Tuesday, January 1, 2013

WBT Certification Essay: Super Speed 1000

Super Speed 1000: “Every teacher is a reading teacher.”

Do you ever feel like a hamster running on a wheel? You run hard each day just trying to keep up and then, whammo, you have something else added to your over-scheduled day. I understand the feeling. As a 5th grade Science teacher, my to-do list is packed with concepts to teach and experiments to prepare; but wait, there’s more. Since many of my bilingual students are struggling readers, working on reading skills during my Science classes is not an option. Like the hamster on the wheel, I thought I needed to run faster. Then, I learned how to run smarter.

Let me tell you about one of my favorite teaching tools: Super Speed 1000. Like you, I just do not have time to waste. I need a reading intervention that is both EFFECTIVE and EFFICIENT. Super Speed 1000 fulfills those two criteria.
Super Speed 1000 is effective because it drills the 1,000 most frequently used words in the English language. The first 100 words on the list make up 50% of all the words my 5th graders are going to read!  As students play Super Speed 1000, oral fluency is increasing; students are not stumbling over common words; and they love practicing!

Super Speed 1000 is efficient in two ways: time and implementation. First, Super Speed 1000 is time efficient because in just a few minutes students are focused and engaged in an activity that increases their success all across the curriculum. I see and HEAR their improvement. Even celebrating their daily successes is time efficient. It consists of a 2-second Quiet Riot and coloring in a star “by the count of 10”.

Another way Super Speed 1000 is efficient is in its ease of implementation. My students keep Super Speed 1000 sheets in a special section in their Science binders. Each day, a Materials Manager distributes the Science binders for their table. Students can immediately turn to Super Speed 1000 and be ready to go by the time I close the door. After just a few minutes of intense, fun reading practice, we move to another section of our Science binders and get on with the day’s Science activity.

In addition to being effective and efficient, Super Speed 1000 reinforces the standard in my class that students are rewarded for improvement, not just for achievement. In Super Speed 1000, all students are awarded for improvement. They really like giving themselves a two-second Quiet Riot for reaching a new personal best. The simple act of coloring in a star on their page brings smiles to their faces. When a full page of stars is filled, they are awarded with a sticker – even more smiles.

Simply put, Super Speed 1000 helps students improve their reading ability in just a few minutes a day while they are engaged and having FUN! It is just another way that Whole Brain Teachers experience Teacher Heaven.

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