Showing posts from January, 2014

Practicing Fluency and Comprehension - Close Reads

In my experiences as a literacy coach, classroom teacher, and literacy specialist, I noticed that my upper elementary kiddos who struggle with reading usually have some similarities.  They are typically not fluent readers, and they rely on prior knowledge instead of the information they read.  Not all struggling readers have these issues, naturally.  :) When I say fluency, I know the picture that pops into the head of many teachers...  anxious students, stopwatches, and lists of nonsense words while you tell the kiddos to read as fast as they can!  That's not what I mean.  I'm not talking about their oral reading fluency - I'm concerned that these kiddos who struggle with reading aren't fluent readers when they read to themselves .  Since the best way to become a better reader is to read, and they struggle reading, then reading isn't usually something they are clamoring to do. For months, I have been inspired to create "Practicing Fluency and Comprehension&

A Crossroads in Education

I have always been the teacher to share.  In fact, if you ask me for my opinion about something in education, you may never shut me up again.  As a Literacy Coach in my county, this was a wonderful trait, as you get the most "Bang for Your Buck" by providing meaningful in-house staff development.  I couldn't understand when teachers refused to share their fantastic strategies with other teachers.  I had been in their classrooms; the work they were doing with their classes was nothing short of phenomenal.  Sadly, now I see where that refusal to share was coming from. The collaborative climate, where teachers freely exchanged ideas and tips, is turning.  Some teachers are starting to figure out that they can shine (in the eyes of their administration) by NOT sharing.  At all.  Not strategies, best practices, how they would deal with a behavior issue, community resources to help a student in need, nada.  In many school systems, teachers are being pitted against each other

Currently, Techy, and Freebie

Happy 2014!  As I write this, I am so amazingly excited to be typing on my new computer.  ((Swoon))  Ok, so it's a cheap laptop, but it's my  cheap laptop.  :)  I'm working on a blog series about the learning curve I've encountered in the switch... In the meantime, I've added a super cute Happy New Years freebie for word work ., you know, since you just might need something productive and cute for morning work on your first day back.  Enjoy! Click Here for free download from TpT Currently... with Farley !  Our memory/tradition for Christmas in the Casa de Sykes is the Family Activity Advent Calendar.  I created this several years ago, and we enjoy seeing what our activity is each day as we count down to Christmas!  My personal favorite always is the activity for Christmas Eve - "Remember you have a family that loves you, and that's the most important gift of all." Happy New Year!