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. 

Tags: blogging, class, fluency, reading, study, vocabulary

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Melissa I have collected various vocabulary resources here - is anything here of any use? There are certainly some games there.
Colleen, thanks so much for these links!  There's a few of the games I think my high schoolers will enjoy.  Some of the other lists have advanced vocab. which would be good for honors classes (which we unfortunately do not have).  Is there a way to incorporate the words we use in class into these games or are they all premade?

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.

I just checked out Spelling City and liked the different games available.  I've asked my principal to purchase a premium membership.  Thanks for the suggestion. :)
I built core vocabulary lists with SpellingCity and assigned my students to play the six different vocab games for each list.  They seemed pretty engaged and quiz scores improved. :)

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.

Great ideas!  Unfortunately, our school no longer has funding for a librarian.  So, we take our kids to the media center and whoever is available, checks out books.  That's it. UGH.
Sad, a library is more than just books (and the collection will become irrelevant over time (and a waist of tax $$) without the professional librarian there to connect it to your classroom content)...all classroom teachers (and parents) need to begin the grassroots efforts to bring these important educators back and if not gone to keep them. Without the classroom teacher's support these positions will continue to be lost and google is NOT the answer to everything. There is a great article about teaching creativity and how america is in crisis http://www.thedailybeast.com/n​ewsweek/2010/07/10/the-creativ​ity-c...  a true library program will address many of the issues that are talked about in this article, problem-solving, inquiry, research etc.  Sorry, for the rant, but I feel passionate about this. Good luck with the options you have.

Melissa,

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.

Thank you for all this amazing information!  I have asked my principal if she can purchase a copy of the Teaching Reading Strategies book.  I did think about starting with an assessment but wasn't sure what to use other than STAR and it's not available at our school at the moment. 
I just received a copy of your Teaching Reading Strategies -- lots of great ideas in there from what I can tell so far.  We used the FP's BAG SALE method yesterday, and then I had them apply the categories to a paragraph I pulled from a freshmen Humanities book.  They struggled a bit so I can tell we will need a lot more practice with context clues.  Do you have a resource of passages I can use for practice so I'm not having to spend so much time creating materials?

Melissa-

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!

-Kyle

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