Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My second conclusion

Coming to Elementary from Secondary Education, I have been slow to make pronouncements about what is needed in all classrooms. Some of my teachers would probably disagree with that "slow to make pronouncements" statement. If they had any guts they would read this blog and share their opinions with the world - or at least my three readers (including me). After my first couple years, I came to my first conclusion. Reading widely through read alouds, guided reading, and indpendent reading is the most crucial element of literacy development. I've written about before several times in this space.

So, now nearly four years into this job, I've come to my second momentous conclusion. You can only teach reading well if you have large amounts of time in small group instruction. That may be a no brainer for some of you, but it has become crystal clear to me in the past few months as we have focused on good reading instruction at our school. The classes where students progress the most always have some form of small group instruction that allows the teacher time to get to know the students as readers and target the instruction at a variety of levels. Well, there you have it, my second commandment. Now, how to help all teachers incorporate that good small group instruction into their routines is the next challenge.

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