Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Special Education Writing: Interactive Literature Notebooks

After 35 years of working in special education, I have research and implemented many best practices for teaching reading. I have developed a fairly simple philosophy, that more time spent reading great literature at the student’s instructional level, is the best way to increase reading skills. Based on that philosophy, I have created a classroom library/ program built on wonderful children’s literature, old and new. I have also found that struggling readers and writers learn skills best when they are taught in the context of interesting text. Chunking big words, using context clues, and noticing the author’s craft are a few. Struggling readers almost always struggle with writing. And in reality, what is an essential writing skill to have on the job? Writing a summary! I have developed fun and easy-to-access writing summary frames for four of my favorite pieces of readable children’s literature: Stone Fox, By the Great Horn Spoon, Little House in the Big Woods, and My Father’s Dragon. I have never encountered a child or adult who did not like these books, and most loved them! The first interactive notebook unit I wrote was for My Father’s Dragon, and one of my 5th grade boys asked me if I could create another unit for our next class book. Of course, when a resource student asks for a writing activity, you know there must be something good about it! I have also included suggested teaching points for guided reading in each unit. they are not scripted, and you can take them or leave them. I know that I find it helpful as a teacher, to have a guide of key vocabulary, themes, and writing structure to guide my teaching. I have not included an answer key for the units, partly because there is no correct answer, and the child should think of these interactive notebooks as a way to tell the story. By illustrating the stories, this also gives them ownership and understanding of the reading and writing. The bottom line: We as teacher can and should facilitate the love of reading! More children will discover that world of literature and books, which will better equip them to be successful adults! Interactive Literature Notebook Bundle Enjoy these literature interactive notebooks!

Interactive Literature Bundle


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