As Natalee finished with her group and sent them to read in their "cozy" spots, she approached me. She had this proud smile on her face. She asked if she could share some good news. I love hearing the successes that are going on in Balanced Literacy classrooms. Natalee pointed out a little girl who was sitting in the corner with a book in hand. She said, "that is Anyrah and she began the year on a level B and I am still trying to find her current level. I just tested her on an H and she passed it easily. I need to get some higher books to see what level she really is on."
I went to Anyrah and told her that Mrs. Hodges had shared how hard she had been working on reading and that she was now reading higher level books. Anyrah just beamed! I asked her what did she think made her such a good reader. She said, "Reading makes you a better reader and I just read a lot here and at home!" The saying is out of the mouths of babes and I think this first grade reader has the answer! Just keep reading! Way to go Anyrah on becoming a reader and way to go Mrs. Hodges on creating an environment where Every Child reads Every Day for a Better Tomorrow!
Ashley Smith is a Title 1 PD Specialist with CMS. She has been an educator in NC for 22 years, and she has been in CMS for the last 18 years. Ashley taught elementary school for 19 years before joining the Teacher Professional Development team. She is passionate about making sure each child is getting the best instruction they can. She believes that the balanced literacy approach the district is now using helps teachers meet children where they are and push them to where they can go. Ashley believes that teachers must build solid relationships with students and create a culture of mutual respect for true learning to occur. It is about the kids every day and what kind of impact will we leave on their lives. Follow Ashley on Twitter (@PDAshleySmith) and click here to visit her website.