Building Immunity & Encouraging Literacy

By Stephanie Rappe — It’s difficult to remember the last time I was in good health since I started my first year of teaching. No amount of hand sanitizer can prevent me from all of the germs and bacteria that travel in a classroom. It seems that if I don’t have a soar throat, I have a fever, and if I don’t have a fever I have a stuffy nose. I’ve come down with some of the most bizarre sicknesses, and every time I see a doctor they tell me it’s the curse of being a first year teacher. However, the doctor also said that after my first year my immune system will be much stronger and more able to fight against all these germs that I encounter on a daily basis. Can’t wait for next year!

On a different note, I’ve been working closely with the literacy coach the past couple of weeks to make the Reading block more engaging and beneficial for the students. We have created stations that the kids rotate through that involve writing, fluency, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, and whichever reading skills we are focusing on that week. The literacy coach has been in the room to help implement the stations, and it has been so nice having more than one adult in the room. The students are given more individual attention, and working with small groups is much more feasible.

Another exciting reading improvement my class has made is with our school’s Reading Challenge. Each child has a goal of reading 10 books by the end of May. For each book that they read they receive a certificate and a sticker for the chart that is hanging in the main hallway. This chart allows everyone to track each other’s progress and see how each class is doing compared to the other classes and grades. Each child has to complete an independent reading packet afterwards so that I can make sure they’ve read the entire book and comprehended the sequence of events. Once the students read 5 books they get a bracelet and a free 20 minute gym period. Once the students read 10 books they will be able to participate in a Field Day in June. During this Field Day there are planned outdoor activities for the students to take part in.  This competitive reading challenge has vastly motivated my students. It is incredible to see students working exceptionally hard to earn these rewards.

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