- I believe in providing students with a balanced literacy program. One that encompasses all literacy skills that are essential to communicate effectively and be successful in life. It needs to be a variety of direct instruction, guided, cooperative and independent practice. Balanced literacy instruction allows the teacher to cater to the individual; differentiating instruction and assessment to fit students needs. This kind of individual support enables students to move to higher levels of reading and literacy development.
- I utilize both the Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop models in my classroom instruction. I follow the structure and core values of the model, following the architecture of a mini-lesson:
- I believe that students should always have access to high quality and learn not only from the teacher, but from authors and peers. Within the mini-lessons, I incorporate the use of mentor texts, exemplary texts, children's literature, modeling, live writing.
- Daily 5: In my current classroom I use the Daily 5 approach that I modified to fit the needs of my students. In my classroom students complete two, thirty minute rounds of the Daily 5 per day. My centers consist of:
- Read to Self 1: In this center, students are reading their independent reading book and 'Tracking their thinking' a form I created to allow students to respond to their reading by practicing literacy strategies. This center remains constant and is completed everyday.
- Read to Self 2: This center changes weekly, however usually involves some aspect of digital literacy. An example could be to read a NewsELA article and read, annotate the text, and take a digital quiz or creating a blog post related to a certain topic or content area that we are covering in class.
- Read to Someone: This center is where students are orally reading and practicing their fluency with a peer. Students will read a ReadWorks passage and answer comprehension questions and state evidence or collaboratively write a response to the passage.
- Work on Words: This center focuses on their Words Their Way words. Students are choosing from a variety of word work activities using their weekly words.
- Work on Writing: This center changes weekly, however students are always actively writing. Examples could include a blog post, letter, response, prompt, or choice board.
- Book Club: In 5th grade I created a Book Club model that I incorporated into my literacy instruction. Students were grouped by DRA level and as a group chose an appropriate book to read. Book Club meetings were typically twice a week. At first I had to be there with the students and model and make sure they were on task. However, as the year went on students became a completely student led Book Club that they ran themselves.
- Session 1 of the week was a skill group. This is where we would work on a specific strategy in depth. Students assignment was to read the designated chapters, independently apply the strategy, and come up with questions or comments to contribute to discussion. All responses were recorded in students Book Club Response Journal.
- Session 2 of the week was discussion. During this session students were responsible for coming prepared to have accountable discussions about what they've read. Their response would be a reading assignment and a response task which would be questions from their Blooms Taxonomy Ladders or alternate text dependent questions.
- Strategy Groups: The purpose of strategy groups is for the teacher and student to set goals related to specific literacy strategies and work towards attaining them. In these strategy groups, students are all reading their independent reading books and are pulled based off of what strategy they need work on. There is a hierarchy of possible goals based on student needs: Comprehension, Fiction/Literature, and Non-fiction/Information. These strategy groups could be one on one or small group depending on need. The student goals are made visible at our 'goal setting conference'. Students have a strategy folder that is kept with all their materials along with student goals and data.
- Response to Intervention: Working with at risk students in one on one in small group settings to provide Tier 3 intervention and meet their specific needs.
Proficient in the following areas:
- Administering DRA reading assessments in levels K-5
- Reading Workshop
- Writing Workshop
- Daily 5 Model
- Running Records/Progress Monitoring
- Differentiated Instruction
- Instructional Best Practices
- Innovative lesson planning
- Whole group/small group instruction
- Integration of educational technology
- Journeys Common Core
- Words Their Way
- Understanding the importance and need of multi-sensory intervention reading programs, such as Project Read or Fundations, when students are learning to read.
- Common Core State Standards
- International Reading Association Standards
- Aligning curriculum with the CCSS using understanding by design principle
- Creating texts sets to build vocabulary and knowledge
- Creating text sets and integrating multimedia sources to build vocabulary and knowledge
- Implementing accommodations for students with IEPs and 504s
- Collaboration between colleagues, administration, parents, and students
- Building positive relationships within the community
- Being a lead learner and effectively presenting information to peers, parents, public groups, and communities
- Providing professional development for teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, administrators, and any other appropriate personnel as needed
I have had the pleasure of participating with my students for the past two years in Middletown's Battle of the Books. I have worked closely with the Reading Specialist to organize and facilitate Battle in Fairview School. I have also successfully integrated the program into my literacy curriculum and instruction; monitoring reading, holding mini-battles in class, modeling note taking strategies, having whole group and small group discussions about the books, and promoting reading through positive reinforcement and praise. This is an outstanding program, in which I would love the opportunity spread to other schools in the Middletown School District.
Monmouth University Writing ClinicBelow are examples of clinic write ups for a writing clinic at Monmouth University. The clinic sessions are an hour and a half, twice a week. I am working 1:1 with a 6th grade student teaching him writing strategies and techniques. I follow the Writing Workshop model along with the Mini-lesson format in my instructional plans. Due to the fact that it is a accelerated program, I teach three mini lessons per session; genre study mini-lesson, craft mini-lesson, and grammar/mechanics mini-lesson. For each clinic session, I reflect on each mini lesson, set attainable goals for the next session, and reflect on myself as a clinician.