Hi friends! This blog is for teachers and families- all for the sheer joy of literacy. When we are enthusiastic about reading and writing our students and our own kids become excited to read and write. I hope that we all can be models for those in our care- how did you show your passion for reading, writing, learning, language, or words today?? It's in those small, daily moments that we teach kids to love literacy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Literacy Goodness of Late- a Hodge Podge Post

Life has finally settled down a bit, enough for me to get back to this blog. Yay!!! Woot woot! Though I've been absent in the blogosphere, my life has been chugging forward, filled to the brim with literacy goodness:
  • I spent July through Mid-November planning and teaching a 6 unit online Literacy Development and Assessment Course with my hubby (a high school English Teacher). It was a ton of work, but a lot of fun at the same time. I got to spread my passion for teaching reading to beginning teachers- which is very cool indeed. My husband and I both work for Aspire Public Schools (CA charter school organization), and these teaching residents will become our colleagues next year, which adds a lovely element of camaraderie to teaching them! This is my second year teaching for this credential/masters program- and thankfully, this process of teaching adults has (monumentally) challenged and enriched my teaching to my elementary students. But, I have to say, I am grateful to have my evenings free again!! 
  • The school year feels like it's moving along well. I'm a Reading Specialist at an elementary and we've started our 2nd intervention cycle (out of 3 total) for the year. At the end of the first cycle (end of October) we give all of the students various reading assessments- DRA, Words Their Way Spelling, Core Reading Vocabulary Benchmark Assessment, and DIBELS to gauge their progress since the end of the last school year . It's rather time consuming. I work with 2 other intervention aides on DIBELing, while the teachers tackle the other assessments. While it take a couple of weeks, the all of that gathered data helps us to make informed decisions about reading intervention for our student body, including- what kind of targeted reading support they need and how often. It also gives teachers specific data on their students to help guide instruction going forward. Since our school is mostly ELL, our robust intervention program helps to target school-wide needs. I'm excited that this year we've introduced Oral Language/Reading Vocabulary interventions for the students that need it most in grades K-5. Our principal is even leading a small oral language group this year (4x a week!)- how cool is that?
  • I've made some changes to the intervention groups I'm offering. These changes are already having a positive impact on student achievement. I'll write a post on those changes soon.
  • My daughter turned 2 last week, and I can hardly believe it! She's started to become curious about all things literacy. We read to her every day, but I haven't been teaching her letters explicitly. The poster to the right hangs in her room (it's really just framed wrapping paper). She has asked about it in the past, and we told her that they are letters and numbers and then I sang the ABC song a couple of times while I pointed to the letters. This week she has started pointing out "letters" every where- on store windows, the garbage truck, on a white board in the bank. She picked up a random flyer yesterday and started "reading" abcefg. I am so astounded at how quickly she's picking up these concepts of print. I think the older kids at her day care must sing the ABC song, I don't know how else she could have learned it so well. I have to say, the reading teacher in me is so proud of her!!
  • Lastly, I am excited to put the heavy grading behind me and get into some good novels again!! I just finished Faith by Jennifer Haigh, and just started reading The Marriage Plot, the new book by the author of Middlesex.
What literacy goodness has been filling your days (and nights?)

Be well! Read on!


  1. Hi, there! Nice to see you again! :)

    Best wishes with all your literacy endeavors.


  2. YAY Silsbee! It's nice to be back! THX!!! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. There is some serious literacy goodness filling up our house right now! Our not-quite-3-yr-old is reading!! I knew she was a smartie, but seriously, this one shocked me. She can read some of the Dick and Jane books and Hop on Pop (the phonetic words only, and 4 letters is her max so far). Can you believe it?!

    The older kids in child care settings really do teach the younger ones a lot!


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