Reading Teacher Website
Welcome to my website about reading. The purpose of this site is to increase communication about the importance and love of reading. This site will focus on reading: reading strategies, recommended books, the reading process, reading tips for parents, examples of responses to reading written by students, book reviews, good website recommendations, etc. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me using the form below.
This year will be my twenty-third year of teaching. (Wow! Can it really have been that long? Seems like I just started!) Even after all this time I find that my students are the ones who inspire me to keep on learning. Whenever I start to be discouraged or tired, they brighten my day and remind me about what teaching is all about. My philosophy - All children can learn (just not on the same day or in the same way)!
I began teaching in the same rural school that my own children attended. (Yes, a blessing and a curse.) After teaching Second Grade for 10 years, I got my Masters in Reading from Illinois State University. The following year I began and achieved National Board Certification. My certification is in Early and Middle Childhood: Literacy, Reading and Language Arts.
After getting my Masters in Reading, I moved from the "regular" classroom into a Title 1 reading room. Over the years I have become more and more interested in reading and the reading process. The one thing that I am convinced of is that the reading process is very personal and complicated. Learning to read encompasses so many different skills (letter/sound relationships, grammar, background knowledge, vocabulary, comprehension, story structure, reading strategies,etc.) that it is no wonder that it is a challenge for some kids. I try to present a balanced approach to reading in order to try to discover the missing pieces of the puzzle that will help a child start to become a more confident reader.
So much of learning to read uses intuitive, hidden thoughts that children pick up by observing others around them. (How DO they know that adding "ed" to the end of a word means past tense without being taught with a grammar lesson?!) But, sometimes students make erroneous assumptions about our irregular language. To a young child, "to unsleep someone" can mean "wake them up". "We goed" to the store obviously means "we went". I've also been teaching long enough to realize that some things need to be explicitly taught. So, I believe in the power of teaching phonics, reading strategies, story elements, reading skills. Children also need time to practice those skills on their own, in their own way. Self-selected reading time is one of my favorite things to do.
I am always interested in finding new activities and experiences that will help my students to grow in their reading and learning. I'm still trying to find the answer to why some kids have difficulty learning to read. My students teach me a little more every day.
Title 1 Reading Teacher
Cissna Park School
"You may have tangible wealth untold. / Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. / Richer than I you can never be – / I had a mother who read to me." -- Strickland Gillilan