BY Jennifer Robinson
Oak Bluffs School
Goals- The goal of this incentive is to improve the reading and writing level of all 2nd graders at our school. This program could be shared at our all island Professional Learning Community of 2nd grade teachers to share ideas and materials island wide.
Objectives- The objective of this program is to bring new, exciting reading materials to children. These books can be used with small groups of children to increase reading level, comprehension, fluency and critical thinking skills. Children will also write about the stories they read.
Activities- There are a number of activities to be generated by these materials. The books are leveled, and there are appropriate books to reach a diverse group of 2nd grade students. Children will read in small groups led by a teacher. They will read aloud for fluency, and there will be discussions to check for comprehension of the material. Each child will have a personal writing journal to respond to each story. Teachers can create a variety of questions for the children to write about each story, extending their understanding.
An extension of small group reading would be for children to partner up and reread a story, read the book independently, or take it home and read it to a family member. Rereading familiar text increases oral reading confidence and fluency.
How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
This project will be evaluated by the reading and writing progress the children make during the year. Children will be reading carefully leveled books, with each level more difficult than the last. As teachers guide the students through the books and levels, their fluency and ability to participate in discussions should improve. Each child will have a journal to keep a record of thoughts and questions they have answered. Being able to look at a child’s writing over time is a great way to see growth. Observing writing also gives a teacher a clear picture of what individual students need to improve their work.
Benefit to the students and the school
The benefits to the school and students are many. New books are always exciting, and both children and teachers will be more engaged and eager to read. The more children want to read, the more time they will spend reading and discussing books. They will read aloud in a group, with partners, and independently. Keeping a journal is another way children will write in the classroom. The more writing opportunities they have, the better their writing will become. Children will develop a love of reading and hopefully become lifelong readers.
Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
Every child meets in a small, leveled reading group almost every day. Many of the books we have are old, and it is always exciting for children and teachers to read new books with interesting topics. Our standards seem to be changing every few years, and keeping up with these new topics can be a challenge. With classroom budgets shrinking, any extra money to buy books is appreciated.
* I would begin to use the books as soon as they arrived. I would keep a record of each title and any activities created to coordinate with the stories.