Friday, February 29, 2008

Reading Enrichment: Easiest v. Best

I'm slowly getting the information I need to make decisions about the reading enrichment dilemma that I blogged about on Monday. Mrs. K was a little slow on the uptake about best practices and the concept of added value: she seemed to believe that relatedness (i.e., a Curious George coloring sheet, or a word search that included words from the book) equals added enrichment value. My perspective is that those kinds of assignments merely add busy work, which is the last thing either M. Peevie or I need.

At one point we were discussing the "sheets" method of reading enrichment, and poor unsuspecting Mrs. K said, "Well, that's the easiest way to give an assignment and track the work that's being done."

You will not be surprised to hear that I jumped all over that. "Bingo!" I said. "It's the easiest way to make and track assignments. But is it the best way? Does it really help M. Peevie read better, or comprehend better, or add vocabulary, or add to her enjoyment of actual reading?"

My little first grader and I have enough trouble being organized with the regular homework, let alone even more optional assignments that do not add value. I plan to talk to Mrs. Sheets, but if we can't see eye to eye, Mrs. K agreed that I'll be M. Peevie's reading enrichment instructor. She can use the enrichment time to read books that she chooses and track her reading in a journal that she and I will talk about once a week.

Sounds like a plan to me. Thanks, readers, for your comments and emails and links to quotes and studies about how to teach reading. I'll keep you posted.

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