Thursday, March 26, 2015

Benchmark Literacy: Let's Hear From a 4th Grade Teacher

As we continue to discuss Benchmark Literacy, I have taken the time to meet and discuss with one of our 4th grade teachers, the good, the bad, and the ugly about BL.  I love all of the time and detail that this teacher has put into piloting Benchmark.  She is going to be an awesome example to the rest of the district next year.

Check out what she has to say below...

Pros:  I love teaching in small groups.  I feel like I have an opportunity to interact more with my readers than I did teaching reading whole group.  Guided reading is a great time to discuss our reading and apply strategies.  Students seem more comfortable participating in their small groups than amongst the whole class.  They enjoy the nonfiction title and absorb the information.  As a teacher, I get a better indication about their strengths and weaknesses as readers and can adjust instruction accordingly.  My students love working in their work station groups.  They get varied learning opportunities on a daily basis and they enjoy moving about the room to complete their stations.  

Cons:  Time, time, time.  There is never enough!  In the upper grades, the leveled books are very content heavy and therefore it is difficult to complete a book per week.  Although, our week one books can flow into week two, that takes time away from our genre study books.  Assessment is also difficult this first year.  The unit tests are very challenging, and until the students adjust to the new rigors, the tests are intimidating.  I have seen improvement as the year has progressed.  

Overall, I love this program and feel the pros outweigh the cons.  

Hopefully you are finding these insightful as we move through the grade levels.  Next up are 1st and 2nd grade as well as an area in which we have struggled with, the writing component.  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Allison, I am a kindergarten teacher in Indiana, Pa and a few of the teachers in my district are getting ready to pilot Benchmark Literacy this year. We would love any tips and/or suggestions to make this a successful pilot. Honestly, as a K teacher I am a bit worried that the writers did not spend enough time thinking about the youngest learners; however, that is just my first impression. I would love to see what you and your district thought of this program. :)

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