In this post, I have two ways for you to get this content. You can watch the YouTube video below or scroll down to access the podcast.
In this show, you’ll get an overview of Balanced Literacy and some foundational understanding of how you can help a person gain the ability to independently read words in your target language.
This show is meant to explain how to teach someone how to decipher text. We know that reading is much more than that.
READING IS THINKING!
Of course it is. But many upper elementary and secondary teachers get training in how to help students analyze text, think deeply and critically about the text. We differentiate for students who cannot easily read grade level text. But WHEN are they getting better at decoding the words? When are they working on the ability to read words with automaticity?
Where do we start if the student isn’t able to read in their first language? This is a training we would not normally get. Or if we do, it doesn’t make sense in our reality. This show gives you the understanding of best practice for teaching a person to read. Let’s get the gist of that… and then I’ll tell you how I hack it!
I use these Balanced Literacy slides to explain best practice (at a high level) to teachers. I use slides like the ones below when I’m explaining to students why they need to read more (easy reading, shared reading, ANY reading..) and how they will begin to decipher text. KEY is that they (and we) remember that they will understand more English every day. I do a very basic phonics inventory at the beginning of the year and mid year to show them growth. I take anecdotal notes when possible to see that they are progressing. I don’t do any phonics lessons until the second semester. We read together A LOT. They are flooded with low stress opportunities to speak in English with frames and read together starting on Day One.
I also assess students to get an idea of what they CAN decode about every 4-6 weeks. I use assessments like this and also this so I can show them growth. I also use nonsense words to get an idea of what they can do with letters and blends. But it begins with their awareness.
Are you thinking something like….
But what should this look like in an ESL classroom? (Check out Episode 26)
But my kids are not motivated at all. (Check out Episode 5 and so many others)
But my kids are not respectful to each other, the room is a zoo! (Episode 15)
But my students don’t believe that they can do it. (Episode 17, Episode 5, every episode really)
But I am a content teacher, what can I do to help with this? Please check out all the other podcasts here! My PLN has helped me address these types of issues and so much more.
I will soon be doing a show that gives you more ideas of how I talk to the kids so they begin to take ownership of this process.
I use the slides above but I have some lessons that might be helpful to you.
Hope this was helpful, folks! I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments or reach out to me on Twitter. I’m still learning and input from you would only further my journey, I am sure.
Please check out the Upcoming Events page to see where I’ll be in the near future: