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Starting Student Teaching Soon
After 2 years of writing lots of papers and 7 tests later, I have come to the point of starting student teaching. I begin the final phase in the quest of gaining elementary teacher licensure. The past 2 days I attended a reading conference by a Reading First speaker which was pretty good overall. At the conference I got to know my host teacher along with the new principal and other grade school level teacher better. They seem like a good bunch and are truly caring and even careful in trying to do right by the kids.
I picked up many new things but got the good stuff drilled into my head even more - which is a good thing. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the speaker talk about phonics and comprehension in ways that are very Direct Instruction. She had some excellent videos of Anita Archer - which everyone agrees is a teacher goddess. And she is. Here are the videos: http://www.nde.state.ne.us/readingfirst/anitaarcher.htm The videos were discussed and framed before watching them so if you look at them, I wouldn't be surprised if you thought they were boring. The gist of them was routines to actually teach new vocabulary (not hope they learn them on their own) and how to get engaged kids.
An interesting development from the speaker was the fact that SRA Reading Mastery should not be used with all children but might help them catch up. I have consistently heard otherwise during the past 3 years of attending the Association for Direct Instruction week long conference. Teachers that use the program swear by it.
In the very end, she told my team of teachers that the best program for students in need of intensive instruction was Corrective Reading. My host teacher might take on 4th grade students that tested low in placement and diagnostic tests. I have parts of the program at home so it would be easy to implement.
So next week I go in for 2 days of school wide training and then the following week classes start.