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Group, I thought some of you might be interested in the following message. I moderate a reading discussion group on TENET, and Crockett and I have been having this on-going discussion about how to promote reading in our schools -- especially high school. The AR that he refers to is Accelerated Reader. Although that is a good program, MY excitement is about the 50-60 minute reading PRACTICE per day, even at high school level! (An explanation about moderating discussion groups ... on TENET there are different News and Conferences -- LM_NET is one -- that we can access via a menu instead of having the mail come directly to our e-mail boxes. TENET set it up that way because there is room for 65,000 educators on the TENET server. You can imagine the memory space that would be needed if EACH one of us received *every* piece of mail individually! Anyway, I moderate a reading group and thought you all would like to read this one.) From: Crockett DuBose <firstname.lastname@example.org> Newsgroups: tenet.educator.reading Subject: Making time to READ! Date: 30 Dec 1995 06:40:03 -0600 Betty, I agree, *time to read*, is the KEY! If we know that then why is it so difficult to get teachers and principals to buy in...........? Maybe you're right. They might just feel guilty about WASTING TIME......... Maybe they feel that they are there to teach every single minute........ That makes sense to me; however, I know from experience that kids enjoy the TIME away from the traditional approach. At Mt. Pleasant High School, for a least one period a day our kids are in control of their entire program. They decide what they're going to read, and they can also decide the grade they're going to make....... But remember, we need to address the problem of time....... Here are a few suggestions: In the early grades K-3........ You could set up accountable reading time in 20 minute reading blocks.... This would be a time where the teacher could read to, read with, or establish independent reading time........ The teacher could do this 3 times a day to insure that the kids are getting their 60 minutes per day. The TWI portion of the program is essential, especially at this age because you're moving toward building independent readers and many of the kids are at different levels. Some need more read-to time, some actually need more read-with time (this is perfect for a parent or grandparent volunteer program), and finally the all important independent reader time. At least 90% of all 1st graders should be at the independent level with the required 60 minutes per day plan. Just think how pleased the 2nd grade teachers would be to receive independent readers at the 90% mark each and every year.......... 4th - 6th grade........... I would recommend that you find two 30 minute blocks of time to work in the reading time...........Remember they will use this time to take AR tests as well.........This is time that the teacher can use to really find out how the students are doing with their reading growth ......During this time the teacher is able to diagnose and intervene where needed and make it kid specific.......... Make sure the kids are getting the required 60 minutes per day, and please don't count the time spent at home, because most of the kids are not going to use this time wisely. In fact, the older they get the less time they have to read at home............ You know what I mean, they have to go to baseball practice, soccer practice, piano practice, and so on. Do you see something common with what they're doing after school? Yes, the word PRACTICE keeps coming up time and time again..... Because we as intelligent people understand the kids need practice time to improve their skills, and we're ok with that as long as it pertains to the important areas..... Just kidding! I know everyone thinks that reading is the most important skill we need to learn........I just can't understand why we can't get the required reading time at school......60 MINUTES IS ESSENTIAL>>>>>>>>>>>> 7th grade 12th grade................ The kids should be ready for a 60 minute block of reading time by this time, especially if they have followed the plan mentioned above. The students at Mt. Pleasant High School (9th and 10th graders) have a dedicated period for just reading........ This is in addition to their regular English class.......... Once we assessed the reading level of our kids we found that we had a wide group of readers on our campus ....... *1st grade level to post-high school level* The way we've set up the AR program on our campus has helped every group (Sp.Ed. to G/T). They are given their reading levels at the start of school and then they are encouraged to improve.........We have to give the time at school because this group is very busy in the afternoon. Reading is something that my TOP kids have placed on the back burner for most of their educational career......... (more) *********************************** AT Mt. Pleasant High School, we just finished our 1st semester and the results are wonderful. We have earned over 60,000 points and our kids have checked out over 23,000 books. Our passing mark has been around 83% all year....... That's 83% passing mark for every test taken by every group... Our goal is to score between 85-92% before the year is out. Also, we set a campus goal of 100,000 points before the school year started and you can see how the kids have responded........ Hopefully, this will help someone in the field..... The true INSTRUCTIONAL LEADER, The Teacher, is the most important person on the campus and the teacher should be allowed to carve out the much needed PRACTICE TIME for READING.............. Now something for the principal................ Take charge and get behind your teachers and make this happen. If you give your teachers and your students time to practice their reading skills, then just maybe the school will start to change... It's changing at MPHS...... But it does take time and effort and total buy in would be nice..... But that is not required... Recommendations: The AR company will be holding training sessions in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio this Spring and I recommend that as many people attend that can. It's well worth the time and money....... You'll come away with a solid plan of action that you can sell to the community, board, or the principal. Anyway, this is where we started and things will never be the same for my school, and I'm so proud to see kids reading everyday...... And if it can work at the high school level then it can work at any level. If you want more information call me at 903-572-6262. Crockett DuBose On Fri, 22 Dec 1995, Betty Dawn Hamilton wrote: > Great, Crockett! I'll post the message to the group. I *do* think the > secret is as you said, time to read! However, like some of the teachers > said in other postings, they feel guilty if they aren't "teaching" every > minute. With an assigned time period for reading, they won't feel guilty > about assuring that students use that time the way it's intended. > > You are very farsighted. How many teachers have I heard who *wish* their > principal would see it that way. > > Betty Wow, this is a great compliment............And one I'll never forget. I've never been called farsighted..........I LIKE IT!