Tag Archives: RUoS

#RUoS #TCRWP #SOL15: “We Are Readers”


Did you know there is a Twitter Festival this week and next?

twitter festival

#TCRWP #RUoS at 7:30 ET

Ten glorious days of twitter chata about the Reading Units of Study (#RUoS) from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (#TCRWP) meet Slice of Life 15 (#SOL15) amid a hashtag pileup!

The first two chats about kindergarten units are complete and I’ve learned a lot.

DISCLAIMER:  I have the first grade units and am just beginning my study of those.  I did have both the pleasure and privilege of beginning my first grade unit study with Liz Dunford Franco during the July TCRWP Reading Institute.  I’ve been reading in the units during the last month but I’m still a novice!

What have I learned?

“I used to think . . . but now I . . .”

I used to think that kindergarten teachers had to deal with management and teach the routines FIRST, but now I know that students engaged in powerful and interesting information texts and story books are capable of self-management and the students CAN actually learn more during workshop when the materials connect to their passions.

I used to think that sending home guided reading “D” books (Kindergarten end of year targets) was the best way of sharing goals with parents, but now I know that parents must first be grounded in “great stories” so they understand that reading is meaning-making and not “racing through the levels”.

I used to think that the same topic/genre for reading workshop and writing workshop simultaneously would be too great a cognitive load for students, but now I now that I can check for transfer from one time of day to another when students are working in the same genre and also build deeper connections with multiple teaching points across the day.

I used to think that formal assessments coupled with teacher observation data were a great balance, but now I know that the way we frame the “assessment task” contributes to either the fixed or growth mindset of the students and is actually more critical than the type of assessment used.

I used to think that focusing on the end of the year target kept us grounded in our goals, but now I know that the learning target is an important factor that must not be allowed to cause an “OVER” focus on the end goals to the extent that we forget / miss what is happening in front of our eyes.

I used to think that there were some basic things that students really needed to learn before literacy instruction began, but now I know that a growth mindset will have a greater impact on perseverance and stamina than any skills work!

twitter-logo-bird

Specific tweets that I want to remember from our chat!

natalie we are readers begin

natalie pitfalls

natalie two

natalie three

natalie four

natalie five

natalie six

natalie seven

Can you match the tweets to my “learning” above?

What is your understanding of the “Reading Units of Study” (RUoS)?

Which twitter festival nights match your grade level interests?  

How are you growing and learning?

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#TCRWP: Day 3 Reading Institute 2015


Oh, Happy Day!

joyful

My #OLW (One Little Word) is Focus!

And Focus was my goal today!

So I’m cutting straight to the chase and starting with my second session!

I literally only have two pages of handwritten notes from this session because . . .

We were working every minute!

(That could mean that I have a whole ton of photos, but remember “Focus” – no time to get side-tracked!)

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Katie – Loving Complex Informational Texts

How can we accelerate students up through the levels of Nonfiction?

Today we studied the reading progressions in the new Units of Study in Reading that had their “birthday” on Tuesday of this week.  Katie modeled looking across two grade levels of the “Main Idea” study that has been our anchor this week, and then we were turned loose to choose our own progressions to review.  This was eye-opening, scary and yet, exhilarating work with collaborative opportunities to deepen our understanding as we read and discussed the content.

Our world of learning was then rocked by the three tools that Katie shared:

  1. Writing about Reading – Demonstration text written by the teacher
  2. Checklists for students constructed by the teacher
  3. Reading Toolkit pages

Then we could choose to create either Tool 1, 2, or 3.  My partner and I chose Tool 2. Checklist as we felt that would really be “beginning with the end in mind” if we constructed the checklist and then went back to write the demo text.  Here are our first drafts for our Analytical area:

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Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 9.59.58 PM

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The chunk of “progressions” that this was based on is also included here:

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.13.58 PM

This is work for just one of the progressions for Informational Text with checklists drafted for students in grades 2-4.  The progressions include student expectations for 16 areas.  These grew out of ten years of work in classrooms where students were collecting post-its across a wide span of grade levels but the work did not increase in sophistication as it continued up through the grades.

Do teachers understand this work?  

Where does this fit into your current understanding of teaching reading?

Just a bit more about the Learning Progressions you see pictured above (3 strands = literal, interpretive, analytic)

  • Lays out growth over one year
  • Based on grade-level expectations
  • Written in first person, with student friendly language
  • Includes both external behaviors and outcomes and internal processes
  • Lays out 1 possible pathway for growth
  • Designed for student self-assessment (included in MWI and Shares)

Is this work that your students are already doing?

How would your propose to set up a course of study for your students to learn how to do this work with informational text?

And then we moved on to Performance Assessments. We completed the task as students where we were asked to respond in writing with multiple main ideas.  In our group, we seemed to either have a topic sentence that was a “series” or two distinctly different paragraphs dealing with separate main ideas.  “Real students” did neither so it is helpful to have our own ideas in mind but also be prepared for students to do something totally different.

Performance Assessments:

  • Eliminated skills already in Running Records
  • Included skills that are valued on state standardized tests
  • 4 main skills for each unit of study (Others are addressed but only four are assessed at the beginning and end of the unit)
  • Can be completed in one class period
  • Text used is designed for grade level readers
  • Not to assess reading level but skill level thinking so a teacher could read them to a group of students

How could these performance assessments inform the reader?

How could these performance assessments inform the teacher?

Switching gears from upper grades to FIRST grade!

Session 1

Liz Franco – UNIT 3:  Readers Have Big Jobs to Do:  Fluency, Phonics, and Comprehension 

As you can tell by the title, this unit focuses on the foundational skills.  It is targeted for readers in H – I – J band and specifically designed to build the skills and practice for students that will help them be successful as they encounter more difficult text.  We explored books in this range and found that the texts are more complex.

  • Past tense  – many irregular words
  • Figurative language – comparisons
  • Multi-syllabic – 3 syllable words
  • More complex sentences
  • Multiple phrases in the same sentence
  • More often than not – sentences are getting longer so line breaks are sometimes a scaffold but this leaves at K, L, M
  • More dialogue
  • Dialogue tags are varying
  • Fluency – read with expression to match the tags

Then we looked at running records from students to determine what we should teach.  What were the miscues?  What strategies might we try?

  • Rereading to self – correct
  • Cross checking
  • Check to see if it’s a snap word
  • Try the vowel sound another way
  • Use tools in the room (vowel chart)

And then we talked about the “HOW” for providing instruction . . . Possibilities for working with vowels:

Strategy Lessons – sounds vowels make – Readers have to be flexible – try it 2 ways

Small group shared reading

Small group word study with the vowel charts (Making/)breaking words AND THEN may make into small group interactive writing – compose something) or a Vowel sound hunt from books in their baggie

Key Point:  We aren’t convening a guided reading group of “H” students because we are going to give them “i” books.  Instead we ask:

What kind of H reader?

What supports tap into next steps?

Possible Tools:

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 5.43.20 AM

So, each student is provided with the instruction they need, not just marching through the levels . . .

“PLEASE, SAY MORE!”

“A student is ready for “I”, but he/she tends to karate chop words and not think about whole of text.  I will have more previewing work in my introduction.” LF

“A student is ready for “I”, but he/she tended to struggle with multi-syllabic words and not look through the words, I will put more VISUAL supports into my introduction.”  LF

“I am strategically planning who is being grouped together.  It’s not about the ‘letter’.’  LF

What small group?

What do the students need?

And how you are teaching?

So after Day 3 of this Learning Journey at the Teachers College Reading Institute, what are you thinking?

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