Creative Curriculum Connections

Nina Zaragoza

Creative Curriculum Connections strives to inspire teachers, children, families youth workers, and the larger community to connect to each other for the complex work of respectful transformational change in school and society.

Getting A Good Start: Reading/Writing Process Checklists

Submitted by nina on Tue, 10/01/2013 - 07:36.

Hello Teachers,

Just thinking about you as I continue to teach in Pune. See below two checklists I designed to help you more easily reflect upon your reading and writing classroom workshops. Let me know what you think!! Much love and remember take deep breaths and October will be done before you know it!!!

Reading Process Checklist

__The children choose their own reading material
__The children have a personal reading book with them at all times
__The children read silently for a sustained and consistent time each
__The children discuss their personal reading in self-chosen groups
(sometimes guided by discussion questions)
__The children have a separate reading log for systematic responses to
reading and concepts taught in skills lessons
__The children use T-Tell what you like, A-Ask questions and G-Give
ideas connections during their full-class sharing of personal reading
__The teacher provides a wide variety of books for the classroom at all
reading and interest levels
__The teacher and all other adults in the classroom silently read with
the children during sustained silent reading to model the importance
of reading
__The teacher or one of the children read aloud daily and appropriate
class-chosen book
__The teacher keeps a log to note individual reading selections and
__The teacher conducts five-minute skills lessons to the full class within
the context of child’s personal reading and the class-chosen book.

Writing Process Checklist

__Children choose their own topics
__Children receive sustained and consistent time for daily writing
__Children keep a separate notebook just for their drafts

Reading: Let It Come Alive For Your Children

Submitted by nina on Fri, 07/19/2013 - 10:39.

Most struggling readers need more than instruction in just letter names and sounds. In fact, letter naming and isolated sound work often hinders the progress of these pre-readers. Activities where reading comes alive through song, movement to songs/poems, personal stories, books of interest, on the other hand, will help those who see themselves as non-readers build confidence and belief that they too can become real readers and writers. story writing, publishing, and oral sharing of stories where word building, phonics, thinking, and public speaking will be addressed dialogue journals and letter writing to increase written and conversational English including spelling and increased vocabulary choral reading/singing to increase sight word reading and reading fluency (smoothness) skits to support increased fluency, reading reading aloud by teacher to increase vocabulary, and discussion skills final presentation of skits, songs, written work to add even more purpose to the work

Reading, Writing and More June, 2013

Submitted by nina on Mon, 06/17/2013 - 08:51.

Hi Everyone!

I am in Pune, India now working with teachers and children at Harbour City School. It is the beginning of the school year and most of the children have already written their first stories!! What excitement when the children received their first type-written copies! (see photos on my facebook page (Nina Zaragoza).

It still amazes me how two or three typed-written pages of a self-created story can engender such a love of writing in young children. I just got an email from Natalia, the Mom of 2 ½ year old Faith. I worked with Faith for only a few months while in New York City and her mom shares:

For the last couple weeks Faith says: “Mom I wanna write a story!!” I remember that is exactly what you said would happen!! She loves to write stories. She still loves whales, but she is also writing about other things.

Here’s a question Natalia asks about Faith’s reading habits:

Faith loves to read the same book, so what I did today was I just chose one quickly, and she was fine with it. I read other books to her during the day, and then tried to persuade her to choose different ones and she does. When it comes to school, though, she picks the same one over and over. Is that ok?.

It is perfectly okay that she picks the same book for you to read over and over again. She will soon probably read that book by herself. All children love to hear their favorite book over again--it is like us wanting to listen to our new favorite song over and over again. We want to learn that song so we want to listen to it again and again. It is the same with children and books.