By Nathaniel Hetland - 8th grade TIS graduate
The Innovation School offers an excellent reading program. Reading can be hard for many children, most of which thought they don’t like reading, but The Innovation School has revitalized their interest in reading.
We offer an hour of free work time every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, which most kids use to read. Kids are encouraged to read books they are interested in, instead of reading dull books. We also offer a book club where students pick books of a certain genre, and after a month, we get to discuss the books we read with other people who read the same book. For younger children, we help kids learn their phonics skills and fluency.
Ms. Meagan: (Grey Band - 6th-8th grade)
Reading in grey band has consistently looked like having book clubs. Students read their choice book after they finish their group book. We have done many book clubs this year. My favorite part is listening to the students discuss the book at the end. They always have interesting and insightful thoughts!
Lately, I have been helping blue and green band students with individual skills while the gray band is off reading. We work on letter and sound identification with the beginning readers and other things like vocabulary and comprehension with the fluent readers. I love reading with kids. I believe when adults take the time to just read with kids, we are making the world better.
Ms. Kelsy: (Blue Band - 3rd-5th grade)
The Blue Band also participates in book club each block. Blue Band students have the option to listen to an audio book or listen to one of their group members in the book club read aloud to them. This helps readers who want to participate in the book club, but who aren’t quite ready to read the material on their own. Book club provides an authentic opportunity for comprehension.
During this read to self time, I pull small groups of students to work with me. We work on different skills such as phonics, fluency, rate, word parts, vocabulary, expression, etc. This time allows me to differentiate instruction based on student need.
The last 15 minutes of reading time, the Blue Band gathers back in the classroom and I do a read aloud. The students vote on which read aloud book they want me to read. They listen to the book and answer comprehension questions as I read. It allows for great discussions.