Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thursday, October 20

On Thursday, October 20 we covered the drill for after lesson 21 and lesson 22. We are almost through the first binder of lessons, and I only have 11 classes with my students due to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Bums me out, these students have really touched my heart, and they all hold a place near and dear to me.

Thursday was a gloomy, nasty, rainy day, and only three students ended up making it to class. A lot of the students have troubles with transportation when the weather is bad due to public transit and lack of transportation/vehicles.

We began our day with blending sounds. We read together and then each student had to read an entire section individually.

id rid grid
ip lip flip
isk risk frisk
in int rint print

an and band
en end bend
ip rip trip
ot pot spot

in int mint
un unt runt
af aft raft
ef eft left

We then practiced final blends by utilizing the same method.
bast best bist bust
dast dest dist dust
rast rest rist rust
tast test tist tust

bant bent bint bunt
mant ment mint munt
hant hent hint hunt
sant sent sint sunt

bask besk bisk busk
nask nest nisk nusk
pask pesk pisk pusk
vask vesk visk vusk

land lend lind lund
hand hend hind hund
sand send sind sund
mand mend mind mund

After working on blending a dictated words. My students had to echo the words and tell me the vowel sound in each.
pent spent trump blend rust mint crust flip task blunt

We then practiced full sentences. I had each student come up the board and write out a sentence for me.
1) Rex went and fed his pet pig.
2) Greg sent help to mend the tent.
3) The tan box will rust in the damp desk.

In lesson 22 we covered new concepts.

We started with the alphabet and sound system We worked on alphabetizing by the third letter, and worked out of our student worksheet. We then worked with alliteration.

In new learning, we learned long vowel a, e, and i and practiced our coding - "A vowel in an open syllable is long, code it with a macrion."

We learned that long vowels say their name.

Key words - long vowel a = apex, long vowel e = equal, long vowel i = iris

We then worked on spelling by orally listening and spelling. We then worked on writing and the plural rule of adding suffix s to a base word.

drum -- drums
tab -- tabs

The procedure for spelling derivatives is:
1) listen and echo the whole word
2) say the base word
3) spell the base word aloud
4) name and write the base word
5) add the suffix and verbalize the rule
6) code and read

I had a student who is from Africa and is going back to visit his family for three months. His last day in my class was Thursday. It was so touching to talk to him. He gave me a big hug and told me to keep in touch and that I was a great teacher. It is moments like this when students tell you they really appreciate what you do that makes it all worth it. I know when I have a career, I need to be doing something that impacts people in a positive manner. Pay it forward everyone - Happy Sunday :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thursday, October 19

A card one of my students bought me because he cannot return to class due to his job
On Thursday, October 19th we covered the drill for after lesson 19 and lesson 20. In the drill we worked on initial blends and final sounds.

I read words to my students, asked them to repeat the word, and then drop the initial sound.
stump (tump) frog (rog) pride (ride) trash (rash) brush (rush) cramp (ramp) smith (mith) blush (lush) crest (rest)

I think gave them more words, and told them to drop the last sound.
steep (stee) strip (stri) send (sen) grand (gran) hello (hell) test (tes) enlist (enlis) left (lef) work (wor)

We then worked on a student worksheet and practiced words with the same initial and final sounds but different short vowel sounds.
Example - brat, bret, brit, brout, brut

We practiced spelling by looking at how many sounds were in certain words, then looked at how many letters are in each word. I had each student come up to spell on the board.
doll, cliff, fret, grip, grid, bliss, flag, stub, plot, fed, Fred

We utilized another worksheet to practice the Floss Rule
ff ll ss
off dull hiss

I had each student come to the board to spell the following words : still, stress, gloss, blot, trap, twist

We then practiced difference sentences
1) We had a bell, a box, and a grill.
2) Six men fell on the brass step.

I assigned my students a homework worksheet that included sentences with missing words that could be found in the word bank. They had to fill in the blanks in the sentences with the proper words.

In lesson 20 we covered the alphabet by orally reciting it. We then practiced alphabetizing by working on a student worksheet. We practiced final sounds by isolating and changing the final sounds in words to create new words.

Change the final sound to g:
pen - peg
rub - rug
lot - log
bid - big

Change the final sound to m
sat - Sam
bus - bum
dig - dim
gut - gum
hen - hem

In new learning we worked on making words plural.

Base word + subjunctive = derivative (plurals)

We practiced by making singular words into plural words by adding on the suffix s.

In reading we practiced the daily reading deck, names and letters, key words, and sounds. We reviewed high frequency words and read off a student worksheet that focused on high frequency words. To practice reading context we worked with high frequency words: just, must, tell, get, list, last, spell and learned words: one, two, could, should, would.

We worked on making words plural on a student worksheet where the students had to identify singular naming nouns, and add s to them.

To practice spelling, we orally spelt words and wrote out words. We focused specifically on adding s to words to make them plural.

I had my student spell log - logs and band - bands.

One of my students, who was dedicated to learning and attending class, had to tell us he can no longer come to class. He bought all the instructors cards and explained that his boss at work will not let him miss since it is starting "Christmas" season. This is an issue that arises for a lot of students from out of the country or living in a lower socioeconomic situation. He explained to this boss that he was enrolled in a literacy class on Tuesdays and Thursdays when it first began, and his boss now told him he can't miss work. It happens a lot with our students, they are dedicated to coming, but work interferes.

Thursday, October 6th

On Thursday, October 6th we covered the drill for after lesson 17 and lesson 18. During our drill we practiced blends.
I gave the blends fl, gr, tr, sl, bl, pl, br, and dr and every one of my students had to say a word that begun with each blend.
Next, we worked on initial sounds and blends. I said each word, and my students had to give me the initial sounds in each and the blend.
flake, sprite, stun, bland, proof, grief, blouse, crutch, slippery
We then practiced blends on a worksheet, which included words with the same vowel and final sound but the initial and blends changed. Each student had to read aloud.
We practiced short vowel sounds. I dictated the following words to my students: tram, cud, stip, heb, pris, blot, mog, sav, hox, and ven. My students had to identify the vowel in each and give me the sound of that vowel. We also used a worksheet, I dictated words and then they had to decide which vowel sound was in the word.
To practice spelling we worked with rhyming words, dictation, and sentences.
I gave my students the words : rob, clap, bend, miss, time, bell, hand, nick
They had to come up with words that rhymed with each of these.
I dictated the following words : clam, dram, flit, split, drop, prop, club, stub, wet, and fret. I had my students identify the vowels in each and spell them on the board.
We then practiced sentences including:
The pink cross cost six cents.
Mom sent Bill to trim the grass.
My dog will sniff to find scraps of food.
I also assigned my students a homework sheet where they had to match two words with the same meaning to practice definitions/context.
In lesson 18, we practiced the alphabet and alphabetizing. We used a worksheet to alphabetize words in columns. We had two columns of words. The first column we did together in class, and the second was assigned as homework.
To practice the sound system we worked with alliteration. Students were given three words that started with the same letter, and then had to produce two more words that began with the same letter.
pot, pan, pat
best, book, blue
see, sat, some
two, toes, touch
can, come, catch
house, hen, help
rain, ranch, race
**Alliteration refers to the repetition of the same initial sound of several words in a sentence or phrase.
In new learning, we learned that s makes a (z) sound when voiced. The new key word is nose (z).
My students completed a worksheet to practice the voiced z sound.
Rule: (V) s = (z) (V)ss=(s)
Vowel with one s after makes z sound
Vowel with two ss's after make s sound
Note: letter before the s determines if it is s or z sound
To practice reading, we did our daily reading deck, naming the letters, key words, and sounds.
We also practiced short vowel drill focusing on e and i, and completed a student worksheet focusing specifically on e and i (reading words with short vowels e and i in them)
We practiced high frequency words : is, as, his, has
learned words: oh, was, with, you, put, do, Monday, why
We worked on surprise sentences and used two student worksheets to find them and label them. We practiced the four different types of sentences:
1) telling
2) asking
3) command
4) surprise
To practice spelling, we spelled orally first and then wrote out words. We also learned the Floss Rule and spelt the words stiff, frill and spill.
Floss Rule: vowel in a closed syllable is short, code it with a breve; 2 like consonants - 2nd code silent
Example - stiff (second f is silent)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 29

Today, I instructed class and taught the drill for after lesson 15 and lesson 16.
In our drill we covered the "l" blends including: pl, sl, gl, fl, bl, and cl
We utilized a student worksheet to read blends. We used our reading skills to blend consonants together. We also worked on hearing blends. I read particular blends and instructed my students to echo and spell the blend.
Blends we practiced:
bl, tr, gr, sl, dr, cl, br, fl, cr, fr, pr, gl
We practiced spelling by instructing students to echo the word I said, identify the initial sound, and say the letter that spells that sound.
sleep, flat, prince, crude, frog, grace, travel, bread, clue
I think had my students write the entire word
cub, slim, flat, glad, trot, plug, glit, clet
We then practiced writing sentences:
1) Slim Jim had six flats.
2) I am glad he did not slip.
3) Jan set a trap for the twin pigs.
4) We had clams and plums.
5) Set the drum on the log.
6) The crab and the slug slid on the rug.
In lesson 16 we practiced the alphabet and sound system, new learning, reading, spelling, and review.
In the alphabet and sound system section we reviewed the initial, medial, and final positions. We went through the alphabet and identified the before, after, and between missing letters. We also practiced rhyming with our plastic alphabet letters.
We used the letters: A, M, N, T, V, D, P, R, F
We spelled the word man and then we had to spell other words that rhymed with man.
a color (tan)
a large vehicle (van)
a man's name (Dan)
a cooking utensil (pan)
the past tense of run (ran)
a device that blows air (fan)
In new learning we practiced vowel concepts. We went over that a vowel sound is always voiced and open, every word has one vowel, and they make more than one sound. We practiced all 5 vowels and their short vowel sound by using a student worksheet.
Ex: map, mep, mip, mop, mup
Students had to fill in the vowels and pronounce the words.
In reading we covered our daily reading deck, the names of the letters, and the key words and sounds.We worked on high frequency learned words and used another student worksheet to find the high frequency learned words.
January, February, March, April, May, June
America, United States, New York, Texas
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year
We then practiced our learned words : school, where and which. We used another student worksheet to find the learned words in each sentence. By utilizing this same worksheet we practiced proper nouns, and students had to find the proper nouns in each sentence.
For spelling we worked on the spelling deck and the vowels. We worked on the short vowel sounds only and written spelling. We worked on when k is in the initial position and practiced when to use c or k. We used another student worksheet that had exercises for when to use c or k.
In our review, we touched upon the main topics covered in our lesson and the idea of common and proper nouns.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22

Two of the flipcharts on the wall in our classroom
On Thursday, September 22, I instructed our class. With graduate school starting, I went into work feeling frazzled, then on the way to work my breaks went out. I was not feeling very positive or inspired. After instructing my class, and interacting with my students all of that changed. I can't explain/put into words how much this experience is impacting my life as a teacher and a person.
We covered a drill for after lesson 13 and lesson 14.
In our drill we focused on a short vowel review by using a student worksheet. I read words aloud, and asked my students to give the sound in each closed syllable and then to read the syllable.
baf, diz, fod, han, jez, ket, lum, nib, med, rup, pov, zog, tep, suf, lab.
To work on listening, I read three syllables aloud, and each student was asked to circle the syllable I read. They were instructed to pay close attention to the vowel sound.
1) fib, fab, fed
2) pom, pem, pim
3) sil, sel, sul
4) maf, mof, muf
5) niz, nez, naz
6) vit, vut, vot
To work on writing, I read allowed three syllables, and asked them to write them.
1) zog
2) nup
3) teb
We worked independently, and then worked together on the board.
To work on contrast reading we utilized a student worksheet.
The worksheet had words that shared the same initial and final sounds, but different vowels. We read together for the first couple of columns, then each person had to read aloud independently.
lid, lad, led Dad, did, dud ten, tin, tan pig, pug, peg rod, red, rid bet, bat, but, bit
bed, bad, bud, bid beg, bag, bug, big ham, hem, him, hum pet, pat, pot, pit Dan, den, don, din
To practice spelling, I read syllables, asked my students to echo then, identify the rowel sound of the word, and to spell the vowel sound, then spell and write the word.
let, lug, mab, gob, rab, fim, tof
hum, lam, tim, kib, lob, siv
We then read sentences and wrote them out.
1) He ran to get the mad pup.
2) Get the bug out of the jam!
3) Rip the hem of the bib.
4) The fox had its cub in the den.
5) Don his a tin can in the hut.
We then covered lesson 14.
In lesson 14, we practiced alphabetizing, and rhyme. We alphabetizing five words together on the board. We practiced rhyming by hearing two words and then creating three more words that rhymed with them.
We then learned about Consonant Blends, which are : two or more adjacent consonants whose sounds blend smoothly together.

the "r" blend family = gr, cr, dr, fr, tr, pr, br
We practiced our letters with our reading deck, naming the letters, keywords, and sounds. We emphasized on consonant blends and utilized a student worksheet. We learned more high frequency words : run, end, left, help, next and more learned words : from. America, Texas.
I also introduced the students to commands which gives an order. It always begins with a capital letter and ends with a period.
We practiced spelling by writing out words and focused on k and c in initial and medial position. We practiced with another student worksheet.
Rule : K before e, and i
C before a, o, u, and any consonant.
Observing my students communucation skills are very interesting. Also, the interpersonal relationship and connection I am building with a lot of them is awesome. After class, I usually stay to talk with them about their lives and what is going on with them. Having these students has been an amazing experience.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tuesday, September 13

On Tuesday, my co-instructor Walter taught class. I assisted with our students and helped out throughout the lesson. After the lesson I stayed after and worked with one of our students, and also created flip charts for our class room. I have been creating flip charts with all the important information/details from each lesson and hanging them up around our classroom for our students to better understand/to reinforce the topics covered.
Walter covered a drill for after lesson 11 and lesson 12.
In the drill the students practiced listening. Walter gave a sequence of sounds, the students were then instructed to listen and write the letters that made those sounds in the correct sequence.
Example - (p) (n) (i), (f) (u) (a)
Covered these.
(m) (t) (b) (k) (z) (o) (j) (i) (g) (u) (r) (b)
(a) (h) (y) (w) (e) (i) (p) (l) (o) (t) (s) (m) (u) (g)
Next, they worked on reading short e, and used a student worksheet. The worksheet involves words that include the same vowels but have different initial and final sounds.
Example - fed, men, get, peg
They then practiced words that had different vowels, but the same initial and final sounds.
Example - lag, lug, leg
They practiced 26 sets all together.
To practice spelling, they covered different words and had to spell them.
jib, nap, sep, log, pab, elk, asp, gag, luz
Each student then had to write out these sentences:
Ed had ham.
The red rat ran up the pot.
Can I sit on the bin?
The hog is at the bed!
Jan fed the cat in the den.
Ten men had a bet.
To work on structure and accent, the students were read words and asked to accent them.
remark, program, permit, remember, student, dictation, regret, practice.
After - students were told that each of these words had more than on syllable and which syllable had the accent.

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 6

Tuesday, September 6th was an exciting and challenging day for me as a facilitator/instructor. It was the first day for me to conduct a drill with my students. A drill covers all the topics we have gone over in the lessons before hand.

I was teaching the drill for after lesson 8, which included everything from the previous lessons. When doing the drill, you do not have the video tape, and you teach with a small amount of notes. I tried to prepare the best I could before class and think it went pretty well.

In the drill we covered the three vowels a, i, and o. I instructed my students to echo the word I said, and then give the vowel sound. After this, my students had to give me the actual name of the vowel. We used the words : mon, sab, rog, tim, vik, lat, dis, fal, hin, bon, hak, pob.

After this short drill we worked on a reading worksheet and moved to spelling. With the spelling drill I instructed my students to echo and write each syllable after I said them. The approach we use always uses the technique look & listen, echo, name & write. The words we used were : fam, fim, fom, nop, nip, nap. Each of these words helps to sound out and name the three vowels we have learned so far in our lessons.

Next, I dictated sentences and instructed my students to echo and write them.
The three sentences were:
1) Hop to the mat.
2) The gam is in the bin.
3) Dan bid on the pot.
4) in the pot.

This exercise uses our learned words and syllables.

This drill also included a homework sheet to practice the short vowels a, i, and o.

After our drill, I facilitated lesson 10. In lesson 10 we went over letters in the Missing Letter Deck. For example, l, ,n. Which letter should go in the middle? -- m. We also covered accent, and accenting the missing letters.

An accent is the stress or emphasis given to a syllable.

A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought.

We then covered multisyllable words, and practiced removing/dropping the last syllable. We used the words : ac(cept), gal(lop), Tenness(see), tele(scope), calen(dar).

In New Learning we covered new consonants x, y, and z, & their key words, box, yacht, and zipper. For the auditory discrimination section I read different words, and my students had to echo and identify the position of the different sounds as initial, medial, or final.

(x) = box, hex, fix, next
(y) = yak, yoke, yawl
(z) = zag, zeal, zest

For reading, we covered the daily reading deck, and my students named the letters, key words, and sounds. We focused on words with the new consonants x, y, and z. We used a student worksheet to code and read syllables together and learned next high frequency words and learned words.

high frequency : I
learned : to, do, of, you, put

We also covered the difference between telling and asking sentences.

A telling sentence gives information. It beings with a capital letter and ends with a period. An asking sentence asks for information. It begins with a capital letter and ends with a question mark.

I was in Salt Lake City, Utah and missed September 8th, which included drill for after lesson 10 and lesson 11. Walter, my co-instructor conducted that class. He will also be teaching tomorrow, on Tuesday, September 13th, and I will conduct class on Thursday, September 15.

I would like to take a moment to remember all of the innocent people lost in the September 11th terrorist attacks 10 years ago, and use this blog to spread positivity and inspiration to people going through hard times in life. 9/11 - never forgotten, always remembered.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 1

Our classroom

I conducted my first class independently on Thursday, September 1st. I taught both lessons 8 and 9. We had a pretty full classroom, and it was exciting and nerve-wrecking to conduct my first class, on my own, for the first time. In the end, it all turned out okay and was a successful class.

We began our class with lesson 8. In lesson 8 we covered the alphabet, multisyllable words, and producing the final syllable. The tape and I would say a partial word, and the students would complete it by adding a syllable. Examples : helicop = helicopter, motorcy(cle), escala(tor), alligat(tor), celebra(tion), televisi(sion), dictionar(y), eleva(tor), thermome(ter).

We also covered and learned new consonants j, v, and w, & their key words jungle, vest, and web. We covered how the write the letters and how to pronounce them. We practiced echoing and identifying the sound in initial position by utilizing the words : jasper, wicker, valid, joust, vellum, and weep.

To learn and practice reading we went over our daily reading deck and practiced reading words with our new consonants j, v, and w. We utilized a worksheet and also covered some high frequency and learned words.

High frequency words : if, big, will, got, not, on, off, man, ask, go, no, so

Learned words: of, to, do

We also practiced spelling out words and isolating sounds in syllables. We used our colored blocks to represent sounds. The students listened and echoed each word, isolated the sounds, and represented each sound with a different colored block. We went over the nonsense words : rog, bon, dosp, flop, mom, and stog.

In lesson 9, we split the alphabet in two and went over the two different halves. A - M and N - Z. The students named and indentified which half of the alphanet the letter belonged in. We then covered the sound system and syllables. The students were given words, and were asked to count to the syllables. Words used : blowout, Dracula, equator, patriotic, individual, mosquito, swamp.

They then practiced isolating the first syllable with the words : (ze)bra, (dim)ple, (bi)cycle, (vol)cano, (mocca)sin, (luna)tic, (thun)der.

We then went over a new letter, short vowel u, and the key word umbrella. To practice reading we went through our daily reading deck, named the letters, key words, and sounds. We practiced reading words with the syllables u, a, o, and , and we covered a student worksheet.

We learned the High Frequency words but, up, us and the Learned words you, and put, and covered the definition of a sentence.

A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought.

To practice spelling we wrote out words and practiced echoing, isolating the final sound in words, and writing them. We used another student worksheet and covered the words : tint, bab, tisp, gad, nog, and gam.

Moving along in the lessons, I can see the progress of our students. After teaching my first lesson I felt pretty confident, but I know it's all a learning process. One of my students told me she really enjoyed class with me, and it melted my heart. Giving back, and helping others is one thing I know I want to be doing for the rest of my life. Knowing that my students are learning English and literacy skills is so amazing. I can only hope that this class helps them function outside of classroom, in their personal and public lives.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 8

ABRP Instructors - Kim Galati, Walter Pierce, & Myself

August 30th marked the fourth day of class. We did our first drill and covered lesson 7. The drills we have cover and summarize topics we learn in the lessons before hand. So before the 30th we covered lessons 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 5 so on the 30th we did the drill for after lesson 6 and lesson 7.

In the drill for after lesson 6, we covered what syllables are, and why we need vowel sounds. We also discussed and practiced different kinds of syllables and vowels.

The exact drill was - "I will say a syllable, you echo, isolate the vowel sound and then tell me the name of the vowel that makes that sound. (Do the first dew as a group, then call on individual students.) Syllables practiced = tif, lin, taf, bid, tav, lan, pit, tap.

fter the drill we covered learned words, which are words that are not pronounced as they are written. (a, the, of)

For auditory practice the students were instructed to listen to a series of sounds, and then were asked to identify them as same or different. We utilized the colored blocks for the multisensory approach, and used different colors to represent each sound.

We then practiced initial sounds by saying a word, having the students echo the whole word, then saying the sound we hear in the initial position. After this, we went over the letter that made the sound. Words practiced = run, nut, mouse, date, toy, sent, page, kitten, pin, axe, book, bike

We then practiced the final sound by doing the same thing for the initial sound. Words practiced = stump, mud, Jim, putt, hook, smell, step, flat, pig, roof, half, round, can

We covered reading by utilizing a worksheet that allowed the students to read down and across the word list. Each student was assigned to one row.

The last thing we covered in our drill was dictated spelling and single syllables. Students were directed to listen to a word or syllable, echo it, and then say the vowel whose sound they heard in the medial position of the word. They were then directed to listen to a syllable echo it, and write it in the blanks provided.

This drill covered all the topics taught in lessons 1-6.

In lesson 7 we practiced isoltating the first and last syllables, listening and echoing multisyllable words, and we introduced short vowel o with the key word octopus.

It's so wonderful to see the students picking up on the langauge, engaging in the video and the lessons, asking questions, and expanding their english literacy skills.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 23 - The Day I Turned 22

August 23 marked the second day of class, it also was my birthday.

We had 10 students show up for class and we covered two lessons. We covered lesson 3 and 4. In these two lessons we went over many literacy topics including: the alphabet, the before position, reading left to right, sequencing plastic colored letters in alphabetical order and reading them each out loud, counting syllables and defining monosyllables and multisyllables.

We also learned new consonants including n, l, and d, and identifying the initial and final positions of sounds in words. We defined what closed syllables are and how to determine what a short vowel is. We also covered high frequency and learned words including: it, in, and did, and used our colored blocks to determine same and different sounds.

We covered the 3 units of sound which are, sounds, words, and syllables. We introduced short vowel a, and covered the high frequency and learned words the and a.

We always follow the order of:

1) look & listen
2) echo
3) name
4) write

From lessons 3 and 4 we can conclude that:
monosyllable is a word with one syllable.
multisyllable is a word with two or more syllables.

high frequency and learned words are the most commonly used words. high frequency words follow the regular rules. learned words are pronounced differently than their letters indicate.

a phrase is a group of words that do not express a complete thought (a verb or noun is missing)

Our students seem to be picking up and catching on quickly. It is so inspiring to have them participate, come to class, and be engaged. It is very gratifying and humbling to be able to serve such people in our community. I am very thankful for this opportunity and am learning a lot about myself and teaching.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 6

Last Thursday, August 18th marked the first day of class. Students began arriving around 10:00 because class started at 10:30.

It was so nice to meet everyone and get to know new faces and names. We had 11 students total, some people repeating the class, and others fresh beginners. Everyone made their way into class, and we all introduced ourselves. Once, we were all settled we began our lesson.

We covered two lessons in our session which included: the alphabet, identifying same and different sounds, syllables, coding vowels blocked by a consonant with a breve, short vowel i, and consonants t, p, and s.

The lesson is a video and multi-sensory. The students use a plastic alphabet and colored blocked to determine same and different sounds. The approach is multi-sensory so the students are using more then one sense to learn these literacy skills. I observed the first lesson, and jumped in to help students who seemed behind or struggling. I will be observing and slowly beginning to teach lessons this upcoming week.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 5

Today was an exciting day at work. We had a screening session for another one of our ABRP classes. I got to work and got started preparing for the screenings.

Around noon, people started arriving. During the screening I administered the Gray-Oral Reading Test. We give four tests including a Diagnostic Decoding Survey, the IOTA Word Test, the Gillingham/Child's Proficiency Scale, and the Gray-Oral Reading Test. Each of the people must take each of these tests and from here we can see which class they should be in.
After we screening all seven students, I learned how to grade the tests, and completed all grading. From these scores we can accurately place these students in the correct class ASAP.

One student was especially inspiring today. She told me how she does not want to work dead-beat jobs anymore and how she is so motivated to get an education. She also explained how she was raised in the "hood" and how her Ebonics is flawed because of that. She explained how she wants to be able to speak in her neighborhood and also be able to speak in a professional setting. It was interesting to see intercultural communication and code-switching play out in real life. We then discussed the term code-switching, and she said she wants to be able to do it in her everyday life. She also told me she was VERY excited to be in this class, and is excited and determined to learn.

It was a very gratifying and honorable moment. It's so crazy to interact and really reflect and learn from our students.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 4

As I sat at work today, I felt feelings of nervousness and excitement. August is just around the corner, this means that my class starts soon!

Today I sent out letters to the students I called last week about our next screening on August 2nd. It really amazes me how many people in our community are in need of literacy assistance. Not having the skill of literacy would be like trying to navigate a dark room without a light. Think about your everyday life, and how many times you read something.

Try this exercise for the day:
Take a small pad of paper and a pen along with you for the day. Every time you read something, anything at all, put a tally mark on your pad of paper. At the end of the day, count all your tallies. This will really make you realize how many times you utilize your reading skills, and how much literacy and reading skills impact people on a day-to-day basis.

After I stuffed the envelopes with all the information about the screening, I watched more of the lessons I will be teaching, and made a phone call to a potential adult student. Not only will I be obtaining pedagogical skills during my time here, I am also gaining organizational and leadership skills.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 3

Today was a good day! I woke up feeling energized and excited. Got to see Bon Iver in concert in Indy last night, it's amazing how much music can impact the soul and ignite passion.

I arrived to LNGC and got to work. I put together the letters to my students to mail to them, and burn each lesson onto CD's for the other ABRP instructor to have. After I sealed all the letters, and got all the 45 lessons burnt onto CD's, I called the other students on our ABRP waiting list.
People call our Literacy Link Hotline (513-621-7323) if they feel like they need help with literacy skills, of if they know someone who needs help. From these calls we can gather people's needs and either help them through out services or refer them to other locations in Cincinnati who provide literacy and other educational classes.

I had about 25 calls to make to see if people could make it to our next screening.
Before a student enrolls in a level 1 or level 2 class, they must attend a screening session. At the screening we administer four reading tests to see what level they should be placed in. From there, they are either placed in the level 1 or 2 class or referenced elsewhere

Our next screening session will be held on August 2nd, with three sessions at 1, 2, and 3pm. Out of the 25 phone calls, I got 10 confirmed students.

Making the phone calls and interacting with the students is one of the most eye-opening experiences. It was so great to speak with students who are eager and ready to get class going.

On my drive home, I was reflecting on my life, and thought "DAMN, how great it is to help others." Then I thought, if everyone in the world would just pay it forward, and help one other person daily, we could make some BIG changes.

"We need to be the change we wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 2

During my adventure at LNGC today, I worked with the ABRP coordinator to get the ball rolling on our classes. It is very exciting to think that I will be conducting and teaching my first class ever in the next couple of weeks.

We concluded on a start date (which will be August 18th.) I got my lesson plan together, and have every lesson set up from August 18 until January 19th. Once my lesson plans were complete, I edited our students info in our database and made personal phone calls to each of them to let them know when class is starting. It was such an interesting task to make phone calls to our students, because some are foreign, a lot have disconnected phones, and others use their relatives or grandparents phones to make calls. Coming from a middle-class family, it really opens my eyes to see how people in lower social economic status situations function and communicate. It makes me realize how many things I take for granted in my life, including a simple technological tool such as a cell phone. Talking to the students on the phone is not only a challenge, in some situations, but very gratifying. It is interesting to talk to them and hear in their voices how excited they are for class to start, and how much they urge to learn.

Next week we will be sending out letters with all the class information to our students, and will be creating a contract for our students.
Until next week, happy weekend! :)

"He who opens a school door, closes a prison." -Victor Hugo

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 1

So, today marks my first day back at LNGC. I worked in Communications at LNGC in 2010 and 2011, before returning to become the Adult Literacy Services Associate Instructor.

Today, I arrived to the classroom, and watched some of the videos of the lessons I will be teaching to our students. The ABRP classes will start in August and will be conducted twice a week for two hours each session. The classes will go on for 5 1/2 months, and we hope the majority of our students will graduate. I will be teaching the level 1 ABRP class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I am projected to have around 21 students. While sitting and watching the ABRP videos, I was thinking about all the adults in our country and in the world who are illiterate or struggle with basic literacy skills. It amazes me that people can be passed through school when they obviously are not reading at grade level. I am very excited to start this pedagogical journey and learn from my students.

After watching some of the lessons and familiarizing myself with them I sat in on a tutoring session. The tutoring session was very eye-opening. The program coordinator of ABRP worked with a woman from Somalia on the alphabet. It is so eye-opening to realize that many people in our country do not even know simple things such as the alphabet, and how it is even more of a struggle for people from other countries to learn our English language. Having the opportunity to meet her and spend an hour of my day with her was so gratifying. We got to talk about her life, her job, her family, and her children. It's so great to interact with and learn about different kinds of people and to really get the interpersonal communication going on. I think if we all just tried to be a bit more empathetic, or tried to "walk in someone else's shoes" maybe the world would be a better place. It's just very wonderful knowing that just maybe what I am doing twice a week is and will impact someone else's life in a positive manner. I think this is an important aspect of life people forget about a lot of the time while trying to function, live, and just "make it" in our fast-paced society. I look forward to many more experiences and learning more not only about teaching, and my students, but also about myself.

"The true aim of every one who aspires to be a teacher should be, not to impart his own opinions, but to kindle minds." - F. W. Robertson