Dear friends of Rainbow Readers,

I'm finally doing it--I'm starting a blog!

  1. To provide a safe and friendly place to discuss some of the "hot topics" in reading instruction today.
  2. To review some of the excellent materials and curriculums I've been discovering this year.
  3. To share some important articles and research that needs to got out to teachers.
  4. To learn from each other and share what works--and what doesn't.

There are so many things I'd like to discuss about the changes in reading instruction. And I definitely want to hear from you. Topics I would like us to talk about are:

  1. Response to Intervention (RTI) - What is it? Why is it important? Can we make it better?
  2. Dyslexia - Again, what is it? Why do teachers need to understand it? Can dyslexics learn to read? What things need to change if dyslexic will be allowed to succeed?
  3. Assessment - especially "benchmarks" vs. "progress-monitoring."
  4. Other topics you bring up.


A Little Background

As many of you know, but some may not, I have been on an adventure over the last five years that has taken me through the writing, producing, and publishing of a book to help classroom teachers help their struggling readers. I took early retirement to follow a dream--not the most logical move, I admit, but it has been exciting...and so darn scary at times, even I question my sanity. Why would a woman old enough to retire step out into a risky business like book publishing at a time when schools and teachers have trouble finding the money to buy paper, let alone another book? The answer is simple. I believe I can make a difference. I'm at that age where that matters to me. If I can help some teachers find successful ways to help the students in their classes who are struggling with reading, then it's worth the long days and short nights I've been putting in.

After my book, "Help, I Can't Read!" How to Help Struggling Readers in Your Classroom came out, I found the hard part had just begun--I had to market it. This began my speaking career for groups of reading teachers all over the western states. When I wasn't speaking at conferences, I was standing in exhibit halls talking to teachers. I'm basically a shy person, but miracle of miracles, I loved speaking to teachers both in large groups and one-on-one! I've driven close to 10,000 miles, sold 300 books, and "Help!"   is now in more than 14 states, and 4 countries. One college in Massachusetts has adopted it as a supplemental text for one of their teacher education classes.

The next chapter in my adventure began this past fall when I went back into teaching. I am now a Title 1 reading teacher in Southern Oregon and living through eall the challenges of RTI that I wrote about in my book. While it has been a tremendous opportunity for me to work with kids and teachers again on a daily basis, I have also had a very hard time. I would like to share some of the successes and failures of this year of trying to implement an effective RTI program. I know that many of you are facing similar challenges. Maybe we can help each other and have some fun along the way. 

I have a lot on my mind so I may be writing often. I will try to post an annoucement on Facebook when there is a new post from me. I have a full life outside of teaching ( the reason I've put this off for so long), but I will try to respond to your questions and comments regularly.

Let's have some fun with this.

Carol S. Fitzpatrick (The "S." is important when trying to find me. There are several other Carol Fitzpatricks in the world, but only one me!)

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