Hello everyone. I am brand new to Classroom 2.0 and am seeking advice on how to find resources for my new high school reading class. Our high school has grades 9-12 and about 240 students. I teach English I & III and Yearbook Journalism. We start school next week. The reading class will have about 25 kids, all of whom failed their 8th grade reading test or the high school STAR reading test. Basically, I will have the freshmen twice a day and would have had the upperclassmen when they were freshmen.
Based on what I've researched online or asked around, I have come up with this possible weekly structure for this class:
Mon. -- add cross curriculum "core vocab" to the kids' vocab journals and use interactive games on the Promethean Board to practice the vocab
Tues. -- apply reading strategies to short texts [context clues, inference, main ideas/details, author's purpose]
Wed. -- go to the computer lab to search online for articles of interest, blog about certain books, practice for the reading test via PASSKEY program that our school has
Thurs. -- practice writing strategies in cooperative learning groups
Fri. -- practice fluency with a partner, do silent reading, add difficult words under "My Words" in vocab journals
So what I am needing is a source for vocab games, age-appropriate short texts (different from what we will be reading in my English I class), potential websites, blogs, and age-appropriate materials for fluency practice. Seems like everything I find is for elementary kids and maybe up to 8th graders.
I'm glad they are useful Melissa. I believe the majority are all premade.
With Spelling City you can create your own lists I know.
Can I suggest that instead of going to the computer lab to search articles you could collaborate with your school librarian to introduce students on how to do a good search and to access the online databases for good articles and/or topics? Also the school librarian should be a great resource for book talking and helping your students to pick books that are leveled for their reading abilities. A great collaboration would be to do back ground research on topics in a class novel that the students are reading, so that they begin to build context and comprehension for the novel they are reading. The possibilities are endless. Scholastic published a Research Foundation Paper "School Libraries Work!" that can shed some light on how these collaborations can spell success. http://www2.scholastic.com/content/collateral_resources/pdf/s/slw3_...
Hope this helps and I hope it starts a collaboration that will bring success to you and your students.
Having served as a remedial reading teacher at the high school level (M.A. Reading Specialist), I want to encourage you to start your course planning with your students. Each will have "flunked" their STAR reading test for different reasons. In order to teach to their particular areas of need, you will need to begin with diagnostic assessments. These are whole-class freebies with concurrent recording matrices. Once you find out their issues, you can design your course to differentiate instruction. Of course, my response to intervention reading program, Teaching Reading Strategies has all of the resources, but you can get a nice start with the resources you have.
I like a lot of your ideas! One thing I've tried with students that struggle with reading is to have them create audio "Think Alouds" of picture books for use in elementary classrooms. We first had students practice a reading skill: Making Connections, Visualizing, Drawing Conclusions, etc. We then had students practice reading the book with Post-Its to mark where they would model the reading strategy. For instance, a student might be reading Sylvestor and the Magic Pebble, and stop and say "Now I'm going to make a connection. One time I was late coming home and my mom was really worried about me." We then used Audacity (free download) to record the books. I then sent digital copies of the files to a 1st grade classroom where the teacher let the students listen during center time.
It was really rewarding for the high school and middle school students who made the recording. The 1st graders wrote thank yous back also (more great authentic literacy experiences!). Feel free to ask any questions if I'm not summarizing the project well.
Also, we started a site for publishing our students' writing at: http://authentic-voices.wikispaces.com I would love it if you students checked it out. Let me know if you are interested!