Thursday, February 6, 2014

Teaching Reading: How Do You Decide What to Teach?


There a couple events in my past week that have really made me think about reading in a special education classroom.  1)  My guest post with Christine Reeve over at Autism Classroom News, 2) I have a new student teacher that I am trying to explain to why I teach what I teach and where the activities come from, and 3) my Reader's Survey results came in and showed that a majority of you want to know more about reading and what to teach.

Below is a little button that I created to remind me and to help you figure out what to do about reading in a resource room.  I shared this on Chris' blog and now I thought it would be beneficial for all of you if I went a little more in depth about the "A" and "D" in READING.


A:  As I've blogged about in the past, my favorite tools of assessment are Dr. Fry's Informal Reading Assessments, Reading A-Z running records, Corrective Reading assessment and my school district's universal screening-NWEA's MAP (Measures of Academic Progress).  I believe that it is important to administer varied assessments, because each test will give you specific information that you need on each student.  No one test is going to give me all of the information that I need.  It is hard for me to place all of my instructional needs on the results of one assessment.  When I use several different assessments, it helps to give me a better overall picture of my students.  
Below is a chart of the assessments that I use to inform my reading instruction.  *Note these are my personal preferences and what I use each assessment to measure.  Please understand that this is not the be all/end all to assessments or ways to guide your instruction, but it is a good place to start if you don't know where to start.*

There are several places to find reading curriculum for special education students.  Some reading companies even have a companion reading intervention component.  I have used the intervention curriculum to Reading Street in the past, but this was at a different school and I am no longer at that school.  I did really like that curriculum and it worked well for the students that I had at the time.  In my current school we do not have the intervention curriculum, so as is the special ed way of things, I modify what is available at school, find another curriculum, or create my own activities to meet specific needs.

D:  Decisions, decisions, decisions!  It's time to make some choices in what to use to teach students.  All of my decisions are based on assessment, need, and of course IEP goals.  If you check out the table below you can see which instruction strategies I use to meet each of the 5 literacy components.

In my classroom, meeting several students varying and challenging needs, means that management of the class time and instruction is incredibly important.  This is why I choose to use a Daily 5 type of classroom management for reading.  The Daily 5 stations allow me to meet the needs of each student in all areas that they are experiencing difficulty during one class period.  It also allows students to have ownership of their learning and gain independence in the rotations.

My Reading Resource schedule looks like this:


I will give you a quick synopsis of what each piece of the schedule means, but in later posts I promise to give you more details of each!

Timed Fluency:  Students are given a reading fluency passage each week.  (I find my fluency passages on Reading A-Z).  On Monday, the students each individually read the passage to me for one minute.  Together the student and I record the words per minute, accuracy of word reading, and we set a goal.  Students know when they come in the room they are to get their passage, a timer, and a partner.  Students take turns reading and timing each other.  The students are trying to build accuracy and beat the previous day's time.

Vocabulary Instruction:  As a whole group, we do vocabulary instruction.  I use graphic organizers and other instructional strategies to teach vocabulary.  We have weekly vocabulary that goes along with our weekly story (from Reading A-Z).  I use the book Word Nerds to help guide my instruction.  If you don't have the book, Word Nerds.....go get it!!

Rotations:  I know it is Daily 5, but with a short resource time, I don't have time for all 5 rotations.  You will notice a star beside Read to Self and Word Work.  The star means that they have to do these two stations daily.  The students then choose a 3rd station, but all stations must be visited throughout the week.

Teacher Time:  On Monday and Wednesday, I meet with two of my students during the rotation time.  These two students have very similar needs that the others in the group do not have.  These students do guided reading with me for two sessions worth of time.  On Tuesday and Thursday, I meet with the remaining four students.  We use the same story, but on a different level (when available) and do guided reading for two sessions.

Read to Self:  Students self select "good fit" books and read to themselves.

Work on Words:  I create or find a word work activity to go along with the weekly guided reading story.  Each story on Reading A-Z has a word work skill.  (Are you seeing a pattern?  I love Reading A-Z.  It is a special educator's life saver).   Students that need sight word instruction also can work on sight words during this time using apps, time delay, or a word work station.

Work on Writing:  Students can complete their vocabulary journal at the writing station, choose a writing prompt (free write), or have a prompt (also available with Reading A-Z guided reading lesson).

Listen to Reading-Students can listen to stories on the computer, using RAZ kids, or on CD or the iPad.

Read with Someone:  Students read with a partner.  They complete an activity with the partner such as a graphic organizer that goes along with the story and comprehension skill we are focused on for the week.

EXTRA!!
A few extra components that I have to "get in" to my reading time include: Lexia (a computer based reading intervention), progress monitoring.
Students use Lexia on Tuesday and Thursday in the village square to meet their weekly usage minutes.  They can also use this during Listen to Reading time if they have completed other station work.
Progress monitoring-I do weekly progress monitoring on Fridays.  My schedule then looks different for Fridays.  I individually listen to each student read the fluency passage and get the week's word per minute average, students complete reading comprehension quizzes, and for my students with basic reading goals, I monitor sight word recognition.  While all of this monitoring is going on, students complete rotations they didn't get to work on or finish from the week.  

Geez!!! How do the kids keep up with all of this??  It's hard enough for me!  I've got an organizational freebie for you that I hope you will love!


Questions?  Suggestions?  Comments?  I would love to hear them!

Kim




16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I am a resource teacher too and love when I come across special education teaching blogs. Thanks for sharing how you set up your Reading block with students! It's given me some good ideas! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by! I will be sharing about reading the first week of every month, then math, social skills, and during the last week, general special education tips. Keep checking back! I love having new readers. Let me know if you ever need any help!
      Kim

      Delete
  2. So, when you meet with you "teacher time" groups, is it for the whole 30 minutes or just one of the 10 minute rotations? Thanks again for always sharing your awesome ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I meet with them during two rotations. I keep them for 20 minutes and they have the final rotation as read to self. And, thanks!!
    Kim

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for sharing what you are doing. I am a middle school resource teacher and am always trying to change things up to keep the students motivated. One thing I never take a break from is the timed readings. My favorite has been Readlive by Read Naturally. Even the free trial lasts 60 days so it is a great program to try. It's very kid and teacher friendly if you have access to a computer for that center. Please keep sharing, Heather

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am going to check out the Readlive! That sounds great and it would be motivating when my kids start to get a little bored with the paper and partner timed readings. Thanks for sharing!
      Kim

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the post! I am a new special education teacher and still learning what does and does not work. I have been having trouble with my reading block with my students and this has really helped. I feel bad because I keep changing things on them but I am trying to find a system that will most benefit. I have a group I am struggling with. In this 2nd grade group I have readers and some who are still learning the alphabet and sounds. Would you still do fluency passages with these students? Thanks for your help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would still do fluency, but I would do letter fluency instead of words or phrases. After all of the letters are learned, go to blends, sight words, and so on until you can work up to short phrases. Don't feel bad about changing things...that's something I've had to learn myself. The key is to find what works and you may go through several "systems" before you find a good fit!
      Kim

      Delete
  6. I love how you set up your resource room reading block. When do the kids actually read the Reading A-Z book?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We read it during teacher time during the rotations.
      Kim

      Delete
  7. Thanks so much for sharing! I am a year 2 special needs teacher working with grades K-2. I have my first and second graders for about an hour a day working on reading. There is no specific curriculum for me to follow and that is what I am having a hard time with. I would love to find something with a scope and sequence that can guide me and help me with my planning. I do have an account with Reading A-Z along with Reading Street but I would like to stick with one instead of moving back and forth. Any suggestions? I find that the hour I have these kids is too much time! That can't be right, can it? What else can I do to make sure I am giving them meaningful teaching time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great question! I love Reading A-Z and used a great deal to plan. I really liked their lesson plans, but as you can tell there is not a scope/sequence to these plans. I pulled lessons based on two things: the levels of my students and the content they were working on in general ed. For example, if 3rd grade was working on main idea in homeroom class that week, then I would also do a main idea in the resource classroom. The students would be exposed and taught main idea in class and then retaught the concept in resource. I used text that was at their level to teach the concepts. I may have two or three different levels of students in class as well, so I would have to pull more than one level of text and have groups, which is why I used a Daily 5 type of rotation in class.
      Other years during reading, I have used Reading Mastery. It is a great program. If my students in resource had more basic reading type goals I would use this program. I would also incorporate a sight word practice time and use time delay to teach sight words.
      If you are looking for a scope and sequence, I would use the grade level curriculum maps. If your district does not have these, then plan closely with your grade level teams, ask them what units/lessons they are teaching and plan based on that. I hope that makes sense and answers your questions! Feel free to contact me via my Facebook page for more specific questions or shoot me an email!

      Delete
    2. WOW this is so helpful you have no idea! I have a LOT more questions and would LOVE to pick your brain!!!! I will send you an email. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I was starting to get down on myself; I want these kids to succeed, but I also don't want to feel lost by starting a million different programs. Thank you so much!!! :)

      Delete
  8. what is your email address? I would love to ask you a few questions as I am starting to get overwhelmed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can click on the email icon on the right side of this page for a direct link or email me at Hansonteacher@gmail.com
      I would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

      Delete
    2. You can click on the email icon on the right side of this page for a direct link or email me at Hansonteacher@gmail.com
      I would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

      Delete

Your comments make me smile! :)