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Rachel Brekke Donaldson Elementary

K-2/ Reading and Inclusive Practices May 18th, 2016

The goal under my Professional Growth plan is to provide best practices and
research based instruction through continual formative assessment in the
areas of reading and inclusive practices. My objective is to ready my
students to meet and/or experience on grade-level curriculum and skills
under the Arizona Career and College Ready Standards (AZCCRS).
Currently I have 10 students, 5 kindergarteners, 2 1st graders and 3 2nd
graders. Of this group I have 3 girls and 7 boys. 9/10 students have reading
IEP goals, and all students have social/emotional/behavioral goals. 3/5
kindergarteners are being included in the general education classroom for up
to 3 hours of their day, as well as recess, lunch and specials. Both 1st graders
are included for core math and reading instruction. 1/3 2nd graders are
included in the general education classroom for math.
I have chosen to focus on inclusive practices as a means to address this
issue. I co teach with Ms. Greenberg 2/5 days for math instruction. Inclusion
encompasses instructional strategies such as differentiation and blended
learning. My plan includes providing inclusive practices, and, ultimately, best
practices to achieve overall growth in reading for my students.
All students who have IEP reading goals should meet their goals with 100%
accuracy through formative and summative assessment. Students who are
included for core reading instruction in their general education classroom
should show improvement and growth in reading as reflected in the grade
level assessments (DRA and other screening or diagnostic assessments).
The students in my K-2 classroom have shown growth and met their IEP
reading goals as Totally Met (TM) or Sufficient Progress Made (SPM). While
continuing to research best practices for reading instruction, I found that my
time spent at the Teaching Reading Effectively professional development was
one of the most influential and systematic parts of my own growth. I was
able to take action steps into my teaching immediately and could see the
students grow. We started by going back to the basics of letter identification
and letter naming while separating syllables and then sounds of words. We
used manipulatives with this process and all students could participate.
As for reflecting on Dont We Already Do Inclusion? 100 Ideas for Improving
Inclusive School by Paula Kluth, it was more of a motivational reminder. Here
are some quotes I kept telling myself:
Inclusive schools are not just places where we educate students with
and without disabilities. In the best of circumstances, they are places
where we inspire learners to think different about ability
More time spent in a general education classroom was positively
correlated with:
-fewer absences from school,
-fewer referrals for disruptive behavior, and
-better outcomes after high school in the areas of employment and
independent living

Studies investigating the effects of placement in general education

classrooms reveal positive outcomes in IEP quality, time of
engagement, and individualized supports.
I also read read, Teaching Reading to Struggling Learners by Esther Minskoff.
The chapter I found most helpful was on S.E.T., Strategic, Explicit Teaching.
Explicit instruction is key to students learning and demonstrating their
learning in powerful and productive ways. Explicit instruction is
performance-based because it incorporates the pretest-teach-posttest
process (19). I started by doing even more modeling that I thought was
necessary or felt comfortable with. I decided that until the students could
generalize the information outside of the reading table in room A4, then I
could stop modeling the correct performance. I also would correct and give
positive feedback to students showing the skill or almost getting the skill.

With the new Teaching Reading Effectively techniques all of my K-1

students can identify all alphabet letters lowercase and uppercase and
say the sounds associated with each letter. We have learned this
through repetitive practice with hand motions and sayings.
All students in my class can demonstrate understanding of reading
words from left to right, going from each word to the next while
tracking with their reading fingers and go on to the next sentence
when it is below the previous sentence. My students know where the
front and back of the book are and what/where the title is.
Students can demonstrate knowledge of decoding with separation of
letter sounds of a vowel-consonant word, taking it apart and then
putting it back together with hand motions.
Students can separate familiar words into separate syllables, up to 4
Students can sequence events in a familiar book (ie: There was an old
lady who swallowed a fly).
All Kindergarten students were included in reading centers in Mrs.
McAllisters classroom 3 times a week for the last quarter of the school
year. They participated in independent centers or teacher-led centers.
Or they were working on just being comfortable within the general
education classroom.

What a great year!

Rachel Brekke