Book Club Strategy Group
During student's specials times, I took six students to the resource book room to guide them through a set of mini-lessons focusing upon comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expanding vocabulary. I spent 4-5 weeks working with three students, giving them modeled lessons and conferencing with them individually to help improve an area of literacy. I went through a selection process for the students, deciding their groups based upon their reading levels and common areas to strengthen, based upon anecdotal records, DIBELS scores, or informal conferencing.
For 30 minutes every day, I worked with students to help improve their fluency. I was trained by the Title I teacher in the mornings before school, and immediately began instruction with 4 students. The program requires a teacher to mark a student's words per minute during "cold timing," as well as their expression during a final read-aloud. Students select a non-fiction text at their just-right level, and work through computer read-alongs, vocabulary review, and practices to help build fluency skills.
Handwriting and Mechanics
We noticed that our students needed support in their handwriting and sentence mechanics. We began including dotted-line paper for every written assignment, to guide their handwriting. We also integrated the content area lessons into daily dictation, where the students were read two sentences, word-by-word, and then required to apply spelling rules, capitalization and punctuation, and use their best handwriting. These sentences were often supplemented with mini-lessons on spelling patterns.
I learned about Touch Math from one of my master's classes, in a YouTube video, and immediately thought to how this program could benefit a few of my students who were falling behind in third grade math, because they had not yet mastered the automaticity of addition, subtraction and multiplication "number fluency" expected in third grade math work. Since I was the primary math teacher, I collected the materials and involved the pre-student teacher in implementation of this procedure. Below is the document which explains the procedure to the parents, before we added examples directly from the program.