#TCRWP: Day 4 Reading Institute 2015

news flash

An auditorium full of teachers loves to be read to!  Not a sound was heard as James Howe read Houndsley and Catina in Cowin Auditorium yesterday. We heard that Charlotte’s Web was his favorite book (first edition) and that Bunnicula will be on the cartoon network in 2016.  But most of all, we heard the love that he has for books with his encouragement to reduce our screen time and lose ourselves in real books!  “I fear we are the last of the daydreamers.  We are in the state of continuous partial attention brought on by too much screen time.”

What will you remember about New York City?



One of my highlights is reconnecting with Madeline. But she is a book character, so how does that happen?


Each Madeline story begins: “In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines… the smallest one was Madeline.” What I didn’t know and learned last night is that Bemelman’s only artwork on public display is at Bemelman’s Bar at the Carlyle in New York City. Scenes of rabbits and elephants in Central Park and Madeline in Paris decorate the walls and lamps and can be seen here.  What a gorgeous literary atmosphere in a hotel that is famous for hosting Presidents and royal dignitaries!

The most interesting part of the story behind his artwork is that Bemelmans and his family lived at the hotel while he painted his murals so of course, the actual painting was quite a lengthy process!  Barter system?

Thursday, Day 4 at the Reading Institute

Liz Franco – Grade 1 State of the Art Reading Instruction

The five day plan for shared reading was new to me.  I wonder if that’s true for many primary teachers  I like the way that the design of the lesson points out all the possibilities for work across the literacy block including guided reading.

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Liz demonstrated this with Tumbleweed Stew (Green Light Reader).  Shared reading supports the skills in mini-lessons (all eyes on one text) and provides more guided and scaffold practice with text a notch above students’ reading level.  It does provide an opportunity for students to use their knowledge of letters and sounds to tackle words in continuous text.  During the week the teacher will read the same text several times across week with the teacher voice eventually falling out!  Teacher reading has to be smooth/expressive, the class will catch up after multiple readings. All reading is for comprehension. Liz also stressed that this is “one way” not “the way”!

Clarification of Day 2 – “mask same words/ different words” was very helpful.  I often see this as “Guess the covered word” when in reality it is an opprotunity for students to practice using multiple cueing systems (msv), “Wait, does that make sense?  Does that sound right?  Do all parts of the word look right?”  This is about helping students develop INNER VOICE as they read independently.

Day 4 Fluency  was also nice to have demonstrated more than one way!

“This week when we read, think about how the character is feeling across the scenes. Remember that when the feeling changes, our voices change.”

“This time when we read,  think about the punctuation; not just at the end of the sentence but in the middle.  Remember that punctuation helps us with our phrasing. That’s why we need to pay attention to all the punctuation in a sentence.”

“This time, pay attention to phrasing because the sentences are long. Where should we break them?”

Multiple ways to “frame” the purpose for the fluency practice was greatly appreciated!

How does your shared reading look?

How do you know students are working on “inner Voice”?

Session 2

Katie Clements – Loving Complex Nonfiction Texts

Our goal setting an problem solving was informative.  Were we able to discuss across goals?  Or across skills?  Did we end up talking about content?  Providing many student opportunities for talk as well as REALLY listening to the conversations is going to be important!

How do we support student if texts are slightly too difficult?

1. Start with topics the students love.

2. Teach students to build up background knowledge.

3. Teach studnts to preview, REALLY preview.

4. Teach students to chunk text and translate it into easier language.

5. Teach students to use their notebook as a tool for thinking.

6. Teach students to draw on others for support.

7. Teach students that mindset matters.  “I can do this!”

This video was perfect as it also took me back to last Thursday’s evening entertainment!     (The King and I at Lincoln Center – simply amazing!)

You truly can change your mindset!

And then we worked through Katie’s demonstration of a Read Aloud (with many opportunities for student engagement) and planned the beginning of our own read aloud as homework.

How do you work with complex nonfiction text?

How do you teach students to be more capable readers of complex nonfiction text?

3 responses

  1. […] An auditorium full of teachers loves to be read to! Not a sound was heard as James Howe read Houndsley and Catina in Cowin Auditorium yesterday. We heard that Charlotte's Web was his favorite book…  […]

  2. Melissa Bulgrien | Reply

    Is there any way I can get a copy of the Shared Reading Plan? I am a literacy coach and this document would tremendously help teachers plan out a lesson.


    1. Melissa,
      The form is copyrighted so I can’t share. If you have the TC Reading Units of Study you can see it there!

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