Students are gone and the halls are way too quiet. Room is pretty much all packed up--just a few more things to take care of. I have been an educator, classroom teacher, principal, Title I coordinator/teacher, and now back to teaching since 1971. I retired and then missed working with kids. The Title I spot was open at St. Mary's and I wanted part-time work. So here I am. I don't plan on retiring any time soon.
Let me give you my Reading Horizons story. When I first came to St. Mary's the Title I program was kind of a mess. Teachers had no clue what was done. Principals ordered materials not knowing the needs of the kids. So I had a hodge lodge of stuff and nothing to follow. The summer after my first year, I attended a workshop put on by the public school corporation that I work under. That was my introduction to Reading Horizons and I was hooked. Now to find funding---so I asked my principal if there was any way we could just get the teachers' guides. They had some money from PTO or box tops--something. I got the teachers' guides and was amazed at how well the kids did. Then I wanted the books. So the following summer, most of my Title I budget was spent on the books. The kids did even better! Now I have tweaked Reading Horizons to fit my students' academic needs. Wow!!
I had 2 kindergarten students this year who did not know the alphabet let alone read. The little girl can now read words with blends and the kindergarten books easily. She reads just about anything including library books. The little boy started Title I in kindergarten. He could not hold a pencil or use scissors and did not know the letter of the alphabet. He now holds his pencil correctly and can write his name. He even holds scissors correctly and cuts. He knows all of the alphabet letters and their sounds. He knows the vowel sounds and letters. Best part--He can now read and write 3 letter words and some blends. We still have a lot of work to do, but it is truly amazing. In fact, he told me on the last day of class, "I love working with you, Mrs. Schroeder."
Then there is a first grade girl who really struggled. She was reading words right to left. I was worried. But we worked and worked, marked the vowels, drew a slide and blended words. She is reading, again, we need some extra work but there is no doubt in my mind that she will become an awesome reader. She hated reading at the beginning and now loves it. In fact, today when the teachers introduced each student and read what they liked best about 1st grade, this little girl said, "I liked working with Mrs. Schroeder."
Two of my second graders are now reading above grade level and are no longer in Title I. Another second grader just put it all together this past semester and I wish you could have heard him reading in church this morning. He also has started reading at grade level. We need to work on fluency, now.
And those are just a few this year.