Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Partner Reading

Partner reading is a great idea in the classroom because it gives students practice reading aloud and to each other. It also gives them the opportunity to share stories and connections that they may have with the books. When children work together in pairs or in small groups they can use each other's ideas and help to take them further than they would have if they had only been working on their own. They can think together to answer questions about the stories and ask each other new questions to help them to critically think about the story more. Children may feel more free to discuss the story with a partner as opposed to a large group discussion as well, so this type of activity will allow the students to participate and learn through discussion when they may not normally have that chance or want to speak in front of the entire class.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Poetry is such an important aspect to bring to the classroom. Children can learn so much about literacy through reading and writing poetry because they are able to see how words can play and fit together to express different types of mood and emotions. Poetry should be introduced as early as possible so that children get the chance to become familiar with it. So many wonderful children's books are written using poetry. For example, Dr. Seuss books are a great way for children to start enjoy reading and learning about rhyming and putting words together in a fun and different way. Poetry is a way for children to express who they are and how they are feeling if regular writing might be a little too difficult to do. Poetry can bring out feelings and ideas that students might not otherwise be able to tap into.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Skills Mastery, Mastering Skills?

During the skills mastery discourse of writing correctly through practice, the teacher requires the student to complete their work in a very conventional and precise way. If the skill is not done in this particular way, it is considered wrong and is skilled and drilled until the student will perform the work in the "right" way. This view of teaching a skill is very black and white and is not necessarily the best way to teach something to a child. Learning how to correctly perform a skill can be done in a number of different ways. Some students are at different levels than other students and their learning styles may be different as well. Some children have opposing needs when it comes to learning and may not be able to come to the required conclusion when they are told to master a skill in only one way. I believe that teachers need to be more open when they are teaching children how to master a specific skill and they must be able to teach a child this skill in more than one precise way.