CGES Reader

January Literacy Newsletter

Growth Spurt

What it is about January? This is the time of year when I really notice kids growing. They seem more settled, stronger, and even taller! As you are measuring their growth in reading by completing running records, keep in mind that I am happy to come to your classroom and complete one while you watch, or even watch you and give feedback and answer any questions. Think of the running record as a tool for you to use when you are planning your guided reading lessons. Your focus for these lessons is what the child is neglecting or hasn't learned yet.

Independent Reading

I hope by now you are seeing the benefits of independent reading. This is a prime opportunity for you to meet with each child individually. Conferencing with students and setting goals during this time is essential. In Debbie Miller's book, No More Independent Reading Without Support, she states, "When independent reading stands alone with no instructional framework, such as DEAR and SSR-it's simply not enough. When we "set children loose." day after day, with no focus or support, it can lead to fake reading and ultimately disengagement,"

If you have not started to conference with students, the link from Simple Starts below may be of help to you. You will find lesson topics, conferring starters, and conference planning sheets.

After you and the student have decided on a goal, write the goal on a sticky note and leave with the child as a reminder of their focus during IR.

Again, I will come and help you prepare for this or model how to confer with a student.

Important Dates & Information

January 14: Leveling should be finished. Don't forget to update your cards on the data wall and send levels to Kristie and myself. We will need to take a closer look at those children below level now and make adjustments with those in intervention.

January 21: Jennifer Brown from the state department will be here to visit me. I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you see her. I will be showing her the school and we may visit some classes so she can get a feel of where we are and see what all we have done. :)

January 26: Training for Secret Stories; I think you will love this. I use them with my groups all the time. The stories will help supplement your word study/spelling activities and the word work section of your guided reading lessons. Thank you, Sheila!

February 4: *1/2 Day PD with me. 2nd & 3rd (am) 4th & 5th (pm)

February 5: *1/2 Day PD with me. K4, K5, & 1st (am)

* Please bring the following items:

  • The Next Step in Guided Reading
  • The Reading Strategies Book (There should be one per grade level.)
  • Data from a student that is not progressing. (Reading log, running records, any writing about reading, independent reading anecdotal notes, interest inventories, current SEIs, and any other data you have that will help us learn more about the child. 3rd, 4th, and 5th reading teachers, please bring information on a child for your teammates that do not teach reading.

We will be discussing and analyzing this information, setting goals, and planning activities to use.

Know Your Why

I came across this video clip and although it is used in a church service, it made me think about us at Cedar Grove. We all know WHAT we are doing, but do we really think about WHY? This guy illustrates that when you know your WHY for doing something, it gives your WHAT more impact. It is the same thing with our children. We know WHAT to do in terms of literacy instruction (mini lessons, guided reading, independent reading, conferences, read alouds), but think of the power that comes along with it when we focus on our WHY. Our children are riddled with challenges and struggles greater than we can imagine making our teaching cardinal. Continue doing what you do best and remember WHY.
Michael Jr: Know Your Why