My students are a diverse group of enthusiastic learners who respond best to hands-on activities, opportunities to explore and practice, and lots of one-on-one contact, encouragement, and support. They welcome routines as an anchor for their day but respond enthusiastically to a new project or a novel experience.
Each student faces a learning disability of some kind that challenges them but does not define who they are!
They may struggle with reading, math, attention, and focus but they work hard every day because they are hungry to learn and succeed. More than half are English language learners and may qualify for a free or reduced lunch. They have at one time or another felt discouraged about school.
However, when given a classroom environment that is warm and welcoming and a school that is inclusive and friendly, my students are happy. When their needs are met and supported, they are able to thrive as learners.
Many students struggle with reading because they don't understand the code of the English language, that words are built from word parts in a meaningful way. Word parts need to be connected to sounds and the visual picture of those parts stored in memory. Building proficiency in these skills requires practice and student engagement.
My students will have fun practicing word-building with magnetic letters and word parts using magnetic easels during center activities and small group instruction.
For example, after focusing on the word part "or," a student might build a variety of words from this word part, such as thorn or born. As an intervention teacher who moves from group to group and sometimes room to room, these easels and materials will be easy to set-up for a lesson and ongoing practice.
To become proficient readers, multi-sensory, explicit phonics instruction is necessary for many students learning English and for those with reading challenges. The easels and phonics word building tiles will be a perfect addition to my teaching toolkit.
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