E2 – Exemplify collaboration within the school. This program standard emphasizes the importance to participate collaboratively and professionally in school activities. Most school has many specialists within and the importance to collaborate with these individuals is significant. The evidence presented is a document collected from a meeting between my mentor teacher, reading specialist, and myself. In recent days, guided reading had not gone as well as intended. I felt as if student engagement and the depth of understanding of key reading concepts were not happening. Guided reading is not a strong point of my mentor teacher, thus we decided to schedule a meeting with the reading specialists for further guidance. This is so that we could collaborate on how to make guided reading more effective and engaging.
This evidence shows the reading skills hierarchy. The reading specialist really challenged my mentor teacher and me to look at the level where our students truly fit. She mentioned that many teachers try to teach students the advanced comprehension skills without reinforcing or establishing the previous skill sets. This is how I had been structuring guided reading in that I was teaching the advanced comprehension skills without taking the time to see if the students in the groups had fully developed their clarifying skills. The reading specialist mentioned that the clarifying stage could be thought of as a speed bump in the road. Clarifying helps the reader slow down so that they are not reading recklessly or missing key information, just like what a speed bump does for cars. As we continued the collaboration meeting, the specialist was able to give sample texts and activities to use to really develop the clarifying skills and at the same time engage the students. One specific suggestion was to do close readings while incorporating “think marks”. Think marks are a way for students to identify unfamiliar words, funny parts, surprising parts, important parts, favorite parts, confusing parts, wonder parts, and connections. This will help ensure that students are reading for clarity. Collaborating within the school can provide opportunities for growth and development as a teacher. As a result of collaborating with the reading specialist, I feel that I have learned how to more effectively teach guided readings. The outcome is the growth in knowledge to more efficiently instruct students, which will result in more in depth learning. In the future, I will continue to collaborate with the teachers and specialists within the school. I will continue to reflect upon my practices and collaborate in school activities in order to continue to develop as a teacher. Additionally, I plan on implementing close reading and think marks with the guided reading groups.