A New Approach to Reading

What Gifted Education Can be in Vero Beach
Research shows that reading ability is a strong indicator of overall school achievement. Adults who cannot read well will have a difficult time succeeding, even in the high tech environment of the 21st century. Studies also show that once students have mastered basic reading skills, their reading improves most rapidly by regular reading in subjects of interest. For these reasons we emphasize daily reading and discussion for all our 7 – 8 grade students. This is also the best way to address gifted students in their education.

Independent Reading

Students are required to independently read 300 or more pages each month. At the middle school level, our students typically read 500+ pages per month. At the end of the month they are asked to choose a book they have read and do a reading summary and project. Projects can take many forms, but are typically a 3-Dimensional construct or a dramatic re-enactment of some important aspect of the book.

The summary and project are presented and the class is required to ask relevant questions of the presenter. This serves as an important assessment tool for the teacher of student comprehension and analysis.

Watch this video about Book Projects! 

Group Reading

Our in class reading program focuses on high quality literature. Emphasis is on analyzing character and plot, connecting themes to ones own life and the world, evaluating style, purpose and point of view and engaging students in constructing meaning through group discussion. Using group discussion is a key component of our regular and gifted education program.

Each semester, one novel is read aloud in small groups. Some of these books are historically based and linked to our current area of history study. This allows us to explore history and current issues from many different perspectives (fiction/non-fiction). It also provides us with the opportunity to integrate the language arts and history curriculum. This is another key component of our Vero Beach regular and gifted education program.

Watch this video about Willow’s D.E.A.R. Time

DEAR Time (Drop Everything and Read) – D.E.A.R. time, is a time regularly set aside in the afternoons for both students and their teachers to “drop everything and read.”

D.E.A.R. time conveniently accommodates a variety of student interests and ability levels, since each student selects the book he or she wishes to read.

D.E.A.R. supplements the regular reading program by encouraging independent reading. At Willow we schedule D.E.A.R. every afternoon for 20 minutes. Students recognize that D.E.A.R. time is a priority and they look forward to this special period, although the main purpose, is getting students excited about their reading.