Adventures in Literacy Land: Professional Reading

Showing posts with label Professional Reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Professional Reading. Show all posts

From Striving to Thriving: Synopsis and Supplemental Materials

Reading the book, From Striving to Thriving, is full of thoughtfull ideas and tips that are grounded in research.   My highlighter was smoking and my pen marked up the margins like crazy. Was this just me?  I think the most common notation I made was, “YASSS!” Maybe not the most grammatically correct, but I sure did enjoy the reaffirmations I had page after page while reading this book.

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Teaching Reading in Small Groups: Organizing and Managing Small-Group Conferring

After reading the first seven chapters of Teaching Reading in Small Groups, by Jennifer Serravallo, I found myself thinking, "This all sounds fantastic, but how will I ever keep track of all these different groups!?"  Luckily, Chapter 8 answered all my questions about organizing and managing small groups.
Teaching Reading in Small Groups book study
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Teaching Reading in Small Groups: Moving Readers to the Next Level

I leveled up!

This is a phrase that my pre-teen son used to exclaim with glee when he had successfully completed a level in his favorite video game.

I am stuck, Mom!  Can you come help me!

This was also a phrase my pre-teen son used to utter with impatience when he just could not get past a difficult stage of his game.

Learn how to use Text-Level Introduction Groups to improve student reading skills and knowledge of strategies with tips from Teaching Reading in Small Groups by Jennifer Serravallo.
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From Striving to Thriving ch 7 - Assessments


I've found that there are usually two mindsets teachers have about reading assessments. The first is that while these assessments are necessary, they take away from instructional time and do not give any new information about the student. This is the, "I could have told you that!" thinking.

The second mindset thinks of assessments as providing guidance for instruction. Assessments should be formative, not summative, and provide information to help that helps us move out students forwards. This is the assessment mindset that most benefits our striving readers. We need all the information we can get to help them be successful and in this chapter, Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward provide us with a different - broader way - of thinking about assessments.
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From Striving to Thriving: Chapter 6

“We want all of our kids to become confident, thinking-intensive readers who build knowledge as they go.”  

This quote is a great summary of Chapter 6.  The focus of Chapter 6 is built around eight action steps to building thinking skills in all students.

1)  Teach comprehension strategies explicitily.
2)  Teach with the Gradual Release of Responsibility framework
3)  Use interactive read-alouds
4)  Build fluency, comprehension, and confidence
5)  Attend to signposts: text features, graphic features, and signal words and phrases
6)  Teach with images, videos, graphics, and artifacts
7)  Engage kids in temporary, flexible, needs-based small group instruction and small- group work.
8)  Share pathways to understanding through digital reading, listening, and viewing.

For this blog post, I really want to focus on teaching comprehension explicitly and using interactive read-alouds.  

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Teaching Reading in Small Groups Ch.4 Strategy Lessons

Professional Reading Book Study of Teaching Reading in Small Groups by Jennifer Serravallo Chapter 4 Strategy Lessons.

The official title of Chapter 4 is Guided Practice Toward Independence: Strategy Lessons for Comprehension, Print Work, and Fluency.

To start this chapter Jennifer Serravallo talks about learning to be a clown for a high school production.  She chooses to be a plate spinning clown, which is a perfect way of thinking about teaching children in strategy groups (or really teaching in general if you think about it!)  You have to get one plate spinning on its own before you can move on to the next.  Then, you have to go back periodically and give the plate a bit of a spin to keep it moving independently.  You teach (spinning originally), Assess (go to check to see if it is still spinning) and then reinforce (give that plate another little spin to keep it going). Hence, Strategy Lessons.  These are the With (or coaching) part of teaching students independence.  You've got to keep them spinning if you want them to stay up!
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FROM STRIVING TO THRIVING: CHAPTER 4 "PUMP UP THE READING VOLUME"


Volume reading builds background knowledge, increases vocabulary, improves writing, and develops empathy.  Voluminous, engaged reading is the best intervention for struggling, striving readers. Join us as we discuss Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward's book, From Striving to Thriving.
"The best intervention is a good book."

READING MAKES READERS
Volume reading is crucial to transforming striving readers into thriving readers, say Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward. They believe that voluminous, pleasurable reading is the key to literacy development. In this post we'll look at Chapter Four, "Pump Up the Reading Volume." The authors discuss how voluminous reading changes lives, reasons to add more reading to our day, how to build in more reading time, and review the research.
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Teaching Reading in Small Groups - ch. 3 Engagement

Getting students engaged in books is the best way to create life-long readers. In chapter 3 of Teaching Reading in Small Groups, Jennifer Serravallo talks about different types of engagement conferences that work for students.
As teachers, we are very vocal about our love for reading. We are constantly sharing new books with our students, reading aloud, and loving the excitement that reading brings. Outside of school, we read for enjoyment and to grow professionally. We talk with others about what we are reading.
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From Striving to Thriving: Ensuring Access to and Choice of Books

From Striving to Thriving: Ensure Access to and Choice of Books - Explore ways to build a comprehensive classroom library while providing students with choice and ample access to books.

Raise your hand if you have ever had a student say to you, "I hate reading." Most likely, every single one of us has had this heartbreaking experience with a student. But according to James Patterson in the following quote and the authors in Chapter Three, these students have just not yet found the right books. It is our responsibility as educators to provide all of our students with access to and choice of books, which is the focus of this chapter. 
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Teaching Reading In Small Groups - Chapter 2: "Forming Groups: Making the Invisible Visible Through Assessment"

When I signed up for this summer book study, I immediately gravitated towards chapter 2! I have always struggled with small group reading instruction (hence, the book study participation) and one of my biggest struggles is HOW to get the kids into groups that make sense AND allow for the greatest amount of growth in all students. It seems like my reading groups tend to stay static for a loooong time and then abruptly change. Jennifer Serravallo has laid out some great ideas for how to create the best groups for your students and keep them flexible as their needs change.
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FROM STRIVING TO THRIVING: CULTIVATE CURIOSITY

Curiosity matters.

This simple statement by Harvey and Ward is the focus of Chapter 2 in From Striving to Thriving.  The authors believe that questioning is the strategy that moves learners forward, especially striving readers, and that it is our job as teachers to convince them that we value their inquiries.
Explore Chapter 2 of From Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.
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Chapter 1 -- 2018 Summer Book Study: Teaching Reading in Small Groups by Jennifer Serravallo

This year The Reading Crew chose Teaching Reading in Small Groups: Differentiated Instruction for Building Strategic, Independent Readers by Jennifer Serravallo as one of our professional development book studies for the summer of 2018.
This post features chapter 1 of the book Teaching Reading in Small Groups. This book study is for all teachers of reading. Check out the post for more details.

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From Striving to Thriving: Table the Labels

What an amazing chapter! Chapter one jumps right in with recommendations for making classroom reading instruction lively, meaningful, and fun. Check out this post for information on what you can do to make reading great for your students.
Not all intervention programs are equal! There! We said it! In the opening of chapter one, Harvey and Ward describe a beautiful classroom scenario where Anthony makes the connection that "Reading is thinking!"  In that classroom, there are great things happening. Students are turning and talking, jotting thoughts, questions, and new learning on sticky notes, getting to know each other as readers, conferring with their teachers, and reading books that they are totally engaged in. Anthony's realization that reading is thinking goes beyond calling out the words and shows he's connected the importance of comprehension. 

In this post, we'll look at intervention programs and ideas to help make the most of classroom reading instruction. 

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From Striving to Thriving: The Introduction

In this post, we begin our book study of From Striving to Thriving. We explore reading behaviors, current practices, and assessment before digging into new ideas.

When you think about readers in your classroom, what do you see? What are successful readers doing? How do they demonstrate they are reading? In the coming weeks, eight of our bloggers will help readers delve into these topics and the teaching tips offered through the book, From Striving to Thriving: Growing Confident, Capable Readers.

In this post, we'll be taking a look at the introduction (a chapter all by itself) . The authors of From Striving to Thriving, Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward, have coined the terms striving readers and thriving readers to describe our students, and in the introduction, they explain why they have chosen to abandon the term strugging reader for the preferred term, striving reader. So let's begin by looking at the difference.
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Summer Reading: Getting Books in Their Hands

In July of 2015 we did a book study of Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Frazen's "Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap" .  It was really eye opening to me to look at the achievement gap in relation to the summer.  And my school took some actions to get more books into the hands of our students throughout the year.  A Readbox, stronger "take-home" program, and more listening stations are just some examples.

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Preventing Summer Reading Loss: What Really Works?


Hello Royal Readers! This week we are discussing the book Summer Reading by Richard Allington and Anne Mc-Gill-Frazen. Yesterday Andrea shared the what the research says about summer reading and economically disadvantaged children. You can read that post {here}. Today, we'll focus on chapter three.

What Have We Learned about Addressing Summer Reading Loss?


This chapter takes an in-depth look at summer reading programs and the potential they demonstrated in addressing summer reading loss. Each summer program was conducted as a study with a treatment group and a control group.

In the first study, students from high poverty elementary schools were invited to attend spring book fairs.

The project targeted books that students could read at their independent level (99% accuracy with phrasing and expression).

Additionally, the books fit into four broad categories: popular series, popular culture, culturally relevant, and curriculum relevant.

Children were given free rein to select the books they wanted to read during the summer.

Overall this program demonstrated that providing self-selected summer reading materials improves reading achievement.


Another study was conducted with summer school students.  One group of the students participated in a summer reading club for 30-60 minutes of the day while others did not.

The reading club participants gained more in reading levels, reading accuracy, and fluency than their counterparts.


In yet another study, books were mailed out to students weekly over the summer. Prior to the start of summer, one group of students participated lessons at school that modeled oral reading and comprehension strategies.

Results of the study showed that students in this group scored significantly higher than the control groups.

What Does It Mean?

The findings of these studies suggest that voluntary summer reading may help close the rich/poor reading achievement gap. By increasing the amount of voluntary reading children did over the summer months summer reading loss was eliminated and growth was made.


Discussion Question

How could information presented in this chapter be used to improve the summer reading program at your school?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.  

Stop back each day this week for additional information on Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap.

OTHER SUMMER READING BOOK STUDY POSTS:

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Summer Reading ~ What the Research Says


Happy summer, everyone!  It's Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars!  Even though my summer is coming to a close, I am still enjoying every moment I can of it.

Yesterday, Carla shared reasons that children in poverty suffer more from reading loss over the summer from the book Summer Reading by Richard Allington.  You can read that post by clicking {here}.

Today I will focus on chapter 2, which shares research findings for interventions that brought some help with summer slide to students in poverty.

After using rigorous methods to find research that had already been conducted, they came up with these 8 categories for the outcomes.

1.  attitudes toward reading
2.  motivation to read
3.  reading behavior
4.  basic language skills
5.  emergent literacy skills
6.  reading performance
7.  writing performance
8.  general academic performance


The bottom line

So...


From all of the many research the authors dug through, they used the most rigorous ones to show their data.  They found what we all probably already know:

"Providing books and magazines to children - either by lending the materials to them or by giving them the materials to keep - improves their attitudes toward reading, the amount of reading that they do, their acquisition of basic literacy skills, and their reading performance."  (Allington, 2013)  

In the next few posts, find out how different studies in different schools worked for their communities and how the children fared with their summer reading.  I love some of the ideas and how the interventions worked for these communities, so you won't want to miss them!

How has your school handled summer reading?  

What are some things you can do to help prevent summer slide?

And don't forget to come back tomorrow and the rest of the week to read more!





OTHER SUMMER READING BOOK STUDY POSTS:


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Five Reasons Poor Children Suffer More from Summer Learning Loss

Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap will provide you with ideas you can use to prevent summer slide.

Did you notice the title of this post?  Well, it is probably no surprise to any of us that summer learning loss hurts poor children more than any others. In fact, we've had data for a very long time proving it, but why is it that we continue to have our poor children falling further and further behind when we know the reason why? We have remediation programs in place during the school year, and we offer many children summer school. We may even send home summer work for them. Even so, why can't we seem to get to the root cause of the issue and fix it? 

In chapter one of Summer Reading, Dr. Allington shares the data showing how and why the achievement gap between rich and poor widens every year children are in school.  So ponder this a second...

Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap will provide you with ideas you can use to prevent summer slide.

What reasons popped into your mind?  Perhaps you thought that the parents just don't take the time for reading?  Maybe you thought that the kids are too busy swimming and playing, or were you thinking that teachers just don't take the time to tell parents how important it is?  Well, one of the real issues is the fact that many children lack access to appropriate reading materials, and each year children go without, the further behind they get. Here's a brief recap of Allington's research.
1. Poor children get most of their reading material from school or classroom library collections (Lamme 1976) and schools serving large numbers of poor children have smaller, older, and less diverse school and classroom library collections (Allington, Guice, Michelson, Baker, and Li 1996, Duke, 2000; Neuman, 2009).  This means poor children have a much more restricted selection of books. It was also found that they have fewer visits to the library, and more restrictions on what can be taken home.
2. Beyond the school setting, wealthier children had a greater number of bookstores available to them (3:1), but even worse are the differences in books available for purchase 16,000 compared to 55 books. On every measure, researchers found a "gaping difference." 
3. Family income has been shown to be a quite powerful predictor of the number of age-appropriate children's books and magazines that are available in the home
4. Access is not the only cause of summer learning loss.  Children's efficacy beliefs are linked to academic performance including their experiences as more or less successful readers.  A history of less success with reading produces a lower sense of self-efficacy than a history of successful reading experiences. Poor readers are more likely to be assigned texts that are too hard, texts they read with little fluency, limited accuracy, and without comprehension. Therefore, poor readers are less motivated to read voluntarily.
5. Creating classroom environments where successful reading is the norm for all children means that a one-size-fits-all curriculum plan (with everyone reading the same book) cannot produce a consistent pattern of successful reading.  Children need books they can read accurately, fluently, and with understanding. (McGill-Franzen 1993) to feel successful, and successful school reading leads to greater motivation to read voluntarily. 
Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap will provide you with ideas you can use to prevent summer slide.

As we look for ways to get quality literature that matches student needs and interests into the children's hands and motivate the children to read them, we need to consider these key principles.  

Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap will provide you with ideas you can use to prevent summer slide.
  • With your reading plans during the school year, ensure that all students are reading extensively during the school day.  
  • A focus on the volume of reading is different from a focus on time allocated for reading instruction.  The majority of the reading block should be spent reading.
  • Your reading plan should enhance students' desire to read voluntarily at night, on weekends, and during the summer.
Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap will provide you with ideas you can use to prevent summer slide.
  • Program plans should make sure classroom book collections match the needs and interests of all students.
  • Classroom libraries should include hundreds of titles at the appropriate level of difficulty.
  • Programs should emphasize that students have books available for take home on weekends and throughout the summer.
  • Finally, programs should help teachers develop skills in matching children and books. 
At the close of chapter one, Allington leaves the reader with an important note keeping these two principles in mind.  He says, "All children need consistent access to rich and explicit demonstrations of the thinking that proficient readers do before, during, and after reading, or expert instruction." It is during the independent practice that students use these skills and strategies and come to own them. Without regular successful reading practice, reading proficiency seems more difficult to achieve.

So, readers, we have plans to make, don't we?  Can we idly sit back and allow children who are at such a disadvantage continue to fall further and further behind, or are we going to make reading plans?  

Come back tomorrow to read about and share intervention plans that increase children's access to reading materials and that improve reading proficiency.


OTHER SUMMER READING BOOK STUDY POSTS:


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Word Callers Book Study - Chapters 7 & 8


I love the title of Chapter 7, "Connecting the Dots" because it is a great way to think about inferring, which is difficult for word callers.


Kelly Cartwright categorizes inferences into two types:  text-connecting and gap-filling.  Text-connecting inferences require a reader to connect two ideas from a text to construct an idea that is not explicitly stated in the text.  Gap-filling inferences require a reader to connect their background knowledge to a piece (or multiple pieces) of text information to construct meaning.  Word callers have trouble with inference because they have to connect MULTIPLE bits of information and talk/think about things that are not in the text.  What can we do to help them?  We need to "make students aware that there are hidden meanings in the text that must be discovered. (Cartwright, 2010, p. 98).


Working with students on an individual basis allows the teacher to provide more specific, feedback to that student.  Using the two-story clue hunt, helps students make text-connecting and gap-filling inferences by using clue words in the story to create those inferences.

How it works:
  • Explain to students that you will be solving a puzzle today as they read a story.  To solve the puzzle we are going to look for clue words.
  • Read the first story.  Identify the clue words and explain what the clue words reveal about the story.
  • Read the second story.  The student helps you identify the clue words and explains what they tell about the story.  For any clue words that the student doesn't identify, tell the clue words and work WITH them to develop an explanation.
Because word callers don't recognize reading as a meaning-making process, they need to be nudged in the right direction.


Three-step inference building is an intensive process that spans six to seven small-group lessons that result in students becoming active thinkers.

How it works:

  • Finding Clue Words (lessons 1, 2, & 3) - Students find clue words in sentences and discuss the meanings provided by the clue words.
  • Question Generating (lessons 4, 5, & 6) - Students become the teacher and ask questions using the clue words that will help their fellow students make inferences.
  • Making Predictions (lesson 7) - Use a story that has one sentence covered.  Have students use clues from the rest of the story to determine the meaning of the sentence covered.


Without explicit instruction in how to comprehend texts, we cannot expect word callers to become active readers.  We need to give these students a glimpse into the mind of a proficient reader by "actively engag[ing] students in a running conversation about texts' meanings and their own thoughts about those meaning while reading a text. (Cartwright, 2010, p. 113).  We can do these through a process called Transactional Strategies Instruction where strategies are blended into a meaning-making experience rather than taught and practiced in isolation.

How it works:
Gather a small group (this a conversational type strategy) and pick a common text to read.

  • Good Strategy Users - As you read the text, emphasize that good readers use strategies we can't see, highlight various strategies during the reading and explain the reasoning behind using that strategy
    • MEANING IS ALWAYS THE PRIMARY FOCUS not just using a particular strategy
  • Gradual Release of Responsibility - Provide a specific strategy for students to use.  Before asking them to use it, explain the reasoning behind using the strategy - How does it help a reader make meaning?
  • Collaborative Learning - This is a student-centered approach because the teacher releases responsibility to the students quickly.  Asking questions like "What makes you think that?" and having students explain their thinking to each other.
  • Interpretative Discussion - Teachers guide students' thinking by prompting them with strategy use questions instead of giving evaluative feedback.  Students contributions are valued and supported.
"TSI is about changing the way you teach, not just changing what you teach. (Cartwright, 2010, p. 114).



Questions to Consider (please use the comment section below to share your thoughts!)

Consider the difference between text-connecting and gap-filling inferences.  Have you noticed that your students find one ore the other more difficult?  Why do you think this is the cause?

How is TSI similar to your current comprehension instruction?  How is it different?



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Word Callers Book Study~ Chapters 5 & 6


Chapter 5 


     Word Callers need opportunities to work with multiple meaning words. Authors use multiple meaning words and phrases to share humorous messages with their readers.

     Words such as homophones and homonyms require students to hold onto 2 ideas in their minds at one time. Next, they must use their flexibility to figure out which word fits the sentence and the meaning of it.

    


      Books like the Amelia Bedelia series and the book, Dear Deer,by Gene Barretta allow students to experience wordplay. When books are added to other jokes, riddles, and activities with homophones and homonyms, a student's understanding and reading comprehension will greatly improve.

    The rest of this chapter offers activities and websites for homophones, homonyms, jokes, riddles and more.

 Questions to Consider

1.Identify 3 points in your day where wordplay can fit.

2. What kinds of texts can you add to your classroom library to further your students' awareness of multiple meanings. If you need additional book ideas, see List 5-2 in the book.
Please add your answers to the "Comment" Section below.
Chapter 6
     Good readers create verbal and visual representations of meanings from text in their heads. Word Callers are less likely to engage in visualization of texts' meanings. This chapter offers various activities to support verbal and visual representations of text. All of these strategies require short passages of text without pictures. Teachers will need to type up the text before class time.

     One session story pictures using Nursery Rhymes or other simple 3-4 part stories. The teacher models visualizing the page in her head with only the text in front of her. Students continue to practice visualization while the teacher encourages and asks questions for clarity. The teacher makes up little books with 4 pages and puts 4 simple sentences of text on them.

     The next activity includes using storyboards with cutouts of characters and story elements. Magnets, flannel, or Velcro can be attached to the back of the pieces. Use a cookie sheet, flannel board, or white board for students to construct pictures as they read. Students will move the characters and story elements from the like a play going on. Eventually, move to paper storyboards and then scaffold the skill so students are making storyboards in their heads.

     Story maps with literal comprehension questions to focus on important story details is another strategy.   Students are asked to complete the story map first. Next, they finishing the question guide without the story map or story in front of them.

     Paragraph restatements is the final strategy. In this strategy, a short piece of text is used with 2-3 blank lines between each paragraph.   Using 3-5 words, students write the "important details" about the paragraph. This activity has 3 stages: Teacher Modeling, Student Practice, and More Independent Practice. Students move through the stages as they achieve 80%+ correct responses.

   Questions to Consider

1. What techniques might you try this fall with students who struggle with finding the main idea ?

2. What is one technique you want to try from this chapter ?

3. Which of your students would benefit from visual supports ? verbal supports ?



Please add your answers to the "Comment" Section below.


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