I am a Kindergarten – Second grade Instructional Specialist for the Dallas Independent School District. I work with kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers at 3 of Dallas’ IR (Improvement Required) and ACE (Accelerated Campus Excellence) elementary schools. My role as a specialist is to coach, mentor, and train the k-2 teachers at those campuses. I am a certified reading specialist but I also work with every core subject of the elementary grades. I have been in education for 19 years and have taught special education, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th grades. I have been an instructional specialist for the last 2 years.
Look. As an instructional specialist, I have been trained by educators who were a part of the Reading First Movement. A result of that training my love for the use of the read-aloud was revived. As a classroom teacher I used the read-aloud to introduce various key reading skills and modeled key reading strategies. In my work with teachers, I have noticed that teachers do not or very seldom use the read-aloud, even for the simply enjoyment of reading. I want to reintroduce the read-aloud to teachers. I am also noticing a lack of systematic vocabulary instruction. I have been reading and studying research from researchers like William Nagy and Judith Scott and want to train teachers on vocabulary processes using read-alouds as a tool to introduce and model this very critical comprehension skill.
Think. I have created some mini lessons with some of my favorite children's books that I use to model ways that teachers can teach vocabulary skills to their students. I have also gathered some resources that I can send to them if they want to plan their own mini lesson using the read-aloud book of their choice. I want to show them that there are various ways to teach basic reading skills so that they have more options than the Basal that they use day to day. I am also thinking about how I can do deeper research on the topic of using read-alouds to teach vocabulary acquisition.
Act. What I want to do is work with some of my teachers to model and train them on ways they can maximize their use of the read-aloud as a best practice in reading instruction. I want to do a study to see if my work with the teachers using the read-aloud can possibly increase students vocabulary acquisition. I would like to use teachers that are willing and who are already using this practice and compare them to teachers who are not (for whatever reason). I believe that using the read-aloud will help students increase their word knowledge at a rate that is faster than the student whose teachers are not already using this practice.
This excerpt is from a first draft of an article for my Reading Process course. I will update this excerpt.
Thank you for reading...
Pearl Garden is a doctoral candidate at Texas A&M- Commerce. Follow along as she drops "pearls' of literacy and chronicles her pursuit of her Ed. D in Supervision-Curriculum and Instruction- Elementary Education. Just know that these are the ramblings of a doc student and a lot of what you read is a first draft and will go through some rewrites.