While teaching kindergarten, I was required to study in a program called Reading Recovery with our school site’s designated reading coach. I was skeptical at first, and honestly did not want to participate in the program. I am thankful that I did. Our reading coach did an amazing job and her enthusiasm for teaching reading transferred to me. While studying at UCLA, I had the opportunity to volunteer to teach reading to inner city students at a local middle school. I was 19 and enjoyed my brief interactions in the classroom. This would be the beginning of my journey into reading education. These are the primary skills that I learned from the program:
- Teach the children to use their pointing finger to identify each word while reading.
- Have the students move their fingers from left to right.
- Identify capital letters at the beginning of the sentence and discuss punctuation at the end of the sentence.
- Instruct the students to count the number of words in a sentence.
- Instruct the students to count the number of sentences on a page.
- Instruct the students to identify the beginning, middle, and ending sounds in words.
- Teach the students to name parts of the book: the front cover, back cover, spine, what the author and illustrator do.
- Our group used books by Joy Cowley. http://www.joycowley.com/