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Afterschool Curriculum Choice: Literacy Resources
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Curriculum Details for
Benchmark Reader's Theater Scripts and Fluency Skills Set

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Program
Description
Practitioner Expert
Review
Content Expert
Review
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Practitioner Expert Background

This practitioner has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Master’s degree in education.  She has been teaching fourth grade and using Reader’s Theater in the classroom for the past ten years. She has also used Reader’s Theater in a ten-week afterschool program for four years.  In this program, she worked with 3rd-5th graders from mixed income backgrounds.

Logistics

Training
  • Didn’t attend a formal training.
  • Manuals and rubrics included in the curriculum can be helpful for instructors.
Set-up/preparation
  • Preparation time consists of choosing scripts and starting to read them.
  • Students sometimes make simple props to go along with the script, this can take from 5 – 15 minutes.
  • Five to eight students per script tends to be an ideal number.

Student Engagement

  • The scripts are funny, cool, and students find them very enjoyable and engaging.
  • Students generally choose Reader’s Theater first over other activity options.
  • Students enjoy and feel successful performing.
  • Students tend to build confidence and enjoy working with other students to make the plays happen. They often help each other with reading pronunciation, punctuation, etc.
  • Parents have been extremely supportive of the Reader’s Theater.  Families often read scripts at home, find it enjoyable, and feel success.

Content

Adaptability to instructor needs
  • Flexible. Parts are sketched out, but students can bring their own voices, mannerisms, and ideas to make the roles their own. 
  • Coded parts allow an instructor to give students appropriate reading levels. Makes it easy to pair students of different reading levels.
  • Can be aligned to different content area needs.
  • Assessments are easy to use and provide useful information, including student self-assessments.
General skills taught
  • Helps students practice and gain confidence with public speaking skills in a comfortable, safe environment.
Addressing diverse student needs
  • Content has felt accessible to all students.
  • Easily adaptable to different reading ability levels.

Strengths and Challenges

Strengths
  • Presents students with a different avenue for learning how to read.
  • Engages readers who may be difficult to reach.
  • Builds fluency
Challenges
  • This practitioner didn’t find any challenges with Reader’s Theater.


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