Reading is a struggle.
Beginning to avoid reading.
Now hates reading.
What do we do as reading coaches when students get stuck?
What do we prioritize?
What are our go to resources?
Earlier this week, I asked . . .
How do you make decisions about changing instruction? Or Practice? Or Allocation of Time? in the writing context. Think about that post. link
I’m a process person so in reading my first step is to consult the research. If students are stuck, I’m going back to Richard Allington’s 6 Ts of Effective Reading Instruction.
When a student is struggling, what’s our first instinct? Often it seems like we want to “double down” and do “more.” But again, how do we prioritize and make sure that we double down and do more of the RIGHT stuff?
After participating in a brilliant #TCRWP Twitter chat last night led by Staff Developers, Shana Frazin, Marie Mounteer, and Cheney Munson, here’s what I believe.
Here’s where I will begin . . .
- Know all the students and build a relationship with each and every one . . . yes, even the prickly one(s). That means that I can answer these questions about barriers in order to operate from a “strengths-basis” as much as possible.
2. I will self assess my balance of Allington’s 6 T’s with what I know about the student. Everything is connected and interrelated. What are my “absolute musts” for reading instruction every day? Always read alouds. Always workshop time. More time, but less texts = counterproductive. More Talk by Teachers = Less time for reading which is also counterproductive. So I might consider how some of these questions would add to my knowledge base about what I know about reading instruction, practice, and the curriculum for this particular striving student.
3. I will ask for help. I will continue to think about the whole child but will not be so proud that I can’t ask for help or so “unaware of the urgency (“Hello, it’s February and Susie is on a E and her goal is J, but no worries.”) I will find my tribe that I can safely ask: “Hey, what should I do when I have a student who does this, this, and this, but struggles with __, __, and __?”
Every day that Susie feels like she is is failing is a day too many!
4. But I will ALWAYS remember that my goal is to ensure that students can read, will read, and above all else, LOVE to read! So remembering that Susie will be a great reader is critical! I will not advocate for a program, a basal, a Pinterest or TpT resource. I will begin with the child, the child’s family, and the community of the classroom. (The WHY which has to be behind every decision.)
How does this match your thinking?
Where do you start when a student is stuck?
What are your priorities?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Marie Mountneer’s storify of the #TCRWP chat here
During the chat Shana Frazin posted this chart of Harvey and Ward’s from Striving to Thriving. What a great tool to think about during text selection for our striving students!
Rain . . .
No outside work.
Rain . . .
Time to read.
(Gotcha – definitely NOT inside work!)
After two glorious days of temps in the 70’s and 80’s, I was so happy that this was waiting at my doorstep yesterday after a long day of work. Perfect timing! Relaxing with friends . . .
It’s available online courtesy of Stenhouse Publishers here. I have been reading (albeit slowly) the online version, but it’s tedious. Reading online means that I have one device open to read and another device open to take notes. No split screen. There’s a limit to the size that I like to view pages in professional texts. Slow. Absorbing. Delighted.
I love this infographic.
“This book does not advocate the simple idea of the teacher doing less. Rather it is a guide to being intentional about what we do less of.” – Joan Moser (Foreword)
This book is truly a gem as it guides the reader to think, and to think deeply about whether teacher scaffolds unintentionally cause greater student dependence. If our goal is joyful, independent, capable readers . . . what should we really do more of? What should we do less of?
I’m savoring this book and pages 14 and 15 are my current favorite because the section is “What Do Reading Levels Mean, Anyway?” and wordlover me is mesmerized by the use of “ubiquitous”. And the thought leaders . . .
Fountas and Pinnell”
Ready for some “next generation literacy instruction“? Ready to learn about “saying less” so students do the work to learn more?
You need to read this book!
And check out how long you resist figuring out where the words come from that are the background for half the page of the book cover. It’s another favorite section of mine. (Truthfully, I thought I would be farther in the book. But I’m rereading. Marking. Post-it-ing! Thinking!)
What’s it like to get that book you have been eagerly anticipating?
Do your students know that joy?
Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thank you for this weekly forum!
This Tweet from #tcrwp (Teachers College Reading and Writing Project) on August 15th caught my eye. A quick glance at the twitter stream confirmed that it came from Stephanie Harvey’s keynote (sigh of envy across the miles).
Hmmm. . . Harry Potter, Old Man and the Sea, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day are three distinctly different texts that have similar lexile levels!
Was I interested? Yes!
Did I independently check? Yes!
Those three books are typically read by readers at these levels:
- Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, Very Bad, No Good Day – primary grades
- Harry Potter – upper elementary grades
- Old Man and the Sea – high school
But yet they all three have similar lexile levels! Would that still be where those texts would be read? Or has that expectation changed with the adoption of the Common Core?
The initial connection to Stephanie Harvey was further confirmed in Twitterverse later:
So what is a lexile? And just how is a lexile determined?
The Lexile Framework® for Reading claims to measure a student’s reading ability based on actual assessment, rather than a generalized age or grade level. It uses a common, developmental scale to match a reader with books, articles and other resources at the right level of difficulty. The Lexile Framework was developed by MetaMetrics®, an educational measurement and research organization that purports to use scientific measures of student achievement to link assessment with targeted instruction to improve learning. To date, more than 115,000 books and 80 million articles have Lexile measures, and the number of resources with Lexile measures continues to grow.
HOWEVER, CCSS.R.10 does not use Lexiles alone as a single measure of Text Complexity. ALL CCSS documents include a three-pronged approach to complexity as evidenced by this graphic and explanation:
The Common Core specifically says that there are “three equally important parts.” A lexile measure does not equal text complexity. There are many ways to determine which texts are appropriate for specific grade levels or bands. Quantitative factors (#2 above) seem to be the easiest to measure. An addendum to Appendix A suggests that two quantitative measures be used for comparison. That would mean that Lexiles AND a grade level equivalent could both be considered for a more general “quantitative measure.” Then qualitative facets would be explored like theme, structure and knowledge demands. Finally the Reader and Task considerations would be reviewed.
Additional information about text complexity is easily located. Kansas text complexity resources are available here. Sarah Brown Wessling’s, “Teacher of the Year,” viewpoint of text complexity is available at Teaching Channel.
Which elements of text complexity are you considering when selecting text?
What examples of “Out of Whack Lexiles” have you found?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Addition/ Update = 08.17.13:
- Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway 610L.
- Twilight garners a Lexile score of 720.
- A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway 730L.
- Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby, Age 8, has a Lexile score of 860.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid has 1000L.
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville has a Lexile of 1200.
- The Wee Little Woman is a board book by Byron Barton and has a Lexile of 1300.
**According to Titlewave:
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid 950
Fahrenheit 451 890
Gossip Girl 820
The Great Gilly Hopkins 800
From @AliBuzzell new resource on 08.21.13 tweentribune.com/readrank Thanks, Ali!
@doctordea Brief white paper: The Lexile Framework: ow.ly/o9iW3
Donalyn Miller, the Book Whisperer http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/book_whisperer/2012/07/guess_my_lexile.html?cmp=SOC-SHR-TW