And today’s theme across the day was:
Do what it takes to BUILD a community of Readers!
. . .
Rev Up Your Teaching Muscles to Make Your Whole Group Instruction as Potent as Possible (Mini-lessons, Shared Reading, Read Aloud) (K-2)
Spending more time studying shared reading is definitely NOW on my “To Do” list for this summer as we heard (and experienced) the benefits of shared reading where the teacher has a large text (big book, chart, smart board, doc camera) that the teacher and students read chorally. The three basic purposes that we explored for shared reading were: introduce a new text, reread a text, or as a warm-up text. As with many reading components, the amount of time spent on shared reading can vary as long as students are ENGAGED! And to learn that the time could be just five minutes here or there makes the plan to include shared reading so much easier!
The benefits for students are many. The most obvious is that accuracy, fluency, and comprehension all improve with rereading so beginning approximations are celebrated. Students are rereading with their friends so they have built in support from the teacher and fellow students. And shared reading helps build that sense of a community of readers in the classroom.
We participated in demonstrations and we demonstrated. Just a few of the skills we considered:
- guess the covered word
- 1:1 correspondence
- slide the word
- the word begins with
- the word ends with
- rhyming word
- clues from the picture
- cross-checking print
- retelling – comprehension
- rereading for fluency – “let’s reread that together”
- what do you predict next
- look for patterns
- build vocabulary
One book we used was Brown Bear, Brown Bear. This shared reading could end with writing our own book.
______, _____ what do you see?
I see ______ looking at me.
If student names are on post its and the class practices reading this with their own names, they are also beginning to get in the repetitions needed for some sight words. Will some be memorizing? Of course! It’s so important that auditory memory gets involved, but the teacher can, by pointing to the words, have students match her pacing!
- Shared reading is a valuable use of readers’ time when students are reading!
- Interactions can include gestures and movements during shared reading.
- Text variety is important: listening centers, You tube video with text or Raz kids. You don’t have to wait until you have little copies of the text!
- Shared reading is a safe way for students to “join in” reading. Not everyone’s voice will be heard the first time but the goal is to encourage student voices to become the voice heard in shared reading.
- Shared reading is fun, exciting, and joyful. What a great way to sneak in a bit of content/holiday/fun that just doesn’t fit elsewhere!
Beyond Guided Reading: Expanding Your Repertoire of Small Group Work in Nonfiction (3-8)
I love that Kathleen starts a bit each day with the WHY we need to be doing this work. And it’s all about “Just DO it”! If instruction is responsive we need to have “way more conversations with our colleagues” in order to be more cohesive. “Responding to the needs of your students requires content knowledge and planning! (not showing off tools)”
For this reason, supervisors need to understand workshop and reading processes! When they are in classrooms, they need to KNOW what they are seeing. In repertoire teaching, the teachers also need to be specific. You would hear the teacher say something like “I expect to see some of you doing . . . . and some of you will be doing the work of the lesson.” Teachers need to be educating supervisors by setting up lessons for “repertoire” in connection and link. “What’s one old way? What’s one new way? What are the two things you will do as a student? (BRILLIANT!)
Two teaching methods that we worked with today were inquiry (fluency demo) and reminder – definitely coaching light! We have to continue to know how to help students meet their goals and build the habits of readers. Again this requires deep content knowledge.
- Organize your small group materials. Have extra copies of all tools out for students with a student as “Tool Monitor”.
- Study the progressions with colleagues. Develop the “cheat sheets” – four levels on a page to be cut apart.
- Reading notebooks have the evidence of work towards student goals. That can be an index in the back.
- Make sure that a student does the work during small group time. They have to be practicing and doing the work for it to transfer. And group time does mean LESS reading time!
- Celebrate what students CAN do! Focus on the CANS! Celebrate all the things the readers CAN DO! (They already know what they can’t do!)
Falling in Love with Close Reading in Nonfiction – Kate Roberts
Kate began with a bit of background about close reading. What it is. What it isn’t. How long we have been close reading – “since the monks were in caves with candle lights flickering trying to determine the meaning of the divine”.
Engaged . . .
If you need background on Falling In Love with Close Reading, do go to Kate or Chris’s blog here. It’s so NOT boring to do some close reading with Kate.
Lyrics for: “Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake
Step 1. Listen to the song twice. What would my kids say the message or meaning is? Listen again and make a vertical list of all the words or phrases in the song that speak to you and go with your current message.
Step 2. Sync up your list with a partner and look for patterns. What words or phrases are the same? Use this list of evidence to find patterns (This is the HARD work of close reading.) Which words or phrases go together? Color code!
Step 3. Think some more – what is the message in this song?
Step 4. Transfer to written text. Practice with nonfiction text.
- We do “close read” the things we love – pay attention and even “hyper attention” to those things we love. Let’s build upon that awareness/attention/attraction.
- Close reading should be fun and joyful.
- Close reading with a song or poem is a wonderful entry point. It can’t be drudgery!
- Close reading is about beginning with the text for evidence. Don’t leap to interpretation or “guessing” what someone / test writer wants!
- An act of close reading is taking the rough draft idea to a more interesting idea for you!
Voice and Choice: Fostering Reading Ownership
This slide sums up much of what Donalyn Miller said to us. I have so many responses to Donalyn’s presentation: as a teacher, coach, mother, grandmother, and most of all, as a reader.
I listened to the heartbreak in her description of her daughter – an avid early reader – whose reading life diminished in middle school because “that’s just not so important here” to the joy of being at a Montana reading meeting when Sarah called her, “I just finished The Great Gatsby and I need to talk about it but Dad doesn’t remember it.”
What harm is being done to students in the name of inappropriate actions, beliefs and practices? Well-intentioned? Yes. Mis-guided? Yes.
To support you, go to Donalyn’s most popular posts.
or to hear about books – The Nerdy Book Club!
- To be better readers, kids need to read every day.
- Provide access to books that kids CAN and WANT to read.
- Access to books should not depend on teacher’s ability to fund his/her own library. “NO ONE asks the basketball coach to provide his own basketballs.”
- Books need to be mirror, windows, and doors to lead readers to connections.
- “We are in the hope business. Now more than ever there is a need for critical reading. For a better world, send more readers out in the world. It is never to be late to be a reader.”
How are you building communities of readers?
What actions support your beliefs?
What is your plan to build even stronger communities that love to read and choose to read?