Free the Reading!

For those who do not blog or read blogs, I truly feel that you are missing out on tremendous resources shared by other educators. I was skimming through my Bloglines account today and found this jewel of a post from Kevin Jarrett over at Welcome to NCS-Tech! Consider this reading site.

Free Reading is a site devoted to offering high quality reading resources for grades K-3. They define themselves as:

Free-Reading is an open source instructional program that helps educators teach early literacy. Because it is open source, it represents the collective wisdom of a wide community of teachers and researchers. Free-Reading contains a 40-week scope and sequence of primarily phonological awareness and phonics activities that can support and supplement a typical kindergarten or first grade “core” or “basal” program.

What you will find on this site is research-based reading materials, the research that support them, and a collaborative group of educators sharing their resources to make your classroom instruction the best it can be. To me, this is what Web 2.0 is all about. Share great material with like minded individuals, and you will find equally as valuable resources to partake from. Here is the mission behind Free Reading:

* To help educators worldwide teach kids to read
* To make quality, research-based, explicit and systematic instruction for early reading widely available and free (in two senses of the word “free”: “at no charge” and “openly offered so as to be used, reused, mashed-up and shared again”)
* To nurture a community of educators who share effective methods in a form that others can easily apply in their own teaching
* To disrupt spending in education away from traditional textbooks and towards more customized instructional materials, more support and training for teachers, and better tools for data and knowledge management.
* Ultimately, as Catherine Snow has said, for kids to be able to “read books with enjoyment while lying in a hammock under elm trees”.

Though no individual skill taught here may be an end in itself, we believe each is a step on the path to that ultimate goal.

You will find many skills covered in categories including:

  • Phonological Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Fluency
  • Writing

So dive into their resources and see what you surface with. I bet you will find it more valuable than anything out of the textbook. Besides, that’s their goal.

PS – Feel free to share some of your great curriculum with them. It is the only way to make the collective grow.

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