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I am passionate about promoting the importance of children learning to read and write with both fluency and comprehension. In my eight years of teaching elementary school, I have encountered too many kids third grade and beyond who can't read or produce a complete sentence. This bothers me a great deal. Many of these struggling readers go on to high school and college lacking basic reading and writing skills. So. during my first grad school experience, I developed "A Curriculum to Improve Word Recognition, Fluency, and Comprehension in Fourth Grade Struglling Readers" and would like to eventually implement this program someday but, I'm unsure as where or how to begin. Any Comments?

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Comment by Donna Forester on October 16, 2008 at 6:35pm
I read both of your blog posts and can't tell if you are a librarian in your school... I would certainly answer your questions on either blog differently if you are a classroom teacher rather than a librarian. But since you joined this ning, I will give my comments under the assumption that you are a school librarian.

Sharon Grimes has written a book, Reading is Our Business : How Libraries Can Foster Reading Comprehension. She is a librarian in an inner city school in Baltimore. She runs her library like a reading teacher would run a reading resource room. While I believe we can reinforce reading comprehension skills in our lessons with children when we share a literature piece, I would not agree that word recognition and fluency is a part of what we should be involving ourselves in. There is just too much else in our library curriculum to teach, for one thing.

Besides including predicting, retelling, story elements, nonfiction text features and other comprehension skills in our lessons, another way we can help with reading is to collaborate with the classroom teacher in finding "just right" books for our students. This requires knowing our collection AND having a schedule where the teacher is present while the students are selecting books. We cannot know the reading level of all the students in our school--there are 800 students in my school!

Research has also shown that listening to the audio version while following along in the text can be helpful in improving reading skills. Our learning disability teachers agree with this and use them a lot.

Of course, if I am way off in what you are asking and you really just want to market your curriculum, I can't help you there.
Comment by Kenneth Miles on October 29, 2008 at 5:52pm
I just want to say to you, I really appreciate your comments. I am an elementary school teacher and student MLS student. Again thanks for the insight.

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