well, at least I *love* the reading skills

We have been commanded by our district to begin a new program to help out struggling readers. I've spoken of this before, and it's great to focus on reading and reading comprehension, and I *love* that it's not a "canned" program. But...
there's always a catch in education.

The catch here is that, almost because the program isn't canned and scripted, it is, instead, disjointed and impossible. I'm the last person to recommend any sort of scripted program, especially for reading, but the program cobbled together here is too unwieldy and confusing for the teachers, let alone the students.

So what have I done? What every teacher does--I've taken what I can use and applied it and have started going through what is impossible right now to reword it and make it at least palatable. My favorite bit of what I'm doing right now is meeting with each group of students in small groups once a week. I'm using this time to teach them a specific skill--whether it's a new way to summarize, a great way to write a topic sentence, or some tips for decoding--and then having them apply that skill to their reading that week. Then, we practice it the next week.

And it's working! This particular set up is good for me for two reasons--I have small manageable goals (always good in education and especially good with lower-level kids), and I'm staying organized. I know, it's some kind of miracle, but the "weekly" plan and the next week practice have really helped solidfy my teaching.

And I still haven't given up on the rest of the program, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.