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Showing posts from September, 2013

What are Interactive Read-Alouds?

"Research has demonstrated that the most effective read-alouds are those where children are actively involved asking and answering questions and making predictions, rather than passively listening. " (Lea M. McGee and Judith Schickedanz )

I recently attended a workshop that promoted this idea of interactive read-alouds and at the end of it I was wondering how different was this from what we already do in our classrooms? There are so many 'new approaches' today that most times we get frightened into misunderstanding what they are all about. Most times we realize that it's a new label for an old approach. Well needless to say  I could not see any differences really and I simply went away with new terminology.

To me an interactive read-aloud is actually reading to my students and getting them to understand the content while I do so. They can ask questions, make predictions, give ideas all during the reading process rather than waiting till the end. In this way I…

Syllabication Rules!

There are more than twenty rules that kids must remember when they attempt to syllabicate words. Most times it is very hard to remember all of them so the next best thing is to get lots and lots of practice! Let them listen to words and try to figure out how many syllables there are. Engage them in activities which call for looking closely at words to look for patterns as well. The more they listen to the sounds of words and the more they look at the words that they say the more likely they are to discover the rules of syllabication naturally!

If you are interested in a syllabication literacy center for kindergarten kids click the picture below.


Retention or Promotion? What is Best for Your Child?

I am yet to find the perfect argument either for or against the issue of retention of students. From my 21 years of teaching experience there has been many successes and failures when it comes to keeping kids down rather than promoting them with their peers. One of the successes that I have seen with retention was an increase in the performance rate of some struggling students. Although these students were left behind by at least two years they were able to 'catch up', well enough to move on successfully to a higher level of education. On the other hand, in many cases increases in behavior problems were associated with retained students. Some children who are kept down become so disruptive at times and of course their influence among the younger students seem to be far greater than the teacher's ability to cope.



Reasons For Retention

Experts in this arena say that retention must be for specific reasons. According to Colleen Stump, former Chairperson of the Special Educa…