Reading is an essential skill for success, but it can be a difficult one to master. At Fairbanks Road School, third and fourth grade students are getting the extra help they need to become lifelong learners and enthusiastic readers.
The normal routine for students in reading intervention classes is to read a new book every day, but Literacy Intervention Teacher Caitlin Fitzgerald likes to slow things down occasionally and find ways to make reading meaningful for her students. “If a project is interesting and students really want to read, they are happy to work harder to achieve that goal,” she said.
Their current big project focuses on the upcoming Women’s History Month and features a theme based on the vocabulary word “Influential.” Over the course of four days, each student chooses a famous woman, reads her biography, and creates a poster celebrating her accomplishments, along with a timeline of important events in her life. Students answer a number of constructed-response questions (open-ended questions that require a student to use critical thinking and reading comprehension skills). Topics include: Pick a single new vocabulary word to describe your subject’s character; explain why she is influential in history; share two questions you would love to ask her.
The Women’s History project is a fun way for students to learn about fascinating people and important events while practicing their reading, writing and research skills. Fitzgerald works with every student individually to ensure that they succeed. “Success builds confidence,” she said. “They will be eager for the next reading challenge because they will know they can do it.”