First, second, and third graders are settling into the rhythms of the Reading Room. We begin our classes with a group meeting designed to promote feelings of connection to each other and our work for the day. Early on, emphasis has been placed on discussing reasons why we read and getting acquainted with the books available in the classroom. All students have been guided in selecting books for their book boxes that will be read during daily choice reading time. Having choices to read and the opportunity to explore interests is one hallmark of a progressive education.
For second and third graders, books are also read as a group to learn the key components of stories and gain a deeper understanding of text. Group books are picked based on themes, genres, and varied reading skills and are used to introduce and advance the concepts of plot, character, and setting. Currently, second graders are reading sophisticated picture books such as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. And, mixed second-and-third grade classes are beginning chapter books related to animals.
First graders are working on pre-reading skills through rhyming games and books and sound/symbol correspondence exercises. Students are learning to read books by reading the pictures and the words. Comprehensive decoding strategies will be taught through an explicit, multi-sensory approach, and students will read by themselves, with a partner, and with me on a regular basis.
Please be aware that the above strategies have been generalized and an effort to individualize aspects of instruction and assignments based on current skill levels is underway.
The children have been happy to be back at school with their old friends and are excited to get to know their new classmates. I look forward to seeing you at Back-to-School Night on Wednesday, September 16th.