Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” This quote truly resonates with me as I think about the needs of my students and their struggles in the area of reading.
Last year in my first year of teaching, I found it challenging to teach my students how to read. All my previous graduate coursework had prepared me to provide students with all of the strategies and tools to use when they were reading, but not so much on how to provide reading instruction. Like many special educators, I am committed to ensuring the growth and progress of my students. And just like Dr. Seuss’s quote I want to allow my students to read more and learn more so that the places they will go in life are limitless.
So this year, I’ve taken steps to better prepare myself in the area of reading instruction. I recently had the opportunity to sit through the CORE Elementary Reading Academy, which was a five-day training seminar offered through our Office of the State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia. This training was GREAT! It was everything I had been looking for to learn about the foundations of reading instruction. The trainer was awesome in her presentation of the information. The training covered the five areas of reading instruction as laid out by the National Reading Panel, included the following:
- Phonemic Awareness
- Text Comprehension
To learn more about each of these areas check out the National Reading Panel Web site. It provides great information and publications about the instruction areas, as well as evidenced-based research on reading instruction.
Another great perk of attending professional development is receiving free resources. I love free stuff! At the Academy, we were so lucky to receive this wonderful book and I just had to share with everyone because you will want to have it in your library. It is called the Teaching Reading Sourcebook by Bill Honig, Linda Diamond and Linda Gutlohn. I think the publication is well worth the investment.
With these new resources, I feel so much more prepared to embark on my road of teaching reading this year.
I would love to hear from you all about your experiences in what you have learned about reading or how you have taught reading. What programs do you use? What resources you have found helpful? By sharing our ideas, we can take our students many places in life through the power reading.