Teachers taught teachers Tuesday morning when REAC3H coaches visited the Canadian Valley Technology Center for “Rev Up For Reading”, a workshop promoting strategies believed to better educate Pre-K through 3rd grade students in the field of literacy.
Sixty Oklahoma educators were recruited to be REAC3H coaches by the Oklahoma State Department of Education last year, encouraging college, career and citizen preparedness.
“In 2012, we went to Oklahoma City once a month for training,” REAC3H Coach Kelli Anglley said. “We received that training and then we brought it back out to schools across the state.”
The main method used by coaches in spreading knowledge is putting on free workshops for teachers throughout the year. Each workshop lasts about the length of a regular school day, and is composed of classes targeting the five components of reading: Phonics, phonological awareness, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.
“We are providing free professional development for schools across the state,” Anglley said. “A lot of our smaller districts don’t have a lot of money, so us being able to come out and do this for free is great for them. We love all the teachers coming out to learn more about reading to help their students.”
According to Anglley, these particular workshops were developed to help address a growing concern among Oklahoma students: Literacy rate.
“This year our focus is working with our Pre-K through 3rd grade teachers, helping them understand the law and everything that goes into that — but also, more than just the law, helping them understand good reading practices for students,” Anglley said. “We have too many students that are going on and not being able to read. In Oklahoma, the first time we test students with reading is in third grade. There are many third graders that do not read at a third grade level.”
This early age setback has the potential to affect a child throughout the rest of her educational career, if disregarded.
“I really don’t think it’s any fault of the teachers, they’re doing the best they can,” Anglley said. “We just want to give them some additional tools and help them really understand how the brain works with reading.”
Repeat patrons, Anglley said, are coming to the workshops and bringing friends. She couldn’t be more pleased.
“All of the REAC3H coaches were teachers,” Anglley said, “but since we aren’t in the classroom with kids anymore, the teachers kind of become our students. It’s always great to hear the strategies we’ve taught them are working.”
Aside from workshops, REAC3H coaches model lessons for teachers, observe classrooms to provide feedback and help analyze school data to provide topnotch instruction.
Interested parties may learn more about what REAC3H coaches offer at www.reac3hcoach.weebly.com.