How does a teacher support early readers to make connections between phonics instruction and opportunities to practice and apply new reading and language skills? By providing connected texts! ESCS Kindergarten teacher, Helen Schroeder, with SEF’s support, provided her students with engaging decodable books to, as Ms. Schroeder reports, “practice and build their decoding skills in the classroom.” Students loved the high-quality, fun-to-read books that they called “tapping books” and they allowed Ms. Schroeder to better differentiate her reading instruction. The result of using the grant-funded books in her class is that for students, the “connection is now so clear” between what students are learning in the Fundations curriculum and applying that knowledge to reading. One day at the end of Reading Workshop, one student looked at Ms Schroeder and declared, "I just LOVE tapping books!" It was a proud moment for the student, for the teacher, and a joy for the SEF Board to hear about. Ms. Schroeder has been able to share the new books with colleagues at her school, a “great opportunity to collaborate,” and she hopes to continue to grow her collection of decodable books.
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