Gosh! I'm sorry I didn't think of this first, but we really SHOULD introduce ourselves, shouldn't we? :-)

Tags: introductions, teachers

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hi everyone I am Angela from Jamaica. I am a member of the Literacy Committee at my school so I am always looking for ideas as well as sharing ideas.
The focus mainly is on students who have reading challenges, helping them to pass the Grade 4 Literacy Test on any one of the three chances they have, so they will move on to Grade 5, then Grade 6 and on to High school being able to read and write.
I used to teach Reading (still do ) but with the aid technology. I have been a teacher for 32 years and although challenging, I love my job
Hi! My name is Marcy Prager. I teach first grade and take the same students to second grade. I am on the second grade round right now. Next year will be my last year teaching first grade. I will be retiring. I will be looking for another job after that, something to do with education as I have been teaching the last 32 years of my life! I love technology and try to integrate it almost every day into my classroom. I take students on virtual tours as we visit different cultures we study. Currently, we are studying Japan. I integrate literacy into my social studies curriculum as well. Integrating curriculum makes learning meaningful for children, and their teachers!
Marcy, I'd love to hear more about your virtual tours in social studies. Any resources you care to share is appreciated. We are making a few changes to our social studies curriculum as we align to the Iowa Core Curriculum. I think using digital media is much better way to engage students than any print resource or textbook, so I'm excited to see what you are doing.
Diana,
I actually visited the places I teach about and video-taped the cultures from a young child's perspective. Since then, I have found many wonderful sites on youtube that also depict cultures of the world that others have taped while visiting those countries. Just type in the culture or country that you are studying, preview all the videos, choose what you'd like and save them as "favorites." You have to connect your computer to an infocus machine for the kids to see your "favorites," right from youtube.

The Library of Congress has also digitalized their wealth of artifacts, documents, works of art, etc. that you can also find easily now for your kids to see. Hope this helps!
When I worked with Somali students in St. Paul, MN, one of the the complaints I heard from a Somali elder - who was also an ESL teacher - was that Somali was primarily an oral culture, not a reading culture. But I think that was because Somali hadn't been written until a few years before. Is that what you are finding? I know that when I lived abroad in Portugal and Spain, I was quite surprised by how poor the library system was. I think as an American I tended to project our system of libraries on to the rest of the world.
Sounds like a real challenge!
All cultures are SO different. You have to think of a way to "hook" students. Movies are a universal language. There are so many good movies to show students that have been modeled after good books. Seeing the movie first for the first time, then comparing the movie to a book, might be the "hook." Then you can reverse the process. Read, then see. It just might work!
Sounds like a great opportunity! I have never been to Egypt.
Hi! My name is Sue Burgio. I am currently the Literacy Specialist in an elementary building. My main focus is in grades 3,4, and 5. I also push into classrooms for kindergarten lab. When I had my own classroom, I loved implementing the readers and writers workshop model. I am in the process of helping our district curriculum coordinator write the reading curriculum for our 7 elementary building. We are trying to become a Project school for the Teachers' College (Lucy Calkins). I would love to hear from any teachers who have had success with readers' workshop.
Susan,
What exactly is reader's workshop. Lucy teaches writing. Does she teach reading as well? I teach 2nd grade, but I can poll teachers for their ideas.
Hi Sue. My name is Melissa Valdez and I'm an 3rd grade special education teaching in a general education inclusion classroom. My district abandoned basal readers a few years ago and adopted the philosophies of balanced literacy. We use the series Making Meaning for Reading Workshop and Being a Writer for writing workshop (which works hand-in-hand with Lucy Calkins' writing program). How does your school implement readers' workshop?
I'm not sure what reader's workshop is, but we use Stephanie Harvey's Reading Comprehension "toolkit" to teach students how to "think" as they read. I learned, I visualize, Maybe, I wonder, I infer, and asking questions, text-text and text-to-self connections, etc. It is a very powerful program that totally engages children. It focuses a lot on non-fiction. I just love it!
Our school uses comprehension toolkit also, although more in 4th and 5th grade than in 3rd, as part of our readers' workshop. Making Meaning uses those same ideas, and everything is modeled in a picture book first. I think toolkit uses a lot of articles if I'm not mistaken? I haven't had the chance to use it personally. Our students listen to a read aloud, practice the strategy using think-pair-share, and then use it in their independent reading. The students then write their thinking in readers' notebooks in the form of letters to us, and then we write back to them. We just began doing literature circles (Harvey Daniels updated his methods, doing away with role sheets, and making them much more user friendly) It's worked out great and the kids are using all the strategies we learned in readers' workshop to have fantastic "book talks." They love it and it's great for some of the special education students to hear so many different ideas and maybe understand the book in a way they wouldn't have been able to by reading it alone.

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