My students are bright, excited, critical thinkers who are learning to love reading. Smiles and exclamations of "I can't believe I can read this whole book!" are frequent around our classroom as students unlock the joy of reading. They are hard workers and goal setters who are focused on making their families proud! Many of my students are learning English as a second language, and therefore bring a diverse set of experiences that enrich our classroom with strength.
Over 90% of students at our academy come from low-income backgrounds, meaning they are less likely to have access to educational experiences of the same breadth and quality as their more affluent peers.
We aim to provide equitable resources and high-quality instruction that can close the opportunity gap that exists in our community. A big part of this is ensuring students become proficient in reading through lots of instruction and practice!
In their first grade year, more than 75% of my students exceeded one year of growth in reading based on NWEA and STEP assessments, putting our school in the 99% percentile on the Conditional Growth Index. They are dedicated to tireless hard work in pursuit of their goals!
First grade is when reading comes to life! I teach students in small groups of 4-6 students so I can target instruction and focus on specific, leveled reading skills. While small groups are not meeting with me, they rotate independently through centers. Currently, I don't have the materials to provide the kind of rigorous, skill-aligned centers that are engaging for students.
I am hoping to improve the quality of independent practice through learning resources that give students hands-on practice with first grade phonics, vocabulary, and fluency skills.
After students participate in Guided Reading, they will use these interactive centers to independently reinforce reading skills on their own or with partners. I've carefully selected center resources that are aligned with our scope and sequence of first grade reading standards. For example, if students are working on long vowels or blended sounds in Guided Reading, I'll assign the long vowels/ blended sounds magnetic matching board for their independent practice. The Vocabulary Matchups will boost our English Learners' vocabulary throughout the year, which will support their reading progress and their confidence using new words in academic and informal conversations. Students will get the targeted practice they need each morning in Reading Rotations while building confidence and independence.
These new materials will make a world of difference for students working on their own each day! I am confident the impact will be clear both in our testing data and the growth in ability to find reading success independently.
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