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Old 09-21-2002, 11:59 AM   #16
love, blood, life
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,882
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Having entered the profession of teaching seven years ago here are a few observations.

Good readers are given opportunities to read. In todays society, the student that is motivated to read outside of school is few and far between. Reading is not done outside of school by a majority of the students. I say this without hesitation. If we give reading as homework it is not done.

After school is for soccer, football, hockey, video games, tv, movies, ect. Am I saying this is everyone? No. I am saying better than 50% of the time and I am understating what I believe when I say 50%.

How do I combat this in the classroom. I give more opportunities to read. One observation I have made is that we arts and crafts things to death. Students in my classroom read in school. 45 minutes to an hour a day. Shocking state testing results for my classroom increased. 8/20 Scored Advanced and 12/20 scored Proficient. Not a single child fell into a needs improvement or a failing zone. Other measurements included a reading test taken at the beginning and end of the year to measure reading level. Every child was reading at grade level or better by the end of the year. Most made more than a years worth of progress and some as much as two years growth.

Before we get into the socio-economic arguments about state testing let me state that in my district my school has the area of "town" that people fought to get out of their buildings when we redistricted years ago. We redistricted again this past year but this time around we fought to keep these children in our building. With these children other schools did not want, out of the eight elementary schools we are #1 in our district five years now and running. Did we fight to keep them because of our scores? No, because they were performing better with us than they were in the other buildings.

Now who do I point the finger at? Parents and teachers. I point the finger at teachers who have not yet come to the realization that the cute, artsy, craftsy things done in the primary grades are "over done". This time prevents us from giving students time to read. I also have a problem with teachers who are on Chapter 6 in a Math text when they have 6 more chapters to go one month before school gets out.

Unfotunately, parents allow this to continue. Next time you go into the classroom or meet with your child's teacher, ask how much time is being given in class to provide them with time to read. Find out what the curriculum is and what their child is expected to have mastered at the end of a grade. If you see it not being done, question it! You are paying for it.

Peace to all.

Dreadsox is offline  

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