It’s the nature of our profession that the best teachers are always looking for ways to do things better, smarter, and more effectively, both for themselves and their students. Even if you had a terrific fall semester (and, let’s face it, a lot of us didn’t), you might be looking to do some “tweaking” when school resumes in January. I know I always welcome the opportunity for that “mid-year correction,” to reflect on my practices, to hold on to what’s working and to make changes in what’s not.
Is this the year I change my writing workshop so that my students do the work instead of me? Or get my independent reading program working to actually make a difference in my students’ reading? Or find the just right book to finally hook that that struggling reader? (It’s not too late, even in high school!)
As we take advantage of the turning of the calendar this January, it’s worth recalling Dick Allington’s recommendations that, every day, every student should have the opportunity to:
– read something they have chosen themselves;
– work with texts they are able to read with accuracy and comprehension;
– write something meaningful to them;
– talk to someone else about their reading and writing;
– listen to a fluent, expressive reader read aloud.
– receive explicit teaching targeted to their needs