Tag Archives: Implementing Comprehensive Language Arts Instruction

#SOL18: It’s About Time!


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The heat and summer weather continues but visions of classrooms are filling many heads as teachers and students begin the final stretch of “vacation” and “It’s the last time, I can . . . this summer” routines.

I attended a research round table at #ILA18 in Austin  and posted the first side of the hand out from one 15 minute segment about Chapter 16, “It is About Time for Comprehensive Language Arts Instruction (We’ve Tried Everything Else!)” in this post.

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This book.

487 pages.

I’m still reading.

How will those “8 Components” be implemented?

Well, that was side two of the handout and some brief discussion. This post is going to focus on just three of the 8 sections on implementation. (The numbering is mine so that I could keep the sections in order.)

The first implementation I am highlighting was the first on the page.

  1. Make Time for Self-Selected Reading and Teacher Read-aloud
  • Replace “morning work” with self-selected reading
  • Reduce time for “packing up” and end the day with self-selected reading
  • Read aloud to children during “snack time”
  • Read topic-related books and magazine articles aloud in subject areas

Four different options for “making time” were listed.

Will one of those work for you?  Which one?  More than one?

If your students need to increase their reading volume, time is an issue.  How can you ensure that they will have more time to read? What is within your control?  How are your priorities visible for yourself, your students, and your entire learning community?

The second implementation:

4. Teach Handwriting along with High-Frequency Words

  • Focus students on each letter during high-frequency word learning by integrating it with handwriting instruction

Sight Words?  High-Frequency Words?

What are you having students learn and why?

How will you know that students have learned the words?

I’m a believer that sight words are “known” when they are used and spelled correctly in writing. Not just the quick, fast recognition for reading but also the accurate recall and correct spelling when the words are written.  Part of the practice to get the word into long-term memory can be handwriting.  What a win/win for students!

And what a way to achieve my goal:    No more students spelling “said” as /sed/ because that is the way it sounds!!!

And for today, the final and perhaps most important recommendation . . .

8. Stop Doing Things We Know Don’t Matter

  • Stop doing activities, skills or lessons in traditional grammar
  • Stop teaching cursive handwriting
  • Stop teaching dictionary location skills

This last section is probably the most critical in my thinking.  Why on earth do we keep doing “stuff” that we know either a) is not effective? or b) does not matter?

Here’s the link to the document (both pages).

How will this inform your instruction?

What conversations do you need to have prior to sweeping changes?

How will you know if you are using time wisely?

How will you continue to “check in” on your own use of time?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

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