Getting to know your students as people and as learners helps you determine what and how to teach. Watch students interact with each other, and talk to them about their interests. By doing this, you can begin to gather the information you need to build a preliminary instructional plan. Here are some ideas that might help you learn more about your students.
- Review any portfolios that contain work from previous years.
- Check for reading fluency by having students read aloud.
- Ask them to write about a topic of their choice as an initial writing sample.
- Have students work on an activity in small groups and watch how they work together.
- Send a letter home with students to introduce Invitations to Literacy. (See the Home Letters in Part 14 of this handbook and the Home-Community Connections Handbook for more details.)
- Use any of the checklists and forms in Part 14 to assess students informally. Examples include the Student Interest Inventory on page 97, the Reading Attitudes and Habits Inventory on page 110, and the Writing Attitudes and Habits Inventories on pages 116-117.
- Use the Baseline Group Tests to help determine students' reading abilities and learning needs.
- Use the Informal Reading Inventory to assess individual students' strengths and needs as readers.
Return to Beginning the Year: Getting to Know Your Students
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