked above is proof that students who have teachers who love teaching reading, will become learners who love reading and learning. It is our job as educators to be literacy leaders. Every day. Not only for each other, but for our students. If students sense that teachers are engaged and excited about teaching reading, they will quickly absorb that excitement as well. Sharing the passion for reading will create a culture where learning to read and a strong passion for reading is the “norm” in every classroom. Literacy leaders can be formal, like a literacy coach. However, literacy leaders can come in many forms such as both general and special education teachers. We all have the power to be leaders for each other and for our novice and eager readers.

A literacy leader or coach can help team up with educators and walk along side them to create a literacy focused environment that is best for all kids. A literacy coach can help facilitate, guide, and model how to navigate the wide world of teaching reading. This person can be a wealth of knowledge and obtain a plethora of resources for educators. This leader should be another “team player” to support the challenging and demanding work of classroom teachers.

Literacy leaders are needed everywhere. It is our job to instill the passion for loving to read in students but also loving to teach reading within our educators. Literacy leaders have the knowledge, power and spark to get educators AND students fired up about reading!