I am a special education reading teacher and literacy coach for the teachers in my district. I taught in a classroom for middle school students with emotional impairments, and then taught in a resource room at the high school level. Eventually I ended up at the elementary level teaching resource students in the area of reading. This is my passion, and has been for the past 22 years.
A Day in My Life
Part of my day is spent teaching our school’s most struggling readers in grades 4, 5 and 6. I have between 1 and 1.5 hours a day with each grade level group of students. The other part of my day is spent as my district’s literacy coach. I provide teacher training and support throughout the school year. Our special education teachers use the Language! program to teach and reinforce basic reading skills for our students. We also use the Autoskills Academy of Reading and the Reading Assistant programs.
Tools of the Trade
This reading program focuses on the five basic areas of reading instruction, with an emphasis on phonemic awareness early in the program. It incorporates games into learning, provides for repetition of skills, allows for comprehension of concepts, and teaches basic linguistics. What is so great about this program is that it incorporates everything about learning how to read into one nice, cozy package. The prepared lesson plans provide the framework for teaching everything.
Autoskills Academy of Reading is a program that my students use three times a week to strengthen basic reading skills. A placement test places students at the right level. Students can work independently, and the program lets a teacher know when a student needs support with a skill so that help can be provided.
Used twice a week, Reading Assistant is our fluency and comprehension program. Students read stories into a microphone/headset and the program helps them with unknown words, and has comprehension questions for each story. Students take a placement test here, as well.
The combination of these three reading tools has become a very effective way to see students reach their reading goals and achieve grade level skills. Our district has seen a dramatic improvement in student reading scores in the past 5 years. We have more students exiting special education than we have ever had before. Our goal is to give our students the skills they need to make it on their own, minimizing or eliminating the support as they can handle it. I hope to continue my job in this manner to keep the momentum going!
Here are some things you can do:
- Be sure to check out my Teacher Tips.
- Connect with me on Twitter. I post up fun and interesting articles relating to education.
- If you are a Grand Ledge teacher, be sure to connect with me so I can help and support you with any questions you have relating to literacy and the programs we use.
- Got a burning question right now? Shoot me an email.