Thursday, July 28, 2011


I'm already giving some thought to our homework. I usually prepare a monthly calendar based on skills we are learning. I also differentiate the calendars based on student need. I am looking to revamp it and am looking to GA's performance standards to do so. 
After meeting Tim Rasinski during our Teachers as Learners conference this summer, I've decided to include Fast Start for Early Readers. It includes repeated readings of poems and activities to go with it. He went through the program and it seems to be a great way to build fluency in young students. Here's what had to say:

In only ten minutes a night, you can enjoy the shared ritual of reading fun, age-appropriate poems with your child, followed by a brief skill-building activity. This simple, research-proven early intervention program builds reading proficiency, word recognition, and overall comprehension. The guide includes tips for parental involvement, reading logs, 30 Fast Start stickers, and more.
I would love to know if any other teachers use this and your thoughts!


Jody said...

I have used it in the past! I really liked it. The only issues that I ever had was that the tasks were all different levels. I don't have it in front of me so forgive me if I explain this wrong... I think I made the top section mandatory for homework and then I asked them to chose a couple of extra tasks. Parents also asked that I copy the poem and the tasks onto separate pages so they wouldn't have to flip back and forth. I don't use it anymore because I have a song and poetry center and I get a little weird about stuff :) I love that it isn't a typical worksheet! The homework that I use now is a from and I love that too! Hope that helps a little!


Camp Kindergarten

Camille said...

After reading Rasinki's book on fluency, I bought his Fast Start book, but honestly couldn't figure out an easy way to use it. I love the idea, but just couldn't figure out how to put it into practice. If you use it, PLEASE share details on what you did.
An Open Door

Anonymous said...

I am a new follower of your blog!

Mrs. O'Brien said...

I coordinated Fast Start with the kindergarten students at my school a few years ago. I thought it was a great tool for parents and really gave them some good guidance on how they could help their children with reading at home. Each child had a folder and we sent the folder home on the same day each week. I would refill the folder with two new poems each week. We did have a few students who rarely returned the folder. In this case, we just sent home the poems stapled. I didn't have direct contact/communication with all the parents. We do have tremendous parental support where I teach. Good luck!

Sandra said...

Thanks everyone! I will post and share how I use it once I get the book! I do think it will be used in the classroom and for homework. I think that I'll introduce each poem with my document cam and then send home in a page protector (in their 1 1/2 binder) for them to practice. Ill let you know how it goes:)

Mrs. Gorbe said...

I used it last year (in FIRST grade) at the beginning of the year. It was recommended to me by a friend from the New Orleans area.
What I DID:
I copied the poem for each child, then on the 2nd page I MARKED(with a circle) 3 tasks to complete (depending on what I wanted them to work on that week.)Parents then checked off each task (I attached directions)>
I put a place for parent signature. I never received feedback (which is not surprising in my school) but I liked it!!