Adventures in Literacy Land: Looney's Literacy

Showing posts with label Looney's Literacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Looney's Literacy. Show all posts

Getting Ready For Kindergarten Literacy Learning

Hello everyone, Tara from Looney's Literacy here. Welcome back to school if you've started and even if you haven't,  I wish you all the best year yet!

I always love this time of year because everyone is so eager to be back. Everyone has rested and rejuvenated. We're learning rules and procedures and we're trying to create a safe culture in our building. I wanted to share some insight I've gained over the years and just this past week which was our first week back.

As an interventionist,  in a building-wide  Title I  district we no longer have criteria for students to qualify for Reading or Math Title I services. They are all Title I, including the staff! Because of this change, we've had to really rethink who receives small group pull-out services and who receives individual services.

Over the past couple of years we've used a literacy learning continuum, MAP & SAT scores  and BOY / MOY  benchmarks for service recommendations.  We have grade level team meetings twice a month to discuss any formative assessment data and who needs extra support.

So today, I'm going to discuss Kindergarten literacy learning and how we determine needs for extra support at the beginning if the year. I can't stress enough,  the importance of developmental milestone awareness. Developmental milestones that include both fine and gross motor development, speech and language development, social and emotional development, and brain development. (They really did know what they were doing when they included child development & psychology as  required courses in the Education Department.)

While literacy learning  is not a linear path, there are developmental milestones that need to be in place to help literacy learning become a  little easier. I like to observe Kindergarten for a week or so to see if I notice recurring behaviors that might raise some red flags regarding some of these developmental milestones. I make sure to see them using a writing utensil (for correct tri-pod grasp), setting on the carpet (spacial awareness & sensory seeking ), participating during their brain break (gross motor activity - because of time constraint I'm unable to observe during recess and P. E. but if I have concerns I ask the teachers about these times), during  independent work time an at the end of the day (social & emotional). Here's a brief list of things I watch for (click image to download document):

I record my observations on this sheet:

At our fist team meeting we'll discuss the teachers' observations and concerns and my observations and concerns. Then we decide how we're going to address the needs. Sometimes it's just a suggested strategy that a teacher uses in the classroom. If needed, I  might work with a small group in the classroom or pull-out. In the most severe cases,  we'll pull out individual students. Some examples of severe cases we've had in the past include, unable to speak in complete age- appropriate sentences, students who have a fist grasp with writing utensils, unable to use scissors, unable to write their name, unable to hear rhymes, etc. 

Stay tuned for more literacy learning strategies for K-6th,  as the beginning of the year continues to progress. You be able to find those here. 


Planning A Summer Literacy Intervention Program: The Comprehension Component

Hello Friends! Tara here from Looney's Literacy. I'm so excited to share my Summer Intervention Program: The Comprehension Component with you all today.

 In a nutshell,  I designed the comprehension part of my program in four simple steps. This program is based off of my study of Wiggins and McTighe's Understanding by Design.
I established what my big ideas & goals were. As an interventionist I have a limited number of children. (This type of planning could be adapted to a whole class by applying the same principles and not so focused on one child's needs.) So each child has their own plan. I'm going to run you through one child's comprehension plan for week one. My overall goals for this particular student is to read at a third grade level with appropriate accuracy and comprehension, have a basic understanding of the different types of texts and their purposes, and asking questions to help understand text.

With goals established,  I determined the  assessment plan. I used end of the year summative assessments to give me a starting point. This information gave me a grade level and helped me focus on the level of standards each student would be able to accomplish in  three weeks.

Each child's assessment plan is designed to fit their needs and is *formative in nature. It may be as simple as a running record. Of course, with assessment  comes data collection. This year I'm going to try The *CCPensieve. This is a tool used for conferring during daily five time.

(This particular tool is a separate cost then basic membership to the 2 sisters Daily CAFE  if you're interested.)

*There will be one beginning and end summative benchmark to show total growth. 

This is week one's plan. 
Time  to focus on the "essential questions".  This plan is geared towards a 4th grade student who is at a 2nd grade level. The essential questions I've chosen for this student are:
Why do authors write?, How does story structure effect understanding of the text?,  and What's the big idea?

Steps three and four depend upon each other. In step three,  I decided which performance tasks that I will use in a formative fashion to determine understanding. The additional activities in step four aid in the learning/teaching process.

I paired each "question" to some essential standards that helped to further refine the performance tasks to check for understanding. Which is step three. Determine the performance tasks.  After reading Madonna's Mr. Peabody's Apples in week one, one performance task will include making a list of character traits for two of the main characters and using Tagul to make some character trait word clouds. Another performance task will be a journal entry about spreading rumors.

The learning plan is the actions that lead to  your big idea & goals from step one.  The difference between your performance tasks and your learning plan is the performance tasks goal is to get formative information. The rest of the learning plan list is used to learn the desired skills to meet the ultimate goal.

Thanks for taking the time to check this out! If you're interested, I'm working on putting together the whole program for grades 1-4. For each grade level "the whole program" consists of: 3 components- Reading, Word Work, and Writing, In each component you will find weekly ideas for both individual and small group activities, general formative assessments, teacher weekly planner w/ tasks and to-do list included, and more! I will be doing a series on my blog, as well, that will walk you through each component for one grade level.  So keep in touch! 

*The CCPensieve & 2 Sisters CAFE is not an affiliate link.  I just really like this tool and this site is a great resources if you implement the Daily Five and CAFE