Literacy should be a pleasure, not a chore! I am the reading specialist at a K-5 elementary school. We are very proud of our choir and music program, but we are still working hard to improve in other subjects like reading. I spend most of my time teaching small reading groups of kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students. I also work with teachers and older students to promote literacy throughout our school.
Many of our students qualify for free meals and/or daycare because they are living in poverty. Some students have learning or speech difficulties that make it a challenge to learn to read.
All of our young students meet in small groups for part of their reading instruction. Older students who struggle with reading also receive small group instruction. Unfortunately, this reading instruction must be provided in certain reading programs. Some programs include rich stories and activities, and others do not. Especially for students in grades two through five, reading instruction can be a chore. Students spend a lot of time reading short phrases or articles and filling out worksheets, and not enough time reading quality books, responding meaningfully and deeply to texts, interacting with adults and other students, and truly enjoying reading and writing.
My students need an interactive literacy center. This will improve their literacy instruction and their appreciation for reading. Literacy centers include storage to hold books and materials, a large magnetic dry erase board, hooks for hanging posters and pocket charts, and a shelf for holding big books. The magnetic dry erase board will allow me to model writing and help students as they attempt to form letters and spell words correctly. It will let us work on reading, writing, and spelling activities as a group and as individuals. The hooks will let us hang things like posters and pocket charts for educational and entertaining activities. One day we might record our predictions about a book on a piece of chart paper. We will be able to store the poster in our literacy center and hang it up again when we are ready to see how our predictions turned out. Another day we might hang up a pocket chart and use it to sort words by rhymes, alliteration, or syllables. There are innumerable activities that can be done as a group with adult guidance, or as individuals. The shelf for big books will let us read literature as a group. It will leave my hands free to point and allow all students to read along.
Your help will make it possible for my students to participate in group activities in which they will help each other with reading skills, comprehension, writing, and spelling. It will also allow them to participate in games and activities independently and together. Your support will make small group reading time more collaborative, more fun, and more effective. It will help students not only learn to read and write, but also enjoy coming to reading groups and school.
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