Mrs. Washington has introduced the Reader’s Workshop model for teaching how to read this year, after traveling to Columbia University’s Teachers College with four JOES teachers to receive training in this program. An additional two teachers were trained through “Homegrown Training,” where Columbia University representatives come to SF to provide training. This way of teaching combines explicit instruction in reading strategies with opportunities for students to practice each reading strategy independently, with a peer, and in small groups. Teachers read-alouds, guided reading, and independent reading times are structured into the daily schedule.
Our principal reports that the students are learning to read comprehensively as well as just loving reading! She also states, “I am planning to bring a Homegrown Training to our school in the summer. I am meeting with four other principals and we are hoping to train up to 50 teachers. This means that all Jose Ortega teachers will receive training in Readers Workshop before the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. I am very excited about this!”
On October 17, JOES welcomed representatives from Raising a Reader and the Masons to an assembly launching the Raising a Reader program for Jose Ortega’s kindergarteners. Students got to participate in story time, and parents were educated in the benefits of reading with their children at home.
Raising a Reader is a nationally known program that has until now been geared to 0-5 year olds and their families. Students bring home a sturdy red bag of books each week to read with their families, and exchange their book bags for new ones each week. With the launch of this program at Jose Ortega, Raising a Reader is moving toward implementing their program in Kindergartens throughout the United States. The Masons organization is partnering with Raising a Reader to fund on a national level. Since Jose Ortega School has an existing partnership with Masons Lodge No. 1, we are the fortunate recipients of the very first Kindergarten Raising a Reader program! Thank you Masons for funding this program for our students!