Friday, February 24, 2012

Virtual Teaching Expo Question and Answer


Welcome! If you're visiting because you attended the Everything's Primary Virtual Teaching Expo, I hope you enjoyed the presentations. If you didn't get a chance to register early for the expo, you can still register and view the presentations (even after the launch date).

The topic of my presentation was helping struggling readers. If you watched my presentation, you may have noticed that I was lookin' a bit like Mr. Ed (he's a talking horse in case you are too young to know him). Ha! I'm normally not so serious, but helping struggling readers is a serious passion of mine. I could talk about it for hours with whoever will listen discuss it with me. A big theme in my presentation (and in my classroom) is repetition. I believe that many of our struggling kids would not be "struggling" for nearly as long if our instruction provided more repetition.

I'll admit that I'm guilty of thinking, "well, we have to move on" or feeling like I might poke my eyeballs out if I have to cover short /a/ word families with a certain child for one more week. Although we all feel pressured by standards, teacher evaluations and things that seem developmentally inappropriate for some of our young learners, the bottom line is that our instruction has to meet each learner where they are in order for them to be successful. That is not an easy task. A friend who teaches foreign language once told me that she has tremendous respect for elementary teachers "because all of the students in her French 3 class are at that level and she never has to figure out how to provide instruction for a French 1 level student in her French 3 class". Finally, someone outside of my world of leveled books, recess boots and matching bins understands a little of what we face each day in the classroom.

For many of our struggling students to have a chance to be successful, the answer is simple (in my opinion)...repetition, repetition and a little more repetition. I think we (including me) often give up something and try something different before we know if the student really just needs more repetition in order to succeed. There are obviously some students who need different instruction or additional services/support, but without trying additional repetition first I think it's hard to know if they really need something different or just more of the same than their peers.

Last summer, I did a couple posts about helping struggling readers. You can read those posts here
and here.  I also hosted a linky party about helping struggling readers this past summer.  You can view the submissions to that linky party here.

Let's get this discussion started...

1. How do you use repetition to support your struggling readers?


2. Do you use volunteers to help you provide repetition for struggling students?

I can't wait to hear about how you use repetition to support your struggling readers!  I'd be happy to answer questions and would be thrilled to have feedback from you. Thanks for visiting today!

44 comments:

  1. Hi I've just watched your primary expo presentation and really enjoyed it. I teach in the UK where reading is taught a little differently, but of course we still have struggling readers. I love your game ideas and will be adding some of them to my intervention time to make the repetition of sounds and sight words more child centred. I had also never thought about the amount of time a child is actually reading, with many of my kids not getting any support from home, so I will be addressing this with more reading time. There was so much more I enjoyed and will be revisiting to make notes so I can apply it to my practice.
    Thank you so much x

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the presentation! It is so frustrating when children do not get support at home. I think it's important to remind ourselves that we can't control that,but we can focus on providing more time for reading at a students just right level during the day. I would love to know more about how reading is taught in the UK. Thanks for stopping by to visit!
      Kimberly

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  2. You did a wonderful job on your presentation!!!
    I loved the way you broke it down.

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

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  3. Thanks! I'm watching the others right now!
    Kimberly

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  4. Great job on your presentation! I love attending 'conferences' because it rejuvenates me in my 'teaching life', but also it reaffirms that I am doing great things in my classroom. I love learning new activities and seeing differentiation in the ones I am already using in my classroom. Thank you for the great ideas!!!

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    1. Hi Linda,
      I'm so glad you liked the presentation. I know what you mean about reaffirming what you are already doing. We need that as teachers!
      Kimberly

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  5. In my school we use Accelerated Reader for independent reading. What do you think about using those levels for students to select books.

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    1. We used to use Accelerated Reader at my school. Now that we are using running records for assessment and Fountas and Pinnell levels for our leveling system, teachers are more familiar with the needs of the students (in my opinion). It helps us plan more effective instruction and students seem to make more progress because we are more in touch with their needs. Not that I am opposed to using Accelerated Reader, but using AR levels (and computerized assessment) did not help our children (and thir parents) find just right books on their own.

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    2. Thank you, I appreciate your response and I enjoyed your presentation. I have a lot of ideas I can use in my classroom on Monday.

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  6. Thank you for all of your insight and creative ideas! I just finished watching your presentation and really enjoyed it. I am a second year teacher and just love learning all of this new information. I was wondering how you level books for your library? I have heard that there are different ways for doing this(lexile, DRA,ect)and was wondering how you go about it? Thank you!

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    1. Hi Sarah,
      I'm so glad you enjoyed the presentation! In the district where I work, we use Fountas/Pinnell (F/P) as our leveling system. We agreed on certain color stickers to use for each level, so that they would be consistent from room to room. We use the Scholastic Book Wizard to help us find the guided reading (F/P) levels for books that we need to level. I have instructions for that here on my blog under the freebie section in case you are interested. When Scholastic does not have a level for a certain book, we assign it a level based on comparisons to others in the levels.
      Kimberly

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  7. What a wonderful presentation! You provided so many great teaching tips for reading and you were very thorough- I loved that! I can't wait to try them out with my own kids next week! I know it's currently a VERY busy season in your personal life. THANK YOU for all of your work you put towards this expo to help educators and their students.

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    1. Thank you, Tamara! Your kind words mean so much to me. I truly value your opinion. Glad you liked the presentation!
      Kimberly

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  8. Great job!

    Thank you for your insight and tips for the classroom! I am a Reading Specialist in a Grades 2-5 building and I always like to see the Word Work ideas and center activities teachers use in early primary classrooms. I love the "Flip It" game and will be sure to try that with my 2nd grade struggling reader groups! I will be sure to share a few of the ideas with my 2nd grade classroom teachers as well, since many have struggling readers who still need help with basic word families and sight words. :)

    Thanks again!

    --
    Kristin (MsJordanReads)

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    1. Hi Kristin,
      So glad you enjoyed the presentation! Isn't it amazing how many struggling 2nd graders still need help with basic word families and sight words...a constant battle!
      Thanks for stopping by to visit!
      Kimberly

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  9. Great job on your presentation girl! I have been making fun of myself on video for days! I hope I don't annoy everyone too bad!
    Peace, Mel D
    Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

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    1. Hi Mel,
      Thanks for the feedback! I loved your presentation too! That whole watching myself on video about pushed me right over the edge... :)But...we did it!
      Kimberly

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  10. Thank you for such a wonderful presentation. Teaching reading is my passion and love to obtain as many ideas as I can from other teachers. Your presentation was very informative and I loved the different ideas you gave use fellow first grade (and other grades) teachers. Thank you again

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the presentation! I appreciate your feedback. Thanks for stopping by to visit!
      Kimberly

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  11. What an AWESOME presentation you made- I took lots of notes and want to try many of your ideas with my special needs students- I have students with Downs, developmental delays, and other learning disabilities. My multiage special ed class this year is REALLY low compared to previous years. Thanks for giving me great ideas to use!

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    1. Hi Shar,
      I'm so glad you enjoyed the presentation! Wow - I'm sure a multiage special ed class is challenging! Thank you for stopping by to visit today.
      Kimberly

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  12. Great presentation! It will really help me next fall when I get my first teaching job! I am a special education teacher and this will help a great deal! I have one question for you though, What is one little word? Can you tell me more about it?

    Thank you so much!

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    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for stopping by to visit! Getting your first teaching job is such an exciting time! Many of my fellow bloggers chose one little word to be their theme for 2012. Each of us chose a word that would motivate/inspire/comfort us around the first of the year. My olw is faith and it's proving to be the perfect choice for this year. So glad you enjoyed the presentation. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you in the fall. :)
      Kimberly

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  13. Kimberly,
    I just finished watching your presentation-good job! I especially enjoyed the ideas for the games and the reading tickets. My kids will love the tickets. I so agree with the repetition part--so necessary for the kiddos and so boring for us. But it is what it is and I enjoyed hearing from a fellow first grade teacher! Thanks again! Liz

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    1. Hi Liz,
      Thanks for stopping by to visit. I'm so glad you enjoyed the presentation. My kids LOVE the reading tickets! It gives them choices and permission not to be "silent" during quiet reading time. :)
      Kimberly

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  14. I just finished your videos on the Everything's Primary Teaching Expo. THANK YOU for all that you shared! It was great and I took so many great ideas from you. It was also encouraging to hear that I am doing similar activities in my classroom - repetition, repetition, repetition!!!

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    1. You're welcome! I think it is really important for us to hear what other teachers are doing to confirm what we are doing in the classroom. Thanks for stopping by to visit today!
      Kimberly

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  15. Kimberly, thank you so much for the time and effort that went into this presentation! I really enjoyed listening to your thoughts, advice, and ideas. My Master's is in Literacy so I was really excited and happy to hear everything you had to say. I especially loved all of your game ideas and the practice of keeping the games the same but changing the target. What a great idea!

    Thanks again,
    Sara
    www.mspaganosplace.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Sara,
      I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by to leave feedback. I think it is hard for teachers to keep the game the same and change the target (simply because many of us have creative souls), but it does seem to make a big difference for our struggling kids. So glad you enjoyed the presentation!
      Kimberly

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  16. Kimberly, thank you, thank you, thank you (note the repetition) for your awesome presentation videos!! They were very helpful on what I can use in the future with students :) I can't wait to make my own collection of games. You have such great and creative ideas!

    Andrea
    Cheers to School

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    1. Hi Andrea,
      I love the repetition! Ha! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the presentation. Your feedback means a lot to me.
      Kimberly

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  17. Hi Kimberly,

    Just dropping by to say a big thank you for your presentation at the Everything's Primary expo. I teach in Australia, and although our reading programs may differ slightly, the aims and goals for students remain the same and I found your ideas very inspiring. I teach a Prep/1 (kindergarten and first grade) class and I'm going to implement some of your strategies to support my struggling readers. Thanks again!

    Stef
    http://sgalvin.global2.vic.edu.au

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    1. Hi Stephanie,
      I feel honored that anyone in the US would want to watch my presentation, but the fact that teachers from other countries are tuning in is amazing. We are so lucky to have the internet to bring us all together to share ideas! I would love to know more about your educational system works in Australia. Thank you for stopping by to visit today!
      Kimberly

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  18. I agree with Shar - my hand hurts from note taking! What a fun day. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us!
    - Leslie

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    1. Hi Leslie,
      Me too! But from the other presentations! Your opinion means a lot to me. Thank you for stopping by to visit today.
      Kimberly

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  19. I enjoyed your presentation. Just told the gr.2 teacher at my school I was having some of my students do chunks with short vowels & she was not happy - saying they should be moving on at this time of yr. You reaffirmed my decision! I use lots of games for repetition & I thank you for some new ideas. Am going to try the reading out loud too. I love having vounteers to listen to the students read & to play games with them but unfortunately this year I have none. Thank you for your presentation! Am going to visit your TPT store - love a sale!

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  20. So glad you enjoyed the presentation! I feel like growling when I hear teachers encouraging other teachers to "move on" when students are clearly not ready. I understand the pressure of the curriculum, but learning is difficult when frustration kicks in. By meeting students where they are, we are helping them feel successful enough to make progress.
    Kimberly

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  21. Hi Kimberly, Just watched your presentation and it was refreshing to hear you say things out loud that I sometimes stress over. (Like needing to move on when things simply need to be repeated!) One thing I struggle with in my classroom library is leveling my collection. How can I do it without making the task a full time job? Any helpful ideas?
    Thanks, Susan

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  22. Great job on your presentation! I enjoyed the content--and thank you for sharing your ideas :)

    Janaye
    Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes

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  23. Loved your presentation! I will be using lots of your ideas :)

    Thank You!

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  24. Loved the presentation and it really reminded me of going back to the basics like REPETITION! The pace of our current standard driven curriculum makes me feel like I have to go, go, go but really for those struggling kiddos I need to rpovide that opportunity for repetition! Great tip about keeping the game the same and changing the target. These are little reminders that we as teachers can change up right now.

    I use little book bags to give the kids their "just right books" We change them when they read with me, then practice all week with them.

    I use parents to read read read! The kids just take their book bags and off they go to read with a parent. I also use them to teach a new center game in a small group before I put it out to the whole group.

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  25. I really enjoyed watching your presentation. Like so many commenters above, It was a nice affirmation to what I already do: CAFE, change the words/level not the game, Richard Allington's strategies for more reading, leveled books, take-home books so every child can be successful with homework, and much more. I love your Word Rings - I'm going to have to try those. I have a sight word folder with pages of sight words right now. The ring is so much more portable and can be added to for the whole year! thanks for the great advice and ideas!
    Nicole
    Teaching With Style

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  26. Hi Kimberly, having just watched your presentation on Virtual Teaching Expo (which is GREAT for casual teachers like myself) I really took a lot from your session. We do a lot of similar things in Australia but it's also good to see different things that can be used.

    I like how you have colour coded your reading levels, rather than numbered them, This I will be using when I go back to FT teaching. I also like your 'Hip Hip Horray' notes, as I am all for communicating with parents on a regular basis. I have never seen the 'Cafe menu' for reading strategies before, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea and will definately be using, and sharing it. I also like the 'Game should stay the same, but the target should change' and repetition is key, because I think many teachers are all about ticking the box rather than ensuring they are teaching for their students needs. Look forward to keeping up to date with your blog.

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    right away...

    (VIDEO) Text Your Ex Back?

    ReplyDelete