Sunday, September 23, 2012

C4T post #1

Ms. Cassidy's bulletin board
For my comments for teacher post, I had the opportunity to read Ms. Kathy Cassidy's blog. Ms. Cassidy teaches grade one in Moose Jaw, Canada. From her blog I can clearly see that she is passionate about using technology in the classroom and that is a wonderful thing. I have commented on two of her posts and these are my findings.

The first post I commented on Ms. Cassidy used the ideas of Gail Boushey and Joan Moser to set up a bulletin board that can organize a classroom to have a reading program setup for each child. The original idea is to use the letters in the word cafe to make different categories. The categories are: "comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expand vocabulary". She was worried about the terminology being to difficult to understand, so she used her own base word, read. Her new categories are: " right words, explain what you read, able to read smoothly, and discover new words."

I commented about how I really liked the way she changed the terminology to suit her students. The effectiveness of a reading program is scaled by how well it is received. I'm sure that first grade students could learn the words used in the original model, but it's more important to be sure that each student already understands. How could we expect students to do anything if they can't understand what is being expected from them?

The second post was an earlier post. Ms. Cassidy shared the letters she wrote to her future students that would be joining her when school was back in session. Inside each envelope were two letters, one to the child and one the parents. The child's letter basically introduced herself, told them some things about the class, and said that she was looking forward to meeting them. The parents letter encouraged parents to stay in contact with her and tell her about the child. One of the questions she asked the parents was "What does your child enjoy learning about?." She says that it is easier to teach students when she has this information.

After thinking about my own grade school experiences, I wish my teachers would have sent me a letter. It made me nervous walking into a class not knowing anything about the up coming year. When I begin teaching, I hope that I will be able to use the same approach at the beginning of the school year.

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