Top honors for Alonso reading teacher
Some of Janelle MacLean's students at Alonso High School had never read a book when they entered her ninth grade class. They were two, in some cases four years behind grade level.
All that changed, though, and some of those same students wound up as reading mentors.
MacLean, 47, is one of four teachers nationwide who were honored this week by Scholastic, the children's publishing company, for their success with the company's curriculum.
For the last six years MacLean, who also coaches track and cross country, has been using the "Read 180" program. Read 180 combines multimedia instruction and differentiated data to give students individualized instruction.
She's been so successful that even after the kids transitioned from her class to conventional language arts classes, they wanted more Read 180-type instruction.
So this year McLean started "Club 180," which met one day a month during school club time.
Close to 40 sophomores participated and some became mentors to the new students.
They formed discussion groups and student-led data chats about their results on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. The icing on the cake, MacLean said, is that former Read 180 students chose to attend eight weeks of extra tutoring during the weeks before the FCAT.
"For many of these students, it is the first time they felt ownership on a personal level of their reading success," MacLean wrote in her essay for the Scholastic contest.
For winning, she'll receive $1,200 and an all-expenses paid trip to the READ 180 National Summer Institute in New Orleans.