My time in my practicum placement is winding down, and although I am sad about leaving, I am also extremely pleased with the growth of my students. I feel as though my instruction on reading and comprehension strategies has really helped each student see themselves as active literacy learners.
When I read a story aloud to the class for example, my students are much more eager to make predictions or comment on the story. They actively participate in discussions of books that we read as a class, and are beginning to ask meaningful questions about what they read and how they are reading it. Their excitement for reading has grown, and during their independent reading time, students often group together to read and discuss a book.
Some of the students in my class who were really struggling with reading new texts when I first arrived have developed strategies to figure out unfamiliar words, and are quickly becoming proficient independent readers. During independent reading time, I often pull a few students aside to share a story with. When I first started doing this, some students were not comfortable reading with me, and instead wanted me to read their books to them. Now, most of them are eager to show me how they’ve improved as they read a book to me and talk with me about some of the reading strategies they are using. This role reversal is so rewarding for me! My students have become more confident in their own abilities, and their attitude towards reading has grown increasingly positive.
I appreciate that I have had the opportunity to incorporate some of what I have been learning at the Warner School into my own teaching practice. Being able to focus in on literacy instruction in each of my classes has allowed me to develop and practice using a broad range of teaching strategies and ideas. Having a repertoire of knowledge about teaching literacy has provided me with a “toolbox” that I can use to reach a variety of students within a range of instructional settings.